A stellar fall campaign will come to a close as the UTEP men’s golf team hosts its annual home tournament, the Price’s “Give ‘Em Five” Invitational at the Butterfield Trail Golf Club Friday through Sunday (October 28-30). Play at the par-72, 7,307 yard course will begin at 8 a.m. (MT) both Friday and Saturday, and at 8:15 a.m. on Sunday.
Now in its fifth year as the home of the Price’s “Give ‘Em Five” Invitational, the Butterfield Trail Golf Club boasts numerous accolades, including being named the third-best municipal course in the nation by Golfweek magazine every year from 2009-2015. Designed by Tom Fazio, the course was established in 2007 and is located a short distance from the El Paso International Airport.
“We’re going to come out and play the course like we do every day during practice,” head coach Scott Lieberwirth said. “We’re not going to try to build anything up [or] make anything more important than we ordinarily would.”
UTEP will play host to 10 teams: Air Force, Army West Point, Marquette, NM State, San Jose State, Seton Hall, Texas State, UT Rio Grande Valley, UTSA, and Western New Mexico.
The Miners have never won their home tournament, but posted a third-place finish last year. Previous champs of the invite include Kansas (2015), NM State (2013 and 2014) and the inaugural winner in 2012 was Idaho.
“NM State has played extremely well in this tournament previously, so you never count them out having enjoyed as much success as they’ve had on this course,” Lieberwirth said. “They’ve had a good track record here, but there are definitely other teams coming that have had nice fall seasons. For most teams, this is going to be their final event of the fall so I know they’re going to be highly motivated to finish things on a strong note.”
Eleven men will be defending the home turf for the Miners, including Frederik Dreier, Andreas Sorensen, Charles Corner, Nicklas Pihl, Ben Getman, Prescott Mann, Cole Donielson, Evan Macias, Eduardo Gonzalez, Chad Ahn and Settavut Paradee.
“We feel like we’ve got a good team,” Lieberwirth said. “If we just stay relaxed, be patient and not expect too much, play the way we normally play, then I’ll be fine with whatever the result is.”
Fresh off a second-place finish at the Herb Wimberly Intercollegiate in Las Cruces last week that resulted in a C-USA Men’s Golfer of the Week honor (Oct. 19), senior Dreier has finished in the top-10 in three out of four tournaments this fall season, including two runner-up showings. He carded a 10-under-par 203 (68-69-66), a season low, at the Herb Wimberly Intercollegiate. The Miners finished second as a team.
Fellow Denmark native Sorensen and junior from Canada Corner will also help pace the Miners. Sorensen has a season-best second-place finish at the Gene Miranda Invite, which also resulted in a C-USA Men’s Golfer of the Week honor (Sept. 14), the first of his career. Corner had a season-best third-place finish at the Fighting Irish Classic at the beginning of the month and tied for seventh at the Herb Wimberly, shooting an even-par 213 (72-68-73).
Also playing in the Herb Wimberly, Getman tied for 15th with a two-over-par 215 (71-74-70), Pihl tied for 37th with an eight-over-par 221 (73-76-72), Mann shot an 11-over-par 224 (73-77-74) to tie for 45th and Macias shot a 14-over-par 227 (71-78-78) to tie for 58th place. Freshman Donielson placed 73rd with a 17-over-par 230 (79-75-76).
Ahn shot 237 (81-80-76) at the Gene Miranda invite. Freshman Gonzalez and sophomore Paradee will make their fall debut at the tournament.
“It’s always a tough thing when you’re the home team,” Lieberwirth said. “You put a lot of pressure on yourself to try to play your best during the home tournament. So [we’re going to] just go out and do what we do every day. If we do a good job of executing and playing the way we know how then I think our results are going to be good.”
Live scoring will be available at golfstat.com