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CU Buffs golfers finish third in season opener at Air Force

The Colorado men’s golf team closed here Sunday with a solid final round but couldn’t make up any ground in the standings as the Buffaloes finished third in the 49th Annual Gene Miranda-Air Force Falcon Invitational.

Wyoming held off Colorado State and the Buffs in winning the event with a 29-under par 835 team score; the Cowboys shot a 7-under 281 Sunday to keep the challengers at an arm’s length. CSU finished five strokes back at 840, with CU next with a 21-under 843 score after posting Sunday’s second best effort, a 10-under 278, which was also the fourth best single round score over the three-day event.

UNLV finished fourth at 851, as the No. 14-ranked Rebels used the best team score in the final round (13-under 275) to catapult four spots in the standings from eighth place, with Utah rounding out the top five (852).

As for Colorado, it was the third-lowest score in the first major tournament of a season in school history. The Buffs were 24-under par in the 2011 Mark Simpson-CU Invitational and 22-under two years ago in this same Air Force meet.

Senior Yannik Paul opened up his fourth and final season as a Buffalo by leading the effort with an 8-under 208 performance on Air Force’s 7,511-yard, par-72 Eisenhower Blue Golf Course. He tied for third individually. It was his 14th tournament where he finished under par, and with all three rounds here under par as well including a 2-under 70 Sunday, he upped his total to 42 career subpar rounds. He was second in par-3 scoring (minus-2) and fourth in par-4 scoring (4-under) for the weekend, as he had 13 birdies and 36 pars (11 straight to close the meet) with only five bogeys.