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By: CUBuffs.com
Buffs Tie For Title At Own Simpson-CU Invitational
Release: September 24, 2013
By: David Plati, Associate AD/Sports Information

ERIE, Colo. — The University of Colorado men’s golf team was caught from behind by one of its Pac-12 Conference rivals and tied for the team title here Tuesday in the fourth annual Mark Simpson-Colorado Invitational.

In the most competitive Simpson event to date, which is named for the late CU head coach who led the program for 29 years (1977-2005), just 32 strokes separated the entire field of 16 teams, with the top six just seven strokes apart.

The Buffaloes, 35th in the early GolfStat rankings, entered the final round with a six-shot lead over defending tournament champion Oregon State (No. 51), with No. 91 Washington State in third, seven off the lead.  CU was the only school to put up a team score of under 300 in the first round (299) and then posted the third best score in the second round (290), which roughly a third of the field needed to complete after Monday’s play was suspended due to darkness. 

But the Cougars scored the second best round in the final 18 to catch the Buffs with an 882 total team score, with Oregon State making a charge to finish one back (883).  Houston Baptist recorded the best final round score (3-under 285) to finish fourth (884), with No. 49 Nevada rounding out the top five (888), just one stroke ahead of No. 7 Air Force.

"Obviously we’re excited to win,” CU head coach Roy Edwards said.  “We’re definitely disappointed in how we played today, but the fact that we still won is a testament to our team and some resiliency displayed out there by those guys.  With three freshmen in the lineup, any time you win in that scenario makes it especially sweet. 

CU was paced by sophomore Philip Juel-Berg, who was fourth individually with an even-par 216 total or 54 holes on the 7,771-yard, par-72 Colorado National Golf Club layout.  He was second on the team with 10 birdies and was the only Buff not to score worse than a bogey; he was the top performer here with a 5-under total score on all the Par-4 holes (30 in all).  He had three birdies and 15 pars with three bogeys in finishing up with a 72 Tuesday.

“Philip had a good tournament and really did a great job this week.   He wasn’t playing particularly well coming in, and he really responded positively.  We really needed every one of his shots. 

Junior David Oraee tied for eighth, closing with a 1-under 71 for a 219 total.  In racking up a team-best 36 pars (10th best in the field), he led the tournament in Par-3 scoring (2-under for the 12 holes).  He closed with three birdies and 13 pars against two bogeys.

“Yesterday was ridiculous, it was really windy and tough,” Oraee said about the conditions.  “Even par was really a good score, just battling to stay around there.  Today the conditions were perfect.” 

The other three designated scorers for the Buffs were all true freshmen: Jeremy Paul tied for 20th after closing with a 75 for an 8-over 224 total; he was followed by Ethan Freeman, who tied for 27th (77, 225) and Andrew Bonner, who was playing in his first collegiate event, tied for 36th (75, 227).

Freeman scored 35 pars with six birdies in his effort, while Paul and Bonner each had an eagle, two of just seven here.

Four other Buffs played basically as individuals, though they did keep a team score and would have tied for 10th with a 907 team score.  That group was led by senior Johnny Hayes, who tied for 11th overall with a 4-over 220 score, as he closed with a 2-over 74.  He had 11 birdies, which was good for the second most in the 84-man field.

Redshirt frosh Kraig McLeod was also playing in his first collegiate tournament, and after opening with a frustrating 10-over 82, where he scored no birdies and had to endure a triple bogey, he bounced back with two subpar rounds that featured seven birdies and no score worse than bogey.  He finished up with a 70 and 71 for a 7-over 223 total, tying him for 17th.

Freshman Yannik Paul tied for 30th, as he closed with his best round of the meet with a 1-over 73; that gave him a 10-over 226 score overall.  He had seven birdies and 31 pars.

“K.J. (McLeod) had a really good second and third round after opening with an 82, so for him to come back with two rounds like that is a really good start for him.”

Sophomore Drew Trujillo struggled all three rounds, finishing 78th with a 22-over 238 total; he did manage seven birdies but had six holes of double bogey or worse that he couldn’t counter.

Houston Baptist’s Preston Stanley was a model of consistency in claiming medalist honors, firing a final round 3-under 69 for a 210 total; that followed rounds of 71 and 70 Monday.  The HBU junior entered the final round with a three shot lead and maintained it to win his first collegiate tournament.

 “It was nice, I played really well and putted phenomenally well,” Stanley said.  “I was nervous coming into today.  It was the first lead I had in a while.  I just wanted to finish strong, especially the last five holes, and I went out and got it done.”

Four different schools have won the crown here; New Mexico won the first event in 2010, followed by Colorado and Oregon State.  This marked the first time there were co-champions with Washington State tying the host Buffaloes.

The Buffaloes will turn right around and travel to Albuquerque on Wednesday for the 57th annual New Mexico Tucker Invitational, which will take place Friday and Saturday at UNM’s Championship Golf Course.  Edwards will take the same five players who scored here along with Hayes, who will play as in individual.

 BUFFALO INDIVIDUALS                                                                                     

     4.  Philip Juel-Berg............................ 73-71-72—216
  T8.  David Oraee................................. 75-73-71—219
T11.  *Johnny Hayes............................. 75-71-74—220
T17.  *Kraig McLeod.............................. 82-70-71—223
T20.  Jeremy Paul................................. 74-75-75—224
T27.  Ethan Freeman............................ 77-71-77—225
T30.  *Yannik Paul................................. 79-74-73—226
T36.  Andrew Bonner............................ 77-75-75—227
  78.  *Drew Trujillo................................ 83-77-78—238

 TOP 10 INDIVIDUALS                                                                                      

   1.  Preston Stanley, Houston Baptist... 71-70-69—210
  2.  Craig Hornberger, Campbell.......... 73-72-70—215
  2.  Blake Snyder, Washington State.... 76-69-70—215
   4.  Philip Juel-Berg, Colorado......... 73-71-72—216
   5.  Michael Anderson, Washington State              76-73-68—217
  5.  Kyle Westmoreland, Air Force........ 72-72-73—217
  7.  Kevin Murphy, Oregon State.......... 75-71-72—218
   8.  David Oraee, Colorado................ 75-73-71—219
   8.  Matthew Dunn, Air Force............... 79-70-70—219
  8.  Ben Krueger, Northern Colorado... 80-72-67—219

TEAM SCORES

   1. COLORADO............................299-290-293—882
   1.  Washington State..................... 308-288-286—882
   3.  Oregon State............................ 306-289-288—883
   4.  Houston Baptist........................ 301-298-285—884
   5.  Nevada..................................... 302-300-286—888
   6.  Air Force.................................. 313-290-286—889
   7.  Nebraska.................................. 309-295-294—898
   8.  Campbell.................................. 315-297-291—903
   9.  Texas State.............................. 312-306-286—904
10.  Utah......................................... 311-298-298—907
11.  Denver..................................... 312-298-299—909
12.  Missouri-Kansas City................ 310-307-296—913
14.  Gonzaga................................... 318-303-293—914
14.  Wyoming.................................. 313-299-302—914
14.  Northern Colorado.................  320-307-287—914

Colorado Buffaloes Men's Golf
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