UCCS rallies to take second at CSM/Regis Invitational

By Doug Fitzgerald published April 3, 2006

LAKEWOOD, Colo. - Freshman Alex Kephart shot an even-par 72 as the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs rallied Monday to finish second at the CSM/Regis Invitational.

Kephart, who was in second place individually after Sundayâ€TMs first round, finished the tournament in third place overall, one stroke behind the Regis duo of Chris Sylvia and Miles Philpy.

After the combination of high winds and a tough Bear Creek Golf Club course kept scores high in Sundayâ€TMs first round, perfect weather and a much easier layout at Fox Hollow Golf Club had the teams averaging a 35.2-stroke improvement during Mondayâ€TMs round.

But for UCCS, the easier course wasnâ€TMt necessarily a good thing. Coach Phil Trujillo prefers to play on the tougher courses, which separate the good players from the average ones.

“Itâ€TMs a pretty easy golf course and that keeps the teams all bunched up,” said Kephart. “I shot a 72 and thatâ€TMs pretty good for the first time youâ€TMve seen a golf course. Thereâ€TMre a lot of two irons and three woods off the tee and wedges into the green.”

Regis was outstanding Monday, becoming the first Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference team to finish ahead of UCCS in a tournament this season. Playing on their home course, the Rangers shot 8-under par as a team to easily take first place. UCCS was a distant second with a two-round score of 617, 21 strokes back. Northern Colorado took third with a 618 and Colorado Mines was fourth at 623.

“Obviously, we wanted to come away with a win here,” said UCCS senior Chase Wortmann. “But we let our guard down.”

Wortmann has been the Mountain Lionsâ€TM leader all season. He has been in the top-10 four times this season including two first place finishes. Four years of college competition has honed his game.

“Itâ€TMs come a long ways, mostly the mental aspect,” said Wortmann. “The biggest thing is I donâ€TMt let a certain hole get to me and affect my overall performance.”

In his first collegiate season, Kephart is on the other end of the spectrum. After a strong fall, the Liberty High School graduate has to rediscover his game following the winter layoff.

“My game was struggling because of the weather. I couldnâ€TMt get it going,” said Kepart. “I finally turned it around and came out here and tried to put up a good number for the team.”

His two-round score of 149 was best among the Mountain Lions. Ross McDermott and Trent Daum were tied for 11th at 156, while Wortmann finished at 157 and Neil Huffaker shot a 158.

Although not thrilled with the second-place performance at this tournament, Wortmann feels the Mountain Lions are primed and ready for the final regional qualifier on April 17-18 and the SuperRegional on May 1-3. A win at the SuperRegional would earn UCCS its second trip to the national championship tournament.

“Weâ€TMre where we want to be,” said Wortmann. “We have plenty of time to get our games sharp and ready to go. We have all the right guys moving in the right direction.”

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Chase WortmannChase Wortmann
Chase WortmannChase Wortmann
Chase WortmannChase Wortmann
Chase WortmannChase Wortmann
Trenton DaumTrenton Daum
Trenton DaumTrenton Daum
Trenton DaumTrenton Daum
Trenton DaumTrenton Daum
Trenton DaumTrenton Daum
Neil HuffakerNeil Huffaker
Neil HuffakerNeil Huffaker
Alex KephartAlex Kephart
Alex KephartAlex Kephart
Alex KephartAlex Kephart
Ross McDermottRoss McDermott
Ross McDermottRoss McDermott
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