The Puttin’ Utes placed seventh at the PING Cougar Classic in Provo on Saturday.
Utah played well through the first round and held a one-under-par score after the initial day. On the 17th hole, senior Nic Larson hit a high ball onto the right side of the green that stopped within two feet of the hole. Larson putted the ball right into the back of the cup for a birdie en route to an even par first-round score.
Seniors Chris Gresh and Nick Carter matched Larson’s score with even-par first rounds. Junior Chance Cota led the Utes with a one-under par 71 in the first round. Senior Steve Broker finished with a 74.
Freshman Chase Hite, who was competing as an individual, finished the round one-over par. On the 11th hole, Hite very nearly hit a hole-in-one. The ball looked as if it was going to land in the hole but hit just past the pin and rolled off the back of the green. Freshman Derek Adams, who also competed as an individual, finished with a 78.
Utah didn’t fare as well in the second round, finishing with a four-over par score keyed by an even-par score from Carter. Utah was in ninth place after the first two rounds.
The windy third round didn’t fare much better for Utah, but the Utes were able to climb two spots to finish seventh overall. Carter, Cota, Gresh and Broker all had one-over rounds.
Carter and Cota finished one-over par for the tournament, tying them for 22nd place. Gresh finished two-over par, which was good enough for 26th place. Broker finished 5-over and Larson finished 6-over par to tie for 45th and 50th place, respectively.
New Mexico State won the team portion of the tournament with a total score of 17-under par. Troy Merritt from Boise State won the individual title, scoring an 8-under par tournament.
Utah will head to the Mountain West Conference tournament in Tucson, Ariz., on April 24-26. The Utes will need to win the conference tournament in order to qualify for the NCAA regional tournament.
Originally printed in The Daily Utah Chronicle on April 21, 2008.