UVU golf: men's golf off to strong start at Bandon Dunes Championship

By Kellen Hiser

For the Deseret News

Published: Sunday, March 9 2014 6:32 p.m. MDT

The Utah Valley University men's golf team got off to a great start at one of its most prestigious tournaments of the season, closing Sunday's opening round as one of just two teams to finish below par. The Wolverines ended the day in second place behind a team score of 282 - two shots under par.

"The conditions out there were a roller coaster today," UVU head coach Chris Curran said. "One minute it was blowing and raining and the next it was dry and calm. I'm really happy with the way the guys battled the conditions and put together a strong round. We know there is a lot of golf to be played but we put ourselves in good position after day one."

The Wolverines sit just one shot back of Missouri who ended Sunday's opening round in first place at 281 (-3). Four shots back of UVU is Colorado at 286 (+2), followed by Washinton State (288, +4) and Oregon (289, +5) to round out the top five.

Helping Utah Valley to its strong start was a first-round 67 from true freshman JT Timmons. At 4-under, Timmons heads into Monday in a three-way tie for first place atop the individual leaderboard. He is joined at the top by Gonzaga's Peter Gullickson and Missouri's Emilio Cuartero.

"JT played a flawless round of golf," Curran said.

Junior Michael Dart also finished under par for the Wolverines, firing a first-round 70 to place him into tie for eighth place and leave him only three shots back of the lead.

Preston Richards ended the first day in 15th after a plus-one 72, followed closely by Brayden Eriksen's first-round 73. Corey Eccles, the final of Utah Valley's five bags at the tournament, sits in a tie for 60th after carding a 77 on Sunday.

Played at the Pacific Dunes Course in Bandon, Ore., the Bandon Dunes Championship features a 15-team field with plenty of notable names. St. Mary's (291) ended Sunday in sixth place while Rice and UC Davis (292) are tied for seventh. San Jose State and Washington (293) are tied for ninth and close out the tournament's top-10 after day one.

Boston College (294), host Gonzaga and Kansas City (297), Pacific (301) and Weber State (307) close out the first round standings.

Second round play gets underway Monday morning, and live stats are available and provided provided by Golfstat.

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