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Utah Golf finishes seventh at Marquette Intercollegiate at Erin Hills

By Mady White, Student Assistant for Utah Athletics Communications

 

HARTFORD, Wis. – The Utah men's golf team concluded play at the Marquette Intercollegiate at Erin Hills on Tuesday, finishing in seventh place the par 72, 7869-yard Erin Hills Golf Course in Hartford, Wis.
 
Utah put together a final round of 4-over par (292) to close out the event with a combined score of 28-over par (292-308-292=892).
 
“This was not a good tournament for our team,” said head coach Garrett Clegg. “Our guys really struggled throughout the entire event and we did not perform the way we would have liked to. Jordan was our top finisher in the event and he did a nice job this week to lead us. We have a couple weeks of practice to regroup and get ready for our next event in early November to close out the fall schedule.”
 
Junior Jordan Costello carded his best round of the event on Tuesday to finish the tournament in a tie for 25th place to lead the Utes. Costello was steady all day after notching 12 pars during the final round to go on to shoot even par (72) in the final round and have a combined score of 5-over par (221).
 
Sophomore Blake Tomlinson also notched even par (72) in the final round, which was his best round of the event, to finish in a tie for 36th place at 8-over par (224). Sophomore Tristan Mandur finished the event tied for 39th place with a score of 9-over par (225) after recording a final round of 2-over par (74).
 
Junior Mitchell Schow finished the event in 53rd place, following a final round of 2-over par (74) to have a combined score of 12-over par (228). Rounding out Utah's five-man team in Wisconsin, senior Kyler Dunkle placed in a tie for 56that 14-over par (230) after shooting 4-over par (76) on Tuesday.
 
Freshman Axel Einarsson competed as an individual in the three-day event and finished tied for 39th place. Einarsson shot 3-under par (69) in the final round to have a combined score of 9-over par (225). The round of 69 marks the freshman's first round in the 60's on the year and also mark's a career low.
 
In the 10-team field, Northwestern won the event with a three-day score of 6-under par. Arizona State (-4) finished in second place, Marquette (+4) placed third, Ole Miss (+7) finished in fourth, while Minnesota (+21) and UC Davis (+21) finished tied for fifth place.
 
The Utah golf team will be back in action when they close out the fall slate at the Saint Mary's Invitational. The event will run Monday through Wednesday, Nov. 5-7, at the Poppy Hills Golf Course in Monterey, Calif.

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Eric D’Astous: A Life-Changing Choice

 

By Beaux Yenchik, UGA Intern

 

For college students, life-altering choices seem to happen just a frequently as they take selfies. Yet, the 180-degree change of choice for this college student turned into one of the best decisions he ever made.

There sat Eric D’Astous, on the campus of the University of Utah, working on his undergraduate degree in kinesiology with dreams of becoming a physical therapist. D’Astous had just started a new gig at the Country Club of Salt Lake as a bag boy. Being a recreational golfer himself, the environment and setting provided a sense of familiarity and comfort as he continued to work through his education.

Yet, something just wasn’t sitting right. D’Astous recognized he was happier at the golf course than in the classroom – studying a subject he thought he had developed a deep passion for. The gig had reignited a fire, and D’Astous was again falling for the sport he had ditched after high school.

“Once I got a degree, [I was]  already in the golfing industry,” D'Astous said. ” 'This is where I want to be. This is my field.' For some reason, PT, I didn't want to have to go back to do that. [It] looked like work.”

Born just outside of Canada’s capital city, D’Astous left the Ottawa area at a young age when his family moved to Salt Lake City. Calling the Salt Lake area home, D’Astous attended Waterford School, and it was here that D’Astous was introduced to the sport he would later turn into a career.

Everybody has a somebody that introduced them to the game of golf and for him, it was D’Astous’ grandpa and uncles. At the age of 14 – the age he started golfing – D’Astous recalled two distinct memories from the time he began playing golf: the time his uncle took him out to get a pair of golf shoes and one of his first rounds of golf, which took place in Vermont.

From his beginning days to now, golf has always played a special role in D’Astous’ life – even if he did give it up for a couple of years while he attended college. He loved playing on the school team with his buddies and even recreationally around the valley. Because of where he grew up, he was fortunate enough to have friends that would invite him to play at some of the local country clubs like Willow Creek and Hidden Valley.

As a bag boy at the Country Club, he had the ability to play as much golf as he wanted on Monday afternoons. Being a poor-college student and maybe somewhat of a procastinator toward homework, D’Astous could be seen playing as much as 36 holes those afternoons if the time, weather and busyness of the course permitted.

“That's really what changed everything,” D'Astous said. “I made so many friends doing that. [I] still do it to this day. That is what golf is, going out with your friends … having a good time.”

By reteaching himself, D’Astous’ confidence and love toward the game continued to grow. His environment was comfortable and he enjoyed being in a community that had similar feelings.

