Oct. 3, 2011
After finishing 11th at the Air Force Invitational Sept. 19, the UCCS men’s golf team may have found their niche.
They dominated the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC)/National Scholastic Indoor Championships (NSIC) Crossover tournament in Gothenburg, Neb. Sept. 25 to Sept. 26; the Mountain Lions won by an impressive 13 strokes with four juniors finishing in the top nine, overall.
Junior Edward DeLashmutt led the team with a 1-under par three-round score of 215, tying him for second place, overall, with Western New Mexico’s Patrick Beyhan.
Placing fourth overall, junior Spencer Biersdorff recorded a three-round score of 216, while junior Grant Dean finished in a three-way tie for fifth at 217; junior Kevin Witte tied for eighth at 218.
The team finished with a combined team score of 862, with the Colorado School of Mines and CSU-Pueblo rounding out the top three at 875 and 883, respectively.
Despite the reputation of the Wild Horse Golf Course of being a difficult venue, the men were able to secure a solid week of practicing as they worked on ball striking and short-game semantics.
According to head coach Phil Trujillo, the team typically plays better on difficult golf courses.
“The course is tough and challenges you to make good golf swings [but] I felt that we had a good week of practice and everyone got a chance to really work on their games,” said Trujillo.
“We had two really good days of practice and were able to spend time working on some of the things that we didn’t do well in the first two events,” he said.
Areas that the Mountain Lions have struggled with this season have been putting together a consistent second round of tournament play and finishing solid complete rounds, overall.
Since the team added three new golfers this year whose previous experience hails from the junior college level, playing and getting used to a 36-hole day is something that will take time to adjust to, according to Trujillo.
“Our tournaments consist of an 18-hole practice round, a 36-hole day and 18 holes on the last day,” he said. “This takes some getting used to, condition-wise and being able to maintain your focus on a day that, typically, [lasts 12 hours].”
UCCS will travel to Phoenix, Ariz. to compete in the Grand Canyon Fall Invitational Oct. 3 to Oct. 4, which, according to Trujillo, will be the “toughest field we’ll play in this fall.”
This tournament may include several nationally ranked teams, stemming in the top 10 and top 20, with the likes of highly ranked Chico State and Western Washington.
However, for Witte, Dean, and DeLashmutt, the trip to Phoenix will be somewhat of a homecoming for the three Arizona natives to see their families.
At No. 23 in both the Golfstat rankings and the Golf Coaches Association of America poll, UCCS’s victory at the RMAC/NSIC Crossover may have been the exigent spark needed to send a message.
According to Trujillo, “This win made a statement to the other RMAC and North Central teams that the Mountain Lions are still the team to beat!”