The Utah Valley University men's golf team fired a 573 over 36 holes on Monday at the Palm Valley Golf Club, closing the day in fourth place on the team leaderboard. The Wolverines are just 10 strokes back of first-place Air Force with 18 holes still to go in Tuesday's final round.
"We had a solid start today," UVU head coach Chris Curran said. "At the same time, we left a lot of shots out there. If we clean up our mistakes tomorrow I think we can be in good shape."
Two Wolverines sit in the top 20 on the individual leaderboard, paced by JT Timmons' two-round score of 141. After carding a first-round 73, Timmons responded with a second-round 68 to catapult up the leaderboard from a tie for 40th into a tie for 12th. The true freshman won his first collegiate tournament in UVU's last competition, the Pat Hicks Invitational held in St. George, Utah, two weeks ago.
Also situated in the top 20 is junior Preston Richards whose 142 places him in a tie for 17th. Richards opened with a first-round 66 — the third lowest round recorded on Monday — but closed the day with a 3-over 76 to slip out of a second place position prior to the start of the second round.
"Preston was lights out in the first round," Curran said. "He putted the ball beautifully. JT put together a very nice second round."
Those performances leave Utah Valley within striking distance heading into Tuesday's final 18 holes. The Wolverines are 10 strokes back of first-place Air Force (563), six shots shy of fellow WAC member Kansas City (567) and a single stroke behind William & Mary in third place (572).
The field behind Utah Valley remains tight, though, as six strokes separate the next eight places on the team leaderboard. St. John's is just one stroke behind UVU at 574, followed closely by Illinois State and Loyola-Maryland (576), Indiana and Gonzaga (577), South Dakota (578), Navy (579) and Missouri State (580).
Tennessee Tech (585), Utah (588), Murray State (592), Connecticut (594) and SIU Edwardsville (596) round out the standings after day one.
Tuesday's final round gets underway with a shotgun start at 8 a.m. MT.
Kellen Hiser is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.