USU men’s golf team will kick off its Spring 2018 season on Monday at the Pat Hicks Thunderbird Invitational hosted by Southern Utah University.
The tournament will last two days and will be held at the Sunbrook Golf Club in St. George, Utah. It spans over 36 holes and will play at par-72 over the Point and Black Rock nines, over the 6,781-yard layout.
The contest this year includes Morehead State, North Dakota, Fairleigh Dickinson, Weber State, Western Illinois, Utah State, Northern Iowa, Utah Valley, and host Southern Utah.
The lineup to represent the Aggies consists of senior Braxton Miller, sophomores Andy Hess, Chase Lansford, Hayden Eckert, and freshman Colten Cordingley.
During golf’s fall season, USU made appearances in four tournaments but played best at the Cal State Northridge-hosted Bill Cullum Invitational, placing first with a 16-under 848 (291-276-281) score out of 12 teams. This was the Aggies first win since September of 2014, where the team earned the first place crown at a Weber State-hosted tournament in Victor, Idaho. Overall, Utah State placed within the top-seven in each of its last three fall tournaments.
Miller led the team during the fall season as he averaged stroke count of 70.75 over the span of 12 rounds. He has had trio of placings within the top-10 where he tied for third at the Bill Cullum Invitational with a 6-under 210 (73-69-68), and tied for seventh at the Notre Dame-hosted Fighting Irish Classic, along with a tie for ninth at the Mark Simpson Invitational hosted by Colorado.
Lansford averaged 71.11 in nine rounds this past fall, and tied for 12th at the CS Northridge-hosted Bill Cullum Invitational, shooting 2-under 214 (76-69-69). Cordingly averaged a stroke of 73.56 over nine rounds, highlighting a tie for 34th place during the Notre Dame-hosted Fighting Irish Classic with a final of 6-over 216 (75-72-69).
Eckert this past fall had an average stroke of 73.78 over the course of nine rounds. While playing at the CS Northridge-hosted Bill Cullum Invitational, Eckert ended with a 4-under 212 (69-69-74), putting this at his best collegiate finish.
To round out the squad, Hess has an average of 74.17 over 12 rounds played in the fall, including a tie for the 12th spot at the CS Northridge-hosted Bill Cullum Invitational with a 2-under 214 (74-69-71).
Last time the Aggies attended the Pat Hicks Thunderbird invitational, the team finished second with a 7-under 569 (285-284). During the tournament, Lansford tied for fifth at 5-under 139 (71-68), with Eckert and Miller ending in ties for the 20th and 26th spots, Eckert shooting 1-over 145 (75-70) and Miller with 3-over 147 (72-75).