The University of Colorado men's golf team was pressed by their neighbors to the north here Tuesday but never dropped out of the top spot as the Buffaloes claimed the team title in their own 7th Annual Mark Simpson-CU Invitational at the 7,745-yard, par-72 Colorado National Golf Club in Erie.
The Buffaloes entered the final round with a five-shot advantage over Utah and a seven-stroke edge over Wyoming. While CU started out a slow, the Cowboys came out and whittled the lead down to one on several occasions. But Colorado held off the charge and finished with a team score 20-under par 844, good for a one-shot win over the UW. Utah claimed third (853), followed by Campbell (856) and Northern Colorado (860) to round out the top five; UNC joined Wyoming in posting the day's best single-round team score of 8-under 280.
Colorado shot a 2-under 286 to be under par for all three rounds in the tournament, which the Buffaloes have now won or shared the title five times in seven years, including the last four times in succession.
"We're obviously excited to come out with the win, and fortunate as well to hold off Wyoming who had a really good round today," CU head coach Roy Edwards said. "I thought our guys did a really nice job of keeping their composure and handling their games really well, despite not playing our best. Every win is special, it's not easy to win golf tournaments. We're going to cherish and treasure this one."
Freshman Morten Toft Hansen paced the Buffaloes in tying for fourth place with a 7-under 209 score; he had entered the day with a one-shot lead but couldn't add to his first day birdie total of 10. He wrapped things with a 1-over 73, scoring par on his first 17 holes before bogeying No. 18.
Senior Ethan Freeman tied for seventh, finishing up with an even-par 72 for a 6-under scorecard of 210. He led the Buffaloes in birdies in the meet with 13, sixth-most overall in the event. Junior Yannik Paul, CU's stroke average leader coming in (71.4), played to just a bit below that mark by closing with a 2-under 70 for a 4-under 212 total, which tied him for 13th.
Junior John Souza, playing for CU's Silver (or B) team), also recorded a top 20 finish, despite a final round 75; he was at 2-under 214 overall which tied him for 19th. He played the par-5 holes the second-best in the field for the tourney at 7-under.
Senior Jeremy Paul and junior Spencer Painton matched Freeman with final round 72s, with Paul tying for 36th overall at 1-opver 217 and Painton for 44th at 3-over 219 to round out CU's "first-team" contingent.