UVU golf: Wolverines end Itani Quality Homes Collegiate in 11th place

By Kellen Hiser

For the Deseret News

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 10 2013 5:45 p.m. MDT

PULLMAN, Wash. - Preston Richards and Brayden Eriksen each recorded top-30 finishes as the Utah Valley University men's golf team ended the Itani Quality Homes Collegiate in 11th place. The tournament was contested over 54 holes at Palouse Ridge Golf Club, a 7,308 yard par-70 on the campus of Washington State University.

UVU entered the week off a second-place finish at the Battle in the Tetons but struggled to find a similar comfort at Palouse Ridge.

"It was a very disappointing week for us," head coach Chris Curran said. "We didn't play smart golf and no one could get a putt to drop."

Richards ended the 54-hole tournament with his best finish as a Wolverine, tying for 27th after a 3-over 73 on Tuesday. Previously, the junior's best finish came when he finished in a tie for 35th at the Battle in the Tetons last year. Going 73-70-73 over three rounds, Richards was the lone Wolverine to shoot at or below par during the tournament.

Coming off a second-place finish at the Battle in the Tetons last week, Eriksen ended his run at the Collegiate in a tie for 30th. He also fired a 73 on Tuesday after going 72-72 on Monday. It was the fifth top-30 finish in Eriksen's three-year career.

From there, Clark Fredrickson (73-72-76) tied for 49th, Corey Eccles (72-75-75) for 53rd and Stratton Schulz (76-72-78) for 68th.

Noah Cook, competing as an individual this week, also tied for 68th after going 71-76-79.

As a team, the Wolverines shot 297 on Tuesday to finish three strokes back of British Columbia but six strokes better than 12th place and fellow WAC-member Seattle University. UVU entered the day in 10th but was in position to move sitting only four strokes behind sixth place. Unfortunately, the Wolverines' 297 was its worst round of the tournament, leaving them in 11th place - the exact same finish they recorded last season in Pullman.

Host WSU (836), playing on its home course, claimed the tournament title for the second consecutive year, sneaking past Cal State Fullerton (837) by just one stroke. The Cougars went 4-under for the tournament while the Titans barely missed out on the team title at -3.

Sacramento State (842) put together Tuesday's best round as a team, shooting 3-under to finish in third place. Idaho, another WAC member, finished fourth at 847, while San Jose State was fifth with a three-round total of 856. Tying for sixth were Chico State and Santa Clara (857), and Gonzaga (863) and Boise State (869) grabbed eighth and ninth place, respectively.

Cody Blick of SJSU and Blake Snyder of WSU shared the individual title, each posting a -7 for the tourney.

Utah Valley will break for a little less than two weeks before competing at the Dash Thomas Memorial, hosted by Boise State, on Sept. 23. In last season's Memorial, the Wolverines finished in second place, just six strokes behind tournament champion WSU.

Kellen Hiser is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.