The Dixie State University men’s golf team bounced back from a disappointing fall Saturday afternoon with an impressive win over an in-state Division I foe.
In what was a sunny but chilly day at the Ledges Golf Club, the Trailblazers welcomed the University of Utah away from the snowy Wasatch Front to play an exhibition match for bragging rights and friendly competition.
Each team presented eight players to face off in what was a modified version of a match play format, each player earning a maximum of three points for his team, getting one point for each nine and one point for the overall 18. DSU took home the victory 15-9 with not one player on the team surrendering an overall loss to the Utes.
The Trailblazers secured the victory with solid performances from the likes of sophomore John Reid and freshman Carson Walker, each winning their individual matches.
“It could have gone either way today, [but] we were able to make the shots that we needed to [win],” said Walker, a biology major from Afton, Wyoming.
Walker had gotten off to a quick start as he managed to gain a four-stroke lead through his first six holes. After having his lead cut to one with only a few holes to play, Walker nearly holed out for eagle on the 15th and managed to gain a more comfortable lead with a tap-in birdie. Walker finished his match strong by gaining a couple more strokes to secure additional points.
Reid, even after a slow start, managed to put together a solid 1-under-par 71. With solid ball striking and good putting, Reid said it was a great day.
“I really tried to focus on course management and play smart today,” said Reid, a general studies major from Westminster, Maryland. “I nicked him by one shot [and had] a couple unlucky breaks but also some lucky breaks, and that is just how golf is.”
As the Trailblazers now look ahead for the remainder of the season, the team has high hopes as it seeks to win the Pacific West Conference for a third straight year.
After a slow start to the season, head coach Brad Sutterfield said the team was a little behind the eight ball with where they would like to be. With the return of junior Dane Nelson for the second half of the season, Sutterfield said the team will get better and will have more depth.
“This is a good gauge to kind of see where we are at against a good, solid team,” Sutterfield said. “It was just fun to have them down to have a fun day on the course.”
The team is balanced from top to bottom and can compete at a high level in Division II golf, Sutterfield said. With DSU opening up the second half of the season Feb. 13 at Western New Mexico University, the team will be rested and ready to go, Sutterfield said.