Utah State's men's golf team begins its 2018 spring season on Monday, Feb. 12, at the 14th annual Pat Hicks Thunderbird Invitational hosted by Southern Utah University. The two-day tournament will be held at the Sunbrook Golf Club in St. George, Utah.
The 36-hole tournament will be contested over the Point and Black Rock nines. The tournament will play at par-72 over the 6,781-yard layout.
This year's nine-team field includes Fairleigh Dickinson, Morehead State, North Dakota, Northern Iowa, Utah State, Utah Valley, Weber State, Western Illinois and host Southern Utah.
Scheduled to compete for the Aggies are senior Braxton Miller (Boise, Idaho), sophomores Hayden Eckert (Buhl, Idaho), Andy Hess (Idaho Falls, Idaho) and Chase Lansford (Colleyville, Texas) and freshman Colton Cordingley (Rexburg, Idaho).
During its fall season, Utah State played in four tournaments with its best finish coming at the Cal State Northridge-hosted Bill Cullum Invitational as the Aggies placed first out of 12 teams with a 16-under 848 (291-276-281). Overall, it was USU’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 was also USU’s first-ever tournament win in California. In all, USU placed among the top seven in each of its last three fall tournaments.
Miller led Utah State during the fall season as he had a stroke average of 70.75 in 12 rounds, which included a trio of top-10 placings as he tied for third at the Bill Cullum Invitational with a 6-under 210 (73-69-68), tied for seventh at the Notre Dame-hosted Fighting Irish Classic with a 2-under 208 (69-71-68) and tied for ninth at the Colorado-hosted Mark Simpson Invitational with a 6-under 210 (70-69-71). Lansford averaged a 71.11 in nine fall rounds, highlighted by a tie for 12th at the CS Northridge-hosted Bill Cullum Invitational with a 2-under 214 (76-69-69). Cordingley had a fall stroke average of 73.56 in nine rounds, which included tying for 34th place at the Notre Dame-hosted Fighting Irish Classic with a 6-over 216 (75-72-69). Eckert had a fall stroke average of 73.78 in nine rounds, highlighted by tying for sixth at the CS Northridge-hosted Bill Cullum Invitational with a 4-under 212 (69-69-74) for his best-ever collegiate finish. Hess averaged a 74.17 in 12 rounds during the fall, which included a 2-under 214 (74-69-71) at the CS Northridge-hosted Bill Cullum Invitational as he tied for 12th place.
For his career, Miller has a stroke average of 73.34 in 90 rounds, which includes 25 rounds under par and 10 rounds in the 60s. Lansford has a career stroke average of 73.35 in 37 rounds, with 12 rounds under par and six rounds in the 60s. Eckert has a career stroke average of 73.74 in 34 rounds, which includes eight rounds under par and three rounds in the 60s.
Last year, Utah State finished second at the Pat Hicks Thunderbird Invitational with a 7-under 569 (285-284). Individually, Lansford tied for fifth place at 5-under 139 (71-68), Eckert tied for 20th at 1-over 145 (75-70) and Miller tied for 26th at 3-over 147 (72-75).
Miller also competed in the Pat Hicks Thunderbird Invitational as a freshman in 2014 and tied for 34th at 7-over 151 (77-74).
Live scoring will be available on Golfstat, and daily results will be available via Utah State's athletic website.
Doug Hoffman is the associate athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.