UCCS rallies to take second at CSM/Regis Invitational
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.
â€œItâ€TMs a pretty easy golf course and that keeps the teams all bunched up,â€ said Kephart. â€œI 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.â€
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.
â€œObviously, we wanted to come away with a win here,â€ said UCCS senior Chase Wortmann. â€œBut we let our guard down.â€
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.
â€œItâ€TMs come a long ways, mostly the mental aspect,â€ said Wortmann. â€œThe biggest thing is I donâ€TMt let a certain hole get to me and affect my overall performance.â€
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.
â€œMy game was struggling because of the weather. I couldnâ€TMt get it going,â€ said Kepart. â€œI finally turned it around and came out here and tried to put up a good number for the team.â€
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.
â€œWeâ€TMre where we want to be,â€ said Wortmann. â€œWe have plenty of time to get our games sharp and ready to go. We have all the right guys moving in the right direction.â€
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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