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EL PASO, Texas — The University of Colorado men’s golf team saw its final round rally fall short here Saturday, but the Buffaloes still finished second in the second annual UTEP Price’s Give ‘Em Five Invitational, CU’s final competition of the fall season.

New Mexico State, which entered the day with an eight-stroke lead over Colorado, pulled away on the back nine and won with a 28-under par team score of 836.  The Buffs had pulled two within two strokes of the Aggies, whom they were paired with, on several occasions, but finished 11 strokes back with an 847 score, or 17-under par.  It was CU’s best team score for 54 holes in five tournaments this fall, as well as the team’s second best finish and third top three effort. 

San Jose State finished third (853), Kansas fourth (854) and host Texas-El Paso fifth (859), as the Miners’ scored the best team round of the day at 6-under 282; CU’s even par 288 was still the third best, with only NMSU in-between at 3-under 285.

Freshman Yannik Paul closed out with a 3-under 69, which gave him a 9-under 207 total for the tournament, his collegiate best by some 10 strokes; he tied for second (three shots out of the lead), which was also his best finish.  He had five birdies and 11 pars against just two bogeys for a solid final round on the 7,307-yard, par-72 Butterfield Trail Club course layout.  For the weekend, he had an eagle, 14 birds and 33 pars with just six holes of bogey or worse (five singles and a double).  He played the par-4 holes second best in the field (5-under) and the par-3 ones the fourth-best (even), while recording the fourth-most birdies overall (14).

In addition, his 66-72-69—207 scorecard was the best in school history by a freshman for a 54-hole tournament on any course layout (and tied for the seventh best overall on a par-72 configuration).  That broke the record by one stroke, which was just set by his twin brother Jeremy less than two weeks ago in Cal’s Alister Mackenzie Invitational (71-67-70—208); the old mark had been a 211 on three occasions.

Jeremy finished up with a 1-under 71 for a 7-under 209, which tied him for sixth.  He had four birdies and 11 pars Saturday, with his 17 birdies the tournament best, while his 8-under total on the 12 par-5 holes combined was the field’s second best performance. 

Thus, the Paul twins recorded two of the top three freshman tournaments efforts here Saturday, and own all top three marks. 

Sophomore Philip Juel-Berg fashioned an even-par 72 to close things out, his 3-under 213 score tying him for 13th as he recorded his collegiate best 54-hole score.  He had 12 birdies and a team-best 34 pars (11th best in the field) in shaving three strokes off his previous three-round best.

“We got off to a good start, which we felt like we had to do,” CU head coach Roy Edwards said.  “Unfortunately, we had to count a 76, and that kind of derailed things for us.  But in the end, we knew it was going to have to take a spectacular round to catch New Mexico State.  We did put some pressure on them, but weren’t able to close it out.

“It was a much more difficult course today,” Edwards continued.  “It was a little windier and the hole locations were more challenging.  Yannik, Jeremy and Philip all played solid and put up three really good rounds, so we were pleased with that.  Yannik played it exceptionally well (he was one of just five players in the 88-man field to shoot in the 60s).  Both he and his brother take a very professional approach to everything and it shows in how well they played.”

Junior David Oraee had trouble at the start, bogeying his first hole (No. 3) and the scoring a double bogey on the next hole; but he settled down and played the next 14 holes even until he suffered a double on No. 1.  It all added up to a 5-over 77, which gave him a 3-over 219 for the tourney, which tied him for 30th.  He had an eagle, 10 birdies and 31 pars overall.

Sophomore Drew Trujillo never got much going, tying for 79th after  a second straight 4-over 76 wrapped things up for him with a 16-over 232.  He was playing better Saturday, starting on No. 4 and stood at 1-under through 12 holes; however, over his last six of the day, he scored a double (No. 16) and three bogeys to finish four over for his round  He had six birdies and 30 pars over the three rounds to wrap up his fall. 

UTEP’s Mark Simonsen claimed medalist honors on his home course, turning in a final round 68 for a 12-under par 204 for the tournament.  That was good for a three-shot margin over CU’s Paul, San Jose State’s Cody Blick and Northern Colorado’s Steven Kupcho.

“We had a very good fall,” Edwards concluded.  “I knew that with such a young team, we would have some inconsistencies, but I am every encouraged how the trend has gone upward and how we’ve improved along the way.  We just need to keep working on getting better play out of the fourth and fifth spots. 

“So we’re pleased with the direction that we’re going, but we’re certainly not satisfied.  We’ll use the off season to work extremely hard to improve and get better and I’m excited for our future.”

The Buffaloes will resume competition after a three-month layoff with the start of the spring season February 6, where Colorado will once again compete in the Hawai'i-Hilo Amer Ari Invitational on the Big Island.

Notes:  Colorado entered the meet ranked No. 82 by GolfStat and No. 89 by Golfweek ... The Buffs closed the fall with a 50-19-5 record against Division I competition ... This tournament marked the first time in program history the Buffaloes had two players shoot rounds of 66 or better in the same round that counted toward team scoring, when the twins did it in the first round (Jeremy Paul carded a 65, Yannik had a 66).  One other instance came in the second round of the Mark Simpson-CU Invitational in September 2011, when Derek Fribbs shot a 65 and Beau Schoolcraft a 66, also a combined 13-under; however, Schoolcraft was playing as an individual ... Yannik Paul finished as the team’s fall stroke average leader (72.50), tied for the 12th best fall number in school history but the third-best by a freshman (Matt Zions posted a 72.33 average in the fall of 1998, Kane Webber had a 72.36 one year later; both were also true frosh) ... Jeremy Paul was second in stroke average (72.93), with Juel-Berg third (73.47) ... CU’s fourth- and fifth-man scoring averages in the fall were 75.6 and 78.5 respectively, something Edwards alluded to having to get better play from.



Yannik Paul



Jeremy Paul



Philip Juel-Berg



David Oraee



Drew Trujillo





Martin Simonsen, UTEP



Cody Blick, San Jose State



Yannik Paul, Colorado



Steven Kupcho, N. Colorado



Ken Fadke, New Mexico State





New Mexico State






San Jose State






Texas-El Paso






Air Force






Northern Colorado






Western New Mexico



Grand Canyon



Boise State