VICTOR, Idaho — The Utah Valley University men's golf team wrapped up its first tournament of the season Tuesday with a second place finish at the Battle in the Tetons. Junior Brayden Eriksen was the top Wolverine on the leaderboard, also placing second to match the best finish of his career.
As a team, UVU entered Tuesday's final round as the outright leader — three shots ahead of defending champion Wyoming. But the Cowboys (857) surged ahead in the last 18 to nip the Wolverines (862) by five strokes and grab their second straight victory at the Headwaters Golf Club.
Utah Valley's 862 is the fourth-best 54-hole total in program history.
"I'm proud of the guys," head coach Chris Curran said. "We played very well this week. Unfortunately, it just wasn't enough. To shoot 2-under as a team for the week and not win is disappointing, but overall it was a really solid week."
The Wolverines finished 11 strokes clear of third-place Southern Utah (273). Utah State (880) came in fourth, while host Weber State (889) grabbed fifth. South Dakota State and Valparaiso, each with an 889, tied for sixth, and Westminster rounded out the field at 905.
Eriksen also entered the day atop the leaderboard, sharing a 36-hole lead with SDSU's Hudson Carpenter and UW's Eddie Stewart. With a 1-under 71, Eriksen outlasted those two competitors but couldn't stave off a great round from tournament winner Kamrin Allen. The UW sophomore fired 66-67 in his final two rounds after an opening-round 77 to clinch the title by two strokes.
The finish matches Eriksen's career-best as he also finished second at the Braveheart Classic during his freshman campaign.
"Brayden had a great week," Curran said. "His putter was on fire today."
Behind Eriksen, sophomore Corey Eccles posted a tie for sixth after a final round 71 — the first top-10 finish of his career. Junior Preston Richards also notched his first top-10 finish, as his 75-71-71 was good enough for a tie for 10th.
Utah Valley is back in action at the start of next week, venturing to the Itani Quality Homes Collegiate in Pullman, Wash. The opening rounds are set for Monday, Sept. 9, at the Palouse Ridge Golf Club.
Kellen Hiser is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.