Dixie State University men’s golf finished near the top of the leaderboard in a 19-team field full of top-tier competition at the Western New Mexico Mustang Intercollegiate Invitational at Palm Valley Golf Club in Goodyear, Arizona Monday and Tuesday.
DSU finished among some of the best programs in the country as No. 24 Brigham Young University-Hawaii took first (-19), No. 18 University of Colorado-Colorado Springs came in second (-14), No. 28 Dominican University and No. 32 California Baptist University tied for third (-13) and the Storm rounded out the top five (-12).
“We played pretty consistent throughout the entire tournament,” DSU head coach Brad Sutterfield said. “We know we can play with the best, we just need to put it all together at the same time.”
The first two rounds at the 72-hole, 7,000-yard course were played Monday, and DSU found itselves in fifth place at 9-under par. C-CS ran away with the lead in the first two rounds with a 19-under performance.
Sophomore Donny Hopoi led the way for the Storm on day one with two consecutive rounds of 70, finishing at 4-under and in a tie for 10th-place overall. Freshman Compton Pikari finished 2-under, and sophomore Dane Nelson also shot well with rounds of 73 and 71 (-1).
The Storm were one of only five teams to finish under-par in day two, shooting an overall 285 and bringing their three-round total to 852, good enough for a fifth-place finish. The Storm beat out all other unranked competition and bested two top-15 teams in No. 14 Simon Fraser university and No. 8 California State University-Monterey Bay.
Four Storm players placed in the top-25 led by Hopoi, who finished in 15th place after rounds of 70, 70, and 73. Nelson finished in 21st with a three round total of 215 (73, 71, 71), senior Kenny You (69, 77, 70) and freshman Andrew Chu (73, 72, 71) tied for 24th as Pikari dropped 17 spots in day two to finish at 39th. A finish that You was indifferent about.
“It wasn’t terrible,” said You, a communication major from Sandy. “We definitely could’ve played much better. I don’t think we’ve played to our full potential yet.”
SFU sophomore Chris Crisologo (69, 67, 67) and BYU-H junior Brent Grant (65, 69, 69)took home the overall championship, tying atop the leaderboard at 13-under par — seven shots in front of the rest of the field.
“I expect us to finish out the year as strong as we can,” said Hopoi, an accounting major from Aiea, Hawaii. “In golf, it’s better to keep expectations at bay, but it would be awesome to play the rest of our spring schedule to our full potential.”
The Storm will now prep for the Pacific West Conference Championships with the annual BYU – Ping Cougar Classic. Teams from across the country will take on the defending champion Cougars Monday and Tuesday at the Riverside Country Club in Provo.