Matadors are known for taming raging bulls in dirt arenas, so is it truly surprising when they end up handling Buffaloes similarly on an open, grassy plain?
The Buffs finished in a tie for fourth place alongside fellow Big 12 contenders Oklahoma during the final day of the 8th Annual Wyoming Cowboy Classic in Scottsdale, Ariz. on Tuesday as the Cal-State Northridge Matadors took first place.
Colorado finished with a score of 856, or 16-over par. The score ranks as the best finish of the season for the Buffs.
After Monday’s play was suspended as a result of darkness, the Buffs found themselves tied for second place before a slew of challenging holes dropped Colorado to fourth place in the second round.
Head coach Roy Edwards said the weather may have played a small role, saying the wind left some teams struggling.
“We started off pretty good, we were 4 or 5 under after he first 10 or 11 holes, but struggled a little bit in the middle of the round,” Edwards said in a news release. “But we had all five guys playing fairly well so we put up a respectable score despite some troubles here and there. I’m proud of the guys, the winds really picked up for the last two rounds here but we [were] pretty good at dealing with it.
Sophomore Sebastian Heisele was the Buffs’ top finisher, tying for fourth place with Tom Whitney of Air Force. His 1-over 211 for 54 holes finish are his best career results thus far with CU.
Heisele