By Mady White, Student Assistant for University of Utah Athletic Communications
INDEPENDENCE, Minn. – The Utah men's golf team recorded their best round of the Gopher Invitational on Monday to close out the two-day event finishing in 10th place at the par-71, 7,368-yard Windsong Farm Golf Club.
After struggling to end Sunday's second round on a good note, the Utes turned things around on Monday and shot 2-over par (286) to close out the 54-hole tournament. Utah finished 22-over par (293-295-286=874) in their season opening event.
"Today was a much better day for our team," Ute head coach Garrett Clegg explained. "I am really proud that we had our best round of the tournament in our final round. Hopefully we have learned a lot from this tournament because those lessons will be extremely valuable for the remainder of our season. We have work to do when we get back home in order to get ready for our event next week at Huntsman Springs."
Four Utes carded their best rounds of the event on Monday, including senior Kyler Dunkle who shot 1-over par (72) in the final round. Dunkle, as well as freshman Axel Einarsson, finished in a tie for 32nd place (+6, 219) in the season opener. Einarsson registered a final round of 3-over par (74) to close out his first event as a Ute.
The sophomore duo of Tristan Mandur and Blake Tomlinson both shot even par (71) for the Utes in the final round to finish in a tie for 38th place overall (+7, 220).
Rounding out the Utes, junior Jordan Costello also posted his best round of the tournament, carding 1-over par (72) on Monday to finish in a tie for 44th place (+8, 221).
Utah ranked first in the 15-team field in par-5 scoring, averaging a score of 4.71 strokes. Einarsson finished tied for fourth on par-3 scoring in the 76-player field with an average score of 2.83 strokes.
Oklahoma took the team title at the Gopher Invitational with a combined score of 5-under par (847). Texas (-2) finished in second place, Iowa (-2) placed third, Arkansas (+7) followed in fourth place, and Minnesota (+12) and Purdue (+12) finished tied for fifth place.
Utah will be back in action next Monday and Tuesday, Sept. 17-18, when the Utes host the Showdown in the Rockies. The two-day event will take place at the Huntsman Springs Golf Course in Driggs, Idaho.