COLORADO SPRINGS, Co.- The UTEP men’s golf team finished its first tournament of the 2017-18 season, the Gene Miranda Falcon Invitational, in sixth place on Sunday.
The team shot a tournament-low round of 284 for a 854 (-10/285-285-284) total at the Eisenhower Golf Course (par 72/ 7,511 yards) in Colorado Springs, Colo. Wyoming took the title after a 835 (-29/284-270-281) showing.
All Miners placed in the top-50 of the field and the team led the tournament in pars with 179 and had a strong showing playing the par 5s, ranking second in par 5 scoring with a 4.63 average (-22 Sc.).
“We did a good job [on the par 5s], really well,” head coach Scott Lieberwirth said. “The par 3s were a little messy, but the only thing we didn’t do is get momentum, we were bouncing around, we let things slip away on the short holes. Top to bottom as a team though it was a good performance. Shooting three rounds under par is something good we can take away from this tournament.”
Senior Prescott Mann, playing in his third Gene Miranda Falcon Invitational, and junior Settavut Paradee, making his Gene Miranda debut, paced the Miners in their share of 13th place after firing a tournament total of 212 (-4).
Mann shot a third round total of 69, recording four birdies, two of which came consecutively on holes 11 (par 5) and 12 (par 4). Mann started out stready, tallying four pars before he shot his first of two birdies on the front nine. He played the back nine strong as well, matching his birdie total and only bogeying once.
Paradee’s final round of 71 began with five pars in a row before he shot his first of four birdies. The Bangkok, Thailand native would bogey twice before hitting another birdie to finish the front nine. He then collected another par before his third birdie came on hole No. 11, and remained at 1-under until his last bogey on No. 14. Another par and a birdie later, Paradee finished the back nine with two consecutive pars to finish the day at 1-under and the tournament at 4-under par. The junior led the team in birdies with 12.
“He [Paradee] didn’t let the bad shots get to him,’ Lieberwirth said. “He played really nicely, on this course these greens are very difficult. I’m really proud of him.”
Sharing a spot in 21st was Charles Corner, who had a steady start with six pars in a row before he shot for birdie on hole No. 7. The senior would remain at 1-under before he bogeyed on hole No. 15, but quickly bounced back with a birdie immediately after to finish the round at 1-under to help his tournament total of 2-under 214 (71-72-71) in his Gene Miranda Falcon Invitational debut. Corner lead the Miners and was third in the field in total pars with 39.
Nicklas Pihl finished in a tie for 40th, finishing the day at 1-over 73 for a weekend total of 2-over 218 (73-72-73). The senior collected four birdies, three coming from par 5s, which helped him lead the UTEP team on par 5 scoring (4.42/-7). In total, Pihl recorded 11 birdies and 31 pars though the weekend.
Coming in a tie for 50th was Aaron Terrazas, who started out strong with birdies on holes No. 2 and No. 4 to remain at 2-under before he had a bogey on No. 7. The junior would continue steady play, not slipping above 2-over par to finish the day and complete the weekend with 4-over 220 (71-75-74). Terrazas was second on the UTEP squad with 38 pars during the Invite.
Miner individual Ricardo Catalan completed his collegiate debut with a final round of 75 for a tournament total of 4-over 220 (73-72-75), placing him in tie for 50th. After he shot his tournament-low round of 72 on Saturday, Catalan started off the final round strong, notching a birdie to remain at 1-under before consecutive bogeys left him over par.
Another birdie would even him out, and Catalan stayed steady at even-par before another bogey on hole No. 5 put him above par. Catalan would remain above par to close out his first collegiate career, tallying 36 pars and seven birdies along the way.
The Miners will be back in action Sept. 22 and 23 when they lace up for the William H. Tucker Intercollegiate in Albuquerque, N.M.
“We still have a really great team this year,” Lieberwirth said. “We will work on our iron play, the course at UNM is so dependent on iron accuracy. We will be working on that for the next ten days before we leave.”
Live stats for the William H. Tucker Invitational will be available via golfstat.com.