This obsession, for a lack of a better word, is what drove the decision to work toward becoming a PGA Professional – desiring to make it to a Class A status. There was no individual moment that drove D’Astous to leave the physical therapy route, just a culmination of experiences and relationships that shaped his future.

While still thinking about a golfing career, D’Astous took advantage of his circumstances by testing the waters – he had been working at the Country Club for three years; Ron Branca, the former Director of Golf, had just left the Club; and a vacancy had just opened regarding the position of an assistant professional.

D'Astous said: “It was an idea to become a Class A PGA Professional at that point. I [thought] it was going to happen. In my head, I wanted a little more.”

He wanted it, and he wanted it bad! So, what did he do? He nagged them for it.

“I wanted the responsibility,” D'Astous said. “I wanted them to give me that opportunity. [So], I just bugged them and bugged them.”

Nagging may not always be the right path for one to take when something is wanted; however, in this instance, it worked perfectly for D’Astous. He emphatically stated he was “grateful they took a chance on him” when it came to offering him the position. He had no experience, except being a bag boy. Yet, he had proved he was the right man for the job.

Having passed the Playing Ability Test – his proudest accomplishment in golf – on his fourth go around, D’Astous knew he was embarking on the best journey of his life.

Golf is more than a white ball and a club to hit it with. It symbolizes life on a smaller scale. D’Astous said an 18-hole round demonstrates and reflects the ups and downs of life. It shows how we respond to self-inflicted and out-of-our-own control situations. Each hole is a new phase we face in life. Some we play well; others we don’t.

D’Astous loves how golf can teach lessons like honesty, respect and an “all up to you” mentality. It is a sport that continues to evolve but gives its participants an opportunity to accrue the necessary data for next time. It draws you in and hooks on to you by giving you a single-good shot amongst a round full of bad ones.

“You can learn a lot of good life lessons and a lot about yourself just from playing golf,” D'Astous explained. “It is kind of funny. You learn a lot about your character [and] mental fortitude.” 

Outside of golf, D’Astous loves to spend time with family and his group of really good friends. He is the only boy among three sisters.  And, as a getaway, D’Astous loves to go camping, hiking or simply spending time in the outdoors.

Eric, we wish you the best of luck in your golfing career and hope you continue to share your love of the game with those you teach and interact with daily!

*Updated on 07/23/18

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Senior Events, Rose Park Open Top Next Week’s Schedule

The Bountiful Ridge Senior Amateur tees off this week’s tournament schedule on Monday and the seniors move over to Spanish Oaks for its senior am on Thursday. The week concludes with the ever popular TNT  Auction Open at Rose Park on Saturday.

For those interested in the not quite golf tournaments there are the Toana Vista 4-Man Scramble on Thursday and Friday, the Cotton Days 3-Man Scramble at Green Spring on Friday and Saturday, and the Birch Creek 2-Man Scramble on Saturday.

Major events are set for next week beginning with the U.S. Open local qualifying at Glen Eagle on Monday and UGA Senior Match Play begins Monday at Davis Park and continues through Friday. Also, the high school girls championships will be held during the week.

This Week’s Utah Tournament Schedule

Monday- May 4- Bountiful Ridge Senior Am

Thursday, May 7- Spanish Oaks Senior Am

Thursday, Friday- May 7-8- Toana Vista 4-Man Scramble

Friday-Saturday- May 8-9 Cotton Days 3-Man Scramble, Green Spring

Friday-Saturday, May 8-9- TNT Auction Rose Park Open

Saturday, May 9- Birch Creek 2-Man Scramble

Early Next Week

Monday, May 11- U.S. Open Local Qualifying, Glen Eagle

Tuesday, May 12-15- Utah Senior Match Play Championship, Davis Park

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Utah Valley’s Eriksen Named WAC Men’s Golfer of the Week

DENVER—Utah Valley senior Brayden Eriksen has been named the Western Athletic Conference men's golfer of the week for Feb. 23-Mar. 1. It is the second time this season that Eriksen has earned the honor.
 
Eriksen, a senior from Qualicum Beach, B.C., Canada (Kwalikum HS), tied for second place at The Loyola Golf Invite (sponsored by the Neville Kovacs Group).  Two of his three rounds came under par as Eriksen carded a four-under 212 on the tournament to tie with Obe Ayton of St. John's for second place among the 100-golfer field. The Wolverines won the tournament by six-strokes over second-place Utah.
 
“Brayden's on a roll right now,” said Utah Valley head coach Chris Curran. “He was a big reason the team won last week. He's a great kid and works extremely hard. Nice to see him finding success.”
 
Eriksen and the Wolverines will be back in action March 13-15 at the Bandon Dunes Championship at the Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Bandon, Oregon.

 

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Finau Interview on The Jim Rome Show

Below is a link to Tony Finau's recent interview on The Jim Rome Show.

Click HERE to listen to the interview