Utah State’s golf team shot a final round 7-under 281 to finish with a 16-under 848 (291-276-281) to win the Cal State Northridge-hosted Bill Cullum Invitational held at the par-72, 6,849-yard Wood Ranch Golf Club on Monday and Tuesday.
It is Utah State’s first tournament win since September 2, 2014, when it claimed the tournament title at the Weber State-hosted Battle in the Tetons held in Victor, Idaho. And, according to available records, it is USU’s first tournament win in the state of California.
Utah State, which had four golfers finish in the top 15, posted a two-shot win over second-place UC Santa Barbara, which finished with a 14-under 850 (279-286-285). The Aggies sat in sixth place in the 12-team field following its first round of 3-over 291, before shooting the team low round of the tournament Monday afternoon with its 12-under 276. USU then moved up from second to first place during the final day of competition with its final round 7-under 281.
Individually, Utah State senior Braxton Miller finished the tournament tied for third place with a 6-under 210 (73-69-68), for his best-ever tournament finish and tied for his best-ever under-par finish. It is Miller’s third under-par finish this fall and the fifth of his career, not to mention his third top-10 finish this season and the fourth of his career. It is also Miller’s third top-20 finish this season and the 10th of his career. Miller now has five rounds in the 60s this season and 10 in his career, to go along with seven rounds under par this fall and 25 in his career.
For Utah State, Miller’s third-place finish is the Aggies’ highest since Seokwon Jeon claimed medalist honors at the OGIO Utah Invitational in the fall of 2015.
Sophomore Hayden Eckert also finished in the top 10 for Utah State as he shot a final round of 2-over 74 to finish tied for sixth with a 4-under 212 (69-69-74) for his best-ever tournament finish and best-ever 54-hole score. For Eckert, it is his second-career top-10 finish and fourth-career top-20 placing, to go along with his second-career under-par finish. Eckert, who entered the tournament with one career round in the 60s, now has three such rounds in his career, as well as eight rounds under par in his career.
Other Aggie finishers included sophomore Chase Lansford (76-69-69) and redshirt freshman Andy Hess (74-69-71), who tied for 12th place at 2-under 214. For Lansford, it is tied for his best-ever 54-hole score and tied for his second-best tournament finish, as he now has two career top-10 placings and six career top-20 finishes along with his third career under-par finish, including his second this fall. Lansford now has four rounds in the 60s this fall and six in his career, to go along with five rounds under par this season and 12 in his career. For Hess, it is his best-ever 54-hole score and best-ever tournament finish as this is his first-ever top-20 placing. Hess has now carded four rounds under par this fall, including two rounds in the 60s.
Freshman Colten Cordingley rounded out Utah State’s finishers as he tied for 41st place at 6-over 222 (75-74-73).
For the tournament, Miller led the field in par-5 scoring at 10-under, while Lansford led the field in par-4 scoring at 4-under and Eckert was second in par-3 scoring at 2-under. Miller was also second in the field of 91 players with 16 birdies.
The Cal State Northridge-hosted Bill Cullum Invitational concludes Utah State’s fall season. The Aggies will return to action this coming February.
Doug Hoffman is the associate athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.