UVU golf: men's team looks to continue strong start at Jackrabbit Invitational

By Kellen Hiser

For the Deseret News

Published: Sunday, March 16 2014 3:05 p.m. MDT

Coming off its best-ever performance at the Bandon Dunes Championship last week, the Utah Valley University men's golf team jumps back into action this week at the Jackrabbit Invitational in Primm, Nev.

The two-day, 54-hole tournament gets underway Monday morning at the 7,131 yard, par-72 Primm Valley Golf Club Desert Course.

The Wolverines are part of a 15-team field that features a fellow WAC member and two in-state rivals. Seattle U joins UVU in Primm, as does Utah State and Weber State. Rounding out the field are hosts South Dakota State, Arkansas State, British Columbia, Montana State, North Dakota, Northern Iowa, Oakland, Oral Roberts, SIU-Edwardsville, South Dakota, Winthrop and Youngstown State.

"The guys are playing at a high level right now," Utah Valley head men's golf coach Chris Curran said. "This course is very scoreable and we'll need to make a lot of birdies to compete, but we are expecting big things this week."

Last week, UVU appeared at the Bandon Dunes Championship and came away with its best-ever finish at the esteemed tournament. After holding a second place position in the team standings over the first two rounds, the Wolverines walked away tied for fourth place, besting its previous best finish at the Championship by four spots.

Brayden Eriksen spearheaded the Wolverines' efforts behind another top-10 performance, shooting a +4 over 54 holes to tie for seventh place. Preston Richards, Mike Dart and JT Timmons also finished inside the top 25, propelling Utah Valley to its fourth top-five result in four tournaments this spring.

That same quartet, along with sophomore Corey Eccles who finished tied for 42nd last week, will represent UVU at the Invitational this weekend. Eriksen continues to lead the Wolverines in scoring average at 72.09 per 18 holes and is followed closely by Richards' 72.96. Timmons is next at 73.18 then Eccles at 73.61.

The Jackrabbit Invitational represents the penultimate tournament of the regular season for Utah Valley before it heads to the WAC Championships in early May. The Wolverines close out the regular season at the El Macero Classic in California on April 18 - nearly a month after the conclusion of this week's Invitational.

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