UCCS wins regional qualifier

By Doug Fitzgerald published September 20, 2005

For Chase Wortmann, it was a first. For the Mountain Lions, it was the first in quite a while. They both hope itâ€TMs the first of many.

Wortmann shot three straight rounds of even-par 72 to win his first collegiate tournament and lead the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs to a seven-stroke victory Tuesday at the Northwest Region Fall Head-to-Head Tournament at Gothenburg, Neb.

For UCCS, it was the first tournament victory since the 2003 regional.

“Going into the last round we were confident that we could put together some good scores,” said Trujillo. “The guys were ready for our first win in over two years.”

As a team, the Mountain Lions shot a 15-over par 879.

The Mountain Lionsâ€TM win was even bigger as far as regional considerations were concerned since the second-place finisher was Division I Northern Colorado, which is not a member of Division IIâ€TMs Northwest Region.

The top eight teams from the fall and spring head-to-head tournaments, using aggregate scores, will qualify for the Northwest Region championship tournament. The winner there will represent the region at nationals.

Because aggregate scores are used, simply winning the tournament wasnâ€TMt enough. The Mountain Lions came into the final round wanting to extent the seven-stroke lead they held after Round 2.

“Our goal was to go out there and improve our team score from the first day,” said Trujillo. “The winds came up and pins were tucked but the guys still put together some good rounds.”

Minnesota State Mankato, which represented the Northwest Region at nationals last year, took third place with a score of 890. Colorado State-Pueblo took fourth place at 905. UCCS coach Phil Trujillo credited the difficulty of the Wild Horse Golf Club course with the wide disparity of the scores.

“The team played three solid rounds of golf on a very good golf course,” said Trujillo. “The scores reflect the difficulty of the course as you can see the gaps between teams.

“The pin placements on the final round were extremely difficult and typical Nebraska winds showed up. This course gets rated in the top 20 of modern courses in America.”

Wortmann topped teammate Kyle Logan Regisâ€TM Chris Sylvian and Mankatoâ€TMs Ryan Carlson by one stroke to take top individual honors. Loganâ€TMs performance was one of the pleasant surprises for the Mountain Lions.

“For Kyle to take second in his first collegiate tournament is incredible,” said Trujillo of the freshman from Lafayette, Colo.. “He turned one under but battled the back side pins and finished four over.”

Another UCCS Freshman, Alex Kephart, shot a final-round 1-under par 71 to climb to 14th-place overall at 221.

“I'm really impressed with our freshmen,” said Trujillo. “Alex Kephart started off four over after two holes and by the turn he was 1 under. That was some really good golf for him to be able to score like that in the conditions we were playing in.”

John Scott was 16th, four strokes behind Scott, and Chris Smith was 28th at 231.

With the win, UCCS also extended its lead over Colorado State-Pueblo in the Silver and Steel Series to 5-0.

The win also gives UCCS valuable momentum going into the most important tournament of the season, the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference championship, which will be held Sept. 26-27 at Alamosa, Colo. The Mountain Lions won the conference title in 2000 and 2002, but finished third in 2003 and second in 2004.

“This is the tournament we want the most in the fall,” said Trujillo. “We'll take a team that's hungry for this win.”

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Chase WortmannChase Wortmann
Chase WortmannChase Wortmann
Chase WortmannChase Wortmann
Chase WortmannChase Wortmann
Alex KephartAlex Kephart
Alex KephartAlex Kephart
Alex KephartAlex Kephart
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