It’s a good time to be a college golfer in Colorado.
On April 22-24, CSU-Pueblo men and women’s teams took home titles at the RMAC Championships. CSU Pueblo’s Kylie Severin and Zoey Rodriguez tied for the individual titles while Colorado Christian’s Xavier Bighaus was the individual medalist on the men’s side.
Over the weekend it was time for the CU Buffs and CSU Rams to shine.
At the Pac-12 Championships, the Buffs finished third in the team race, which is Colorado’s best finish since it was second in 2018 behind second-place finishes from Ross MacDonald and current DP World Tour golfer Yannik Paul.
“The Pac-12 is a premier golf league in the country,” CU coach Roy Edwards told The Denver Gazette. “You have to play well and have to be a competitve team. Our guys brought it and played their best.”
The Buffs held the lead going into the final round but a tough stretch on the front nine knocked CU out of the top spot as Stanford took over and won the tournament.
“The whole field shot higher in that final round,” Edwards said.
Three Colorado golfers finished in the top 30 of the tournament led by sophomore Dylan McDermott’s second-place finish. Hunter Swanson was tied for 20th and Justin Biwer finished in a tie for 26th.
McDermott, who was named Pac-12 golfer of the week twice this season, went shot-for-shot with Stanford’s Michael Thorbjornsen. Thorbjornsen is one of the most decorated amateurs in the country. He played in the 2022 U.S. Open and finished fourth at the PGA Tour’s Travelers Championship.
“It was exciting to play against him,” McDermott said. “I have played in other tournaments with him and I loved the challenge of trying to beat him.”
McDermott was right there with Thorbjornsen through all four rounds. McDermott shot all four rounds in the 60s and finished just two spots out of the lead. McDermott, Thorbjornsen and Washington State’s Pono Yanagi were the only three players with all four rounds in the 60s.
“My attitude has really helped,” McDermott said about his play this season. “Early in my career I struggled with the mental side. I am now focused on one shot at a time. I worry about one shot.”
The Buffs qualified as a team for NCAA regionals for the first time in five years. The team is headed to Norman, Okla., to tee off at Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club. Regionals begin May 15-17.
The Rams, who also qualified for regionals and are headed to Auburn, finished in fourth place as a team at the Mountain West Championships and also were close to taking home an individual title.
Christoph Bleier, who was born in Austria, shot three rounds in the 60s including a 63 to tie San Diego State’s Dylan Oyama at 19-under par. Oyama fired a 62 in the final round. Bleier lost on the first playoff hole when he made bogey and Oyama made par at OMNI Tucson National in Arizona.
“I knew it was going to be a scoreable day,” Bleier said. “I knew I had to shoot low and try to make another birdie. Very proud of the way I played.”
The Rams’ Connor Jones (tie-16th) and Davis Bryant (tie-18th) were in the top 20 as well.
“I thought we played really well,” CSU coach Michael Wilson told The Denver Gazette. “Scores were low and we played really good golf.”
The Buffs and Rams are not the only local men’s teams headed off to regionals. The Northern Colorado Bears also qualified after winning the Big Sky Conference. The Bears will play at The Institute Golf Club in Morgan Hill, Calif.
Lakewood High graduate Jack Castiglia, Mead High grad TJ Shehee and freshman Yuze Zhang all finished in the top four at the Big Sky tournament.
Four Colorado golfers advance at U.S. Open qualifying
Cole Anderson of Colorado Springs, Matthew Wilkinson of Centennial, Riley Andrews of Castle Rock and Ryan Schmitz of Littleton advanced to final U.S. Open qualifying after strong rounds in a local qualifier at Collindale Golf Course in Fort Collins.
They will have a choice of 11 final qualifying sites with most of these qualifiers taking place on June 5.
Anderson was the medalist with a 66. Andrews fired a 67. Wilkinson had a 68 while Schmitz came in with a 69.
The U.S. Open is at The Los Angeles Country Club from June 15-18.
This week in golf
WELLS FARGO CHAMPIONSHIP
Site: Quail Hollow Club – Charlotte, N.C.
Defending champ: Max Homa
Purse: $20 million
TV: Thursday-Friday, Noon-4 p.m. (Golf Channel); Saturday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. (Golf Channel), 1-4 p.m. (CBS)
HANWHA LIFEPLUS INTERNATIONAL CROWN
Site: TPC Harding Park – San Francisco
Defending champ: South Korea in 2018
Purse: $2 million
TV: Thursday-Sunday, 4-7 p.m. (Golf Channel)
DS AUTOMOBILES ITALIAN OPEN
Site: Marco Simone GC – Rome
Defending champ: Robert MacIntyre
Purse: $3.25 million
TV: Thursday-Friday, 5-10 a.m. (Golf Channel); Saturday-Sunday, 5:30-10 a.m. (Golf Channel)
MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC CLASSIC
Site: TPC Sugarloaf – Duluth, Ga.
Defending champ: Steve Flesch
Purse: $2 million
TV: Friday, 10 a.m.-noon (Golf Channel); Saturday-Sunday, 1-4 p.m. (Golf Channel)
Odds to win Wells Fargo Championship
Rory McIlroy +700
Patrick Cantlay +1400
Tony Finau +1600
Xander Schauffele +1600
Viktor Hovland +1800
—Odds from SuperBook Colorado
World Golf Rankings
1. Jon Rahm, 504.64
2. Scottie Scheffler, 524.92
3. Rory McIlroy, 375.89
4. Patrick Cantlay, 296.19
5. Xander Schauffele, 267.65
6. Matt Fitzpatrick, 284.77
7. Max Homa, 260.56
8. Cameron Smith, 217.82
9. Will Zalatoris, 210.41
10. Jordan Spieth, 234.85
Ryder Cup standings
Captain: Zach Johnson
1. Scottie Scheffler, 17,574.423
2. Max Homa, 6,736.710
3. Cameron Young, 6,584.886
4. Jordan Spieth, 6,392.092
5. Sam Burns, 5,902.294
6. Patrick Cantlay, 5,677.425
7. Collin Morikawa, 5,582.495
8. Will Zalatoris, 5,529.134
9. Justin Thomas, 5,422.250
10. Xander Schauffele, 4,529.727
11. Kurt Kitayama, 4,525.605
12. Tony Finau, 3,932.350
Note: The U.S. team will be made up from the top six eligible players in the points rankings with six captain’s picks.
Captain: Luke Donald
1. Jon Rahm, 2,883.53
2. Rory McIlroy, 2,189.2
3. Yannik Paul, 1362.14
4. Victor Perez, 1,286.02
5. Jorge Campillo, 1062.33
6. Shane Lowery, 1052.36
1. Jon Rahm, 330.5
2. Rory McIlroy, 176.86
3. Matt Firzpatrick, 126.05
4. Viktor Hovland, 121.94
5. Tyrell Hatton, 116.93
6. Tommy Fleetwood, 71.36
Note: The European team will be made up from the top three eligible players from the European points List, the top three eligible players from the World Points List and six captain’s picks.