UVU golf: Wolverines come away with a fifth-place finish at Snowman Getaway

By Kellen Hiser

For the Deseret News

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 25 2014 9:09 p.m. MST

Utah Valley University's JT Timmons and Preston Richards recorded top-25 finishes and UVU nabbed another top-five spot on the team leaderboard with a fifth-place finish Tuesday at the Snowman Getaway at the Palm Valley Golf Club.

The Wolverines now have four top-five finishes in seven tournaments this season after posting a team score of 860 (-1) over 54 holes to finish alongside Getaway host Loyola-Maryland in the five spot. UVU was edged by scores of 858 from William & Mary, which finished fourth, and 855 from Gonzaga, leaving in third.

"I'm proud of the way the guys fought today," Utah Valley head coach Chris Curran said. "We had a rough stretch during the middle of the round and everyone dug deep and finished strong. Plus, it's always nice to finish above a top-100 ranked team (Indiana). The guys are gaining confidence going into Bandon, one of our biggest tournaments of the year."

Illinois State, which entered the final day in seventh place and 13 strokes back of tournament leader Air Force, fired a -15 over Tuesday's final 18 holes to tie the Falcons for first place. The Redbird surge was powered by Parker Freiburg's 8-under 64 over the final round. Freiburg finished the tournament in a tie for fourth.

ISU was ultimately awarded the tournament championship after a scorecard playoff.

For the second event in a row, true freshman Timmons was Utah Valley's top finisher. Timmons landed in tie for 15th on the individual leaderboard after a 1-under 71 gave him a three-round total of 212. Meanwhile, Richards tallied his fourth top-25 placing of the season when his 214 left him in a tie for 21st. The junior shot an even-par 72 in his final round.

Junior Brayden Eriksen came in outside the top 30 for just the second time in seven tournaments this season, finishing alongside fellow junior Michael Dart in 42nd. Dart and Eriksen each carded a 73 on Tuesday, finishing with a total score of 219.

Just one stroke back of that duo was sophomore Corey Eccles. Posting his best round of the tournament on Tuesday, Eccles' 71 jumped him 10 places on the leaderboard to leave him in a tie for 50th behind his week-long score of 220.

Coming in just behind the Wolverines' 860 was an 861 and seventh-place finish from fellow WAC member Kansas City. From there, St. John's (866), Indiana (868) and Connecticut (872) rounded out the top 10.

In-state rival Utah finished 11th with a team score of 873.

Utah Valley will now have a little less than two weeks to prepare for its trip to the prestigious Bandon Dunes Championship in Bandon, Ore. The Wolverines finished eighth at Bandon last season amidst a field that included the likes of Washington, Oregon, UCLA and SMU.

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