VICTOR, Idaho — With 36 holes played Monday at the Battle in the Tetons, Utah Valley University holds the outright lead by three strokes going into Tuesday's final round.
Helping UVU to the front through Monday's wet conditions are four Wolverine golfers situated within the top-10 on the leaderboard. Pacing the squad, and the field, is junior Brayden Eriksen who sits in a tie for first after carding 69-72 at the par-72, 7,373 yard Headwaters Golf Club. Not far behind are senior Stratton Schulz (74-71) and sophomore Corey Eccles (75-70) who are each tied for seventh and four shots back of the lead. Junior Preston Richards (75-71) is in a three-way tie for 10th.
Sophomore Noah Cook, UVU's fifth golfer, shot 77-78 on Monday and is tied for 33rd.
As a team, the Wolverines posted a score of 577 — three strokes better than defending tournament champion Wyoming's 580. Third-place Southern Utah (588) and fourth-place host Weber State (589) are within striking distance, while South Dakota State (594), Utah State (596) and Valparaiso (597) will have some ground to make up. Westminster (606) rounds out the field after day one.
UVU and UW represent the last two team champions at the Battle in the Tetons. The Wolverines claimed the title in 2011 while the Cowboys prevailed in last year's edition.
"The guys battled hard all day long and never lost focus in terrible conditions," UVU head coach Chris Curran said. "Looking at the team standings, we know we are in a dogfight. We are going to need another good round tomorrow to get it done. If we continue to play like we did today, I like our chances."
Atop the leaderboard, Eriksen shares his lead with Hudson Carpenter of SDSU and defending champion Eddie Stewart of UW. Eriksen's opening-round 69 gave him the outright lead after the first 18, while Carpenter and Stewart fired 67 and 68, respectively, in round two to meet Eriksen at the top.
"Brayden played very well today," Curran said. "He kept the ball in play and converted most of his birdie putts. He's been in this position before, and I'm very confident he will play well tomorrow."
Eriksen and Stewart are grouped together with SUU's Jake Holt for Tuesday's final 18 holes. The threesome will tee off at 9:30 a.m.
UVU's Clark Fredrickson, a sophomore, is the low individual competitor after Monday, going 73-76 to place himself 20th on the overall leaderboard. Also playing as individuals, freshman JT Timmons (75-80) is in a tie for 33rd, and junior Michael Dart (82-77) is tied for 42nd.
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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