ERIE -- Colorado's men's golf team could sit back and dwell on a missed opportunity.
Or, the Buffs could celebrate the fact that they stormed back with a great round on Tuesday and finished second at the Mark Simpson Invitational at Colorado National Golf Club.
After a rough start Monday, the Buffs finished the two-day, three-round event with at 19-under par 845. They lost to Pac-12 rival Oregon State by just two. The Beavers took a nine-shot lead over the Buffs into the day.
"There's an old saying on the PGA Tour: You don't count the money you lost or you'll drive yourself crazy," CU head coach Roy Edwards said. "I'm thinking about it in a positive way where we really had a nice comeback and the guys did a lot of things we're looking for, as far as never quitting and not getting down on themselves and maintaining a positive attitude. For that I'm really pleased."
Colorado State's Kirby Pettitt won the individual title with a 14-under 202. He helped the Rams to a third-place team finish, two strokes
Colorado was led by senior Derek Fribbs, who fired a 5-under 67 on Tuesday to finish third overall, at 9-under 207.
"I wanted to win, but top three is not bad," Fribbs said. "I just played smarter and my misses ended up good and gave me a shot at birdie."
Fribbs played all 18 holes Tuesday at or below par. He finished with three birdies and an eagle in his round, including back-to-back birdies to close the round.
"I kind of got a little more aggressive at the end," he said. "It paid off."
His great round Tuesday capped a tournament in which he played 49 of his 54 holes at or below par.
"Derek has really developed in his four years," Edwards said. "He's a hard worker and he loves to compete. He's really turning himself into an elite level player. He just kept plugging along, plugging along and he put himself in a position to have a great tournament."
That statement could sum up the tournament for CU as a whole. The Buffs played poorly during the first six holes Monday, but fought their way through the final 48 holes.
David Oraee tied for seventh with a 6-under 210 and Beau Schoolcraft, the 2011 champ, finished in a tie for 20th at 2-under 214. Oraee and Schoolcraft posted 3-under 69s on Tuesday and both carded four birdies in the last seven holes.
"I turned in even, which was a pretty good thing considering the way I was hitting the ball," Oraee said. "I just got easy birdies on the holes that you're supposed to birdie and before you know it, I was 3-under."
While CU ultimately posted solid numbers, Edwards said the Buffs didn't play that well throughout the tournament. What the Buffs did to impress their coach, though, was to keep their composure and grind through.
"I was really pleased with that side of it," he said. "Sometimes you just don't play well. They just kept after it and that's the kind of team we have. It's a high character group."
The Buffs know they left some shots on the course, but they also know Oregon State probably feels the same way.
"If we just played a little better, not even that much better, the first six, we would have had this," Oraee said. "That's just golf, though. Each shot counts and sometimes you have it and sometimes you don't."
On Tuesday, the Buffs had it and that led to a solid finish in their only home tournament of the fall.
"It was a good finish today," Fribbs said. "It just goes down to not making as many mistakes. I think each one of us did that, so we ended up with a good result. I think everyone just hung in there and played smart. That's the way you have to play this course when the pins are tough like that.
"I'm just glad we could play well here."
CU's John Hayes, who played as an individual and did not count for the team score, finished in ninth place. A walk-on who joined the team less than two weeks ago, Hayes dropped from a second-place tie with his 1-over 73 on Tuesday, but finished the tournament with a 5-under 211. ... Pettitt began the day three shots off the lead, but posted an 8-under 64 to win by three. Pettitt's 64 is the best round posted in the three-year history of this tournament. ... Missouri-Kansas City's Nathan Hughes came into the day with the lead, but was 1-over for the day to finish six shots behind Pettitt. ... Kent Denver's Ethan Freeman won the nine-player high school portion of the tournament. Freeman, who has given a verbal commitment to play at CU next year, finished at 7-under 209 and won by 14 strokes.
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Mark Simpson Invitational
At part 72 Colorado National Golf Club
Team scores (par 864) -- Oregon State 284-277-282--843; Colorado 290-280-275--845; Colorado State 289-279-279--847; Missouri-Kansas City 280-282-292--854; Kansas 287-283-288--858; Texas-Arlington 287-285-286--858; Northern Colorado 292-283-286--861; Denver 295-278-292--865; Air Force 295-284-288--867; Gonzaga 296-283-290--869; Houston Baptist 290-294-286--870; Texas State 295-288-290--873; Wyoming 308-282-286--876; Utah 287-299-297--883.
Top 5 individuals (par 216) -- 1. Kirby Pettitt, Colorado State, 71-67-64--202; 2. Brian Jung, Oregon State, 67-71-67--205; 3. Derek Fribbs, Colorado, 70-70-67--207; 4. Nathan Hughes, Missouri-Kansas City, 67-68-73--208; 5(tie). Chris Gilbert, Kansas, 69-71-69--209 and Korbin Kuehn, Missouri-Kansas City, 68-70-71--209.
Other Colorado results -- 7(tie). David Oraee, 73-68-69--210; 9. John Hayes, 71-67-73--211*; 20(tie). Beau Schoolcraft, 72-73-69--214; 27(tie). Philip Juel-Berg, 75-71-70--216; 35(tie). Drew Trujillo, 71-72-75--218*; 52(tie). Jason Burstyn, 75-71-76--222; 74. Tyler Engel, 83-69-77--229*; 80. Ross Thornton, 74-DQ-78--DQ*.
* Played as individual and did not count for team score.