The UTEP Miners men’s golf team will begin its 2016 fall season this weekend when it travels to Colorado Springs, Colo. to tee off in the 48th-annual Gene Miranda Falcon Invitational.
The 54-hole tournament, hosted by Air Force Academy, will be held at the academy’s Eisenhower Golf Club.
The Miners will square off against 15 other teams, including defending tournament champion Colorado State, Abilene Christian, Air Force, Air Force (silver), Boise State, Colorado, NM State, Northern Colorado, Southern Utah, UMKC, UNLV, Utah State, Weber State, Wyoming and William & Mary, beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday.
The second round will begin at 1:30 p.m. The four lowest individual scores on Saturday will then determine pairings and tee times for the final 18-hole round on Sunday.
“The three strongest teams in the field are UNLV, which always does well nationally, Colorado and Colorado State. I think we have the pieces to compete with them,” sixth-year Miner head coach Scott Lieberwirth said.
Coming off a fifth-place finish in last year’s Invitational and a sixth-place finish in Conference USA, the Miners return six players including reigning Conference USA Golfer of the Year Frederick Dreier, who finished third in last year’s tournament.
Dreier shot six-under par 210 (68-70-72) in the tourney and led C-USA with a career-best 71.8 stroke average. He was the only Miner to participate in the NCAA Regionals, where he finished tied for 57th.
Dreier, along with fellow returnees Prescott Mann, Andreas Sorensen, Ben Getman, Nicklas Pihl and Chad Ahn, will help pace the Miners this season.
“We had a very young team last year and we did not have Andreas Sorensen because he wasn’t cleared by the NCAA yet,” Lieberwirth said. “We have a stronger and more experienced team. We only lost one senior, so we expect to finish higher. Dreier’s health is 100 percent and he’s playing as good of golf as I’ve seen him play, ever. I expect good things, he has the potential to be an All-American.”
Live scoring will be available at GolfStatResults.com.