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UVU golf: Wolverines close regular season at El Macero Classic

By Kellen Hiser

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, April 17 2014 12:32 p.m. MDT

Following a break of just over four weeks, the Utah Valley University men's golf team is back in action this weekend for its regular season finale at the El Macero Classic in El Macero, Calif.

The three-day tournament, contested at the par 72, 6,912-yard El Macero Country Club, gets underway Friday morning and continues through Sunday with a single, 18-hole round each day. Live scoring is available through Golfstat.

"This is a classic tree-lined golf course and the guys will need to be accurate off the tee and stay below the hole on the greens," UVU head coach Chris Curran said. "This week is a great tune up for the upcoming WAC Championship. There are lots of highly ranked teams in this field."

The Wolverines are part of a 12-team field, joining fellow WAC members Idaho, Grand Canyon and Seattle U in El Macero. Also in the field are hosts UC Davis and Nevada, as well as returning tournament champion Cal State Fullerton. Boise State, Colorado State, Sacramento State and Marquette round out this weekend's teams.

Fullerton, UC Davis and Nevada each sit inside the top 100 in the Golfstat rankings, holding positions 54, 72 and 89, respectively. Marquette is just outside the top 100, ranking No. 101. Utah Valley enters the week ranked 137.

In its last time out, UVU finished second at the Jackrabbit Invitational for its sixth top-five finish of the year. The Wolverines trailed only then 23rd-ranked UNLV and held off third-place Oral Roberts by 22 strokes for their second runner-up finish this season. Should Utah Valley find itself in the top five at El Macero, it will set a new program record for most finishes inside the top five in a season.

"After such a long layoff you never know how your team will respond," Curran said. "But I believe we can pick up right where we left off."

Junior Brayden Eriksen led the way for the Wolverines at the Jackrabbit Invitational last month, matching a career-best finish when he came in second on the individual leaderboard. Eriksen, who leads UVU with a 71.88 scoring average, was just two shots back of the tournament champion after the final day.

Alongside Eriksen, sophomore Corey Eccles, juniors Michael Dart and Preston Richards, and true freshman JT Timmons will man the Wolverines' five bags on the weekend. Dart enters the week off a career-best fifth-place finish at the Jackrabbit Invitational, while Timmons and Richards landed in the top 15 with 12th and 14th place finishes, respectively.

Following this weekend, the 2013-14 golf season will culminate at the WAC Championship held in Henderson, Nev., at the Stallion Mountain Golf Club. First round play gets underway Friday, May 2.

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

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