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HOLYOKE, Colo. - University of Colorado golfer Jason Burstyn is primed to have a big senior year, and he got off to a good start here Tuesday in claiming medalist honors in the Ballyneal Challenge.

The competition was an individual tournament, not dual match, between CU and the Air Force Academy on one of the state's premier golf courses, Ballyneal Golf Club.  The course annually receives top national and world acclaim, including being ranked as the 46th best golf course in the United States by Golf Magazine.

Burstyn posted his first collegiate win and third top five finish with an impressive 68-70-138 performance, the 4-under par effort coming despite the winds whipping around Colorado's eastern plains much of the day.

"I was five under through nine, and it's probably the first time I've done that in college golf," Burstyn said of his 31 on the front side of the 7,147-yard, par-71 Ballyneal layout.  "The back nine is tougher here, and the wind was blowing, so I just hung in there.  Then it was basically windy the whole time during the second round, 15, 20 miles per hour, and I felt like played more solid in the afternoon even though I didn't have as many birdies."

Burstyn had 10 birdies on the day, seven in the first round.   "I controlled the ball, and except for one shot, I was generally in play the entire time.  Out here, if you're not in play, you are in the native fescue and that will make things very hard if you have to hit it out of that tall stuff."  

One of three seniors on the team, he doesn't set too many goals as he prefers to challenge himself to be the best that he can be.

"My only real goal is I want to be on the front page of the rankings (top 50), but I honestly don't make that many goals," he said.  "I have high expectations for myself and I think goals just add pressure.  I just want to go out and play the best I can each round every day."  

Freshman Philip Juel-Berg, a late recruit who hails from just outside Copenhagen, Denmark, had an outstanding first effort in finishing second with a 70-69-139 (3-under) scorecard.  He had the only round in the 60s in the afternoon, which was quite a feat since the average score was a 77, up from 75.7 in round one.

"I am smiling (ear-to-ear), it was a perfect day," Juel-Berg said.  "I hit it where I wanted to off the tee and had scoring chances all around the course and was able to convert many of them.  I had an eagle in both rounds, which felt good because I was 3-over after my first 10 holes but I was able to come back and play the last 26 holes at minus-6.  It was a great course, I really enjoyed it.   It was a great way to christen my golf game in America.

Juel-Berg eagled No. 16 in his first round, the standard three on a par-5, and then the second time around Ballyneal, he drove the 362-yard, par-4 No. 9 hole to within 15 feet of the pin and made the putt.  "It was downwind," he admitted.

"I'm definitely encouraged and really excited for Jason," CU head coach Roy Edwards said.  "He's been playing pretty good all summer and is really excited about what lies ahead this year, and obviously today he got off to a good start. 

"It was real impressive for Philip to make his debut and come out and play as well as he did on a really tough golf course," Edwards added.  "He's been tested early on some pretty good golf courses in practice in the two weeks he's been in America.  And we got some good golf out of some of the other guys; David Oraee played solid though he doesn't think he played that well."

Oraee, a sophomore, turned in a 72-73-145 effort (3-over), with redshirt freshmen Tyler Engel putting a 72-74-146 into the books in his first collegiate tournament as the duo finished third and fourth, respectively.  Seniors Derek Fribbs and Beau Schoolcraft tied for fifth (148, 6-over) and redshirt frosh Drew Trujillo tied for 14th (165, +23), struggled the second time around the Ballyneal loop with an 86 after opening with a 79 in his college debut.

"Ballyneal is really important to us," Edwards concluded.  "It's a great place to be and a great course to play to kick off our season in a positive way."

The Buffs warmed up for their first competition with four practice rounds, two at their home course, Colorado National, and one each at Hiwan (Evergreen) and Boulder Country Club.   The first major tournament of the season lies just ahead, as the Sunday and Monday CU will participate in the 44th Annual Gene Miranda-Air Falcon Invitational.


    1. Jason Burstyn, Colorado............... 68-70--138

    2. Philip Juel-Berg, Colorado............. 70-69--139

    3. David Oraee, Colorado................. 72-73--145

    4. Tyler Engel, Colorado...................72-74--146 

  T5. Beau Schoolcraft, Colorado........... 77-71--148

  T5. Derek Fribbs, Colorado................. 71-77--148

    7. Andrew Hoops, Air Force.............. 75-77--152

  T8. Jack Howard, Air Force................ 73-80--153

  T8. Philip Colwell, Air Force................ 79-74--153

  10. Ryan Kramer, Air Force................. 76-81--157

  11. Kyle Westmoreland, Air Force........ 78-80--158

  12. Blake Jones, Air Force.................. 79-81--160

  13. Miguel Macias, Air Force............... 83-81--164

T14. Drew Trujillo, Colorado................. 79-86--165

T14. Nick Reisch, Air Force.................. 84-81--165