UTEP Men's Golf Team Lands Ninth at Season Opener

Martin Simonsen

The UTEP men's golf team put together two solid rounds and claimed ninth place at its first tournament of the season, the Gene Miranda Falcon Invitational on Monday in Colorado Springs.

The Miners followed up their 308 team score in round one by posting back-to-back 288's to finish with a 20-over-par 884.

Colorado won the 16-team event (281-286-285-852), with Coastal Carolina (287-290-287-864) and UNLV (288-284-292-864) tying for second place.

"Our last two rounds were much better," UTEP coach Scott Lieberwirth said. "We were at full strength today with Luke [Ovenden] back in the lineup. I witnessed us missing at least eight greens with the sand wedge or lob wedge, so there were a lot of opportunities lost. We left a lot on that golf course. But I was pleased with how we shot, especially after the first round. It was a good comeback for us, but we still have a lot of work to do."

After a rocky opening round (80), UTEP's Martin Simonsen carded 69 and 68 the rest of the way for a one-over-par 217. He tied for 14th place, 10 strokes behind individual champion Jason Burstyn of Colorado (68-71-68-207).

The Miners' Jere Pelletier (76-71-73-220) and Devin Miertschin (74-72-74-220) tied for 23rd place and David Persons tied for 71st place (78-76-78-232). Luke Ovenden did not play on Sunday while battling a stomach virus but carded a 73 in Monday's final round.

"Our guys looked like they were playing with their hair on fire in the first round," Lieberwirth said. "Then they calmed down and played fine. They did some good things today. We got back into the swing of things after we got all the nerves out."

UTEP will return to action at the William H. Tucker Invitational Sept. 28-29 in Albuquerque.



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