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The CU men’s golf team returned to Boulder with a sixth place finish in the Hawaii-Hilo Invitational.
After two rounds, the Buffs were in third place, but TCU, Stanford and Oregon passed them in the third round.
Head coach Roy Edwards said the results of the first tournament this spring were nothing to be disappointed about.
“It’s hard to translate a sixth place finish like that,” Edwards said. “It was really close against some good teams.”
Edwards also said he was pleased with the team’s ability to beat big conference teams such as Kansas, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State.
The field comprised 10 of the top 50 ranked teams. The Buffs also improved their season record against Division I schools to 68-37. It was their best start to spring golf since 2002.
Four shots separated CU from a third place finish, and the Buffs were only two strokes behind fourth place finisher Stanford.
Senior Derek Tolan, who had a great start to the season this fall and leads the team in stroke average, had a shaky start to the tournament by shooting a 78 his first round. He settled down to shoot 1-up in the next two rounds. He finished 7-up for the tournament.
Senior Patrick Grady continued his excellent play this season, shooting 4-under-par for the tournament and tying for third among the top five individuals. This is his third top-5 finish in his last six tournaments.
Coach Edwards and players said they will look to pick up momentum from this tournament as they prepare for the Louisiana Classics March 9-10 in Lafayette, La.
“We have intense and competitive play again in three and a half weeks,” Edwards said. “We got to keep working. Right now the edge is razor thin. This is the time of the year where we sharpen that edge.”
This week, Coach Edwards said the team will have light practices every day. Next week, the players will begin a mini-tournament to determine who is going to play in Louisiana.
“We are working on effective practices and focusing on the fundamentals and our short game,” Edwards said.
Grady said the weather this year has allowed for better practice conditions.
“It’s been extremely windy here so we’ve been getting used to playing in tough conditions,” Grady said. “And it’s been good weather so we have been able to get in a lot of practice and try and get out as much as possible.”
The Buffs will play four more tournaments this spring to sharpen their skills and prepare for the Big 12 Championship, the first step in their path to the NCAA finals this year.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Alex Mc Na at Alexander.firstname.lastname@example.org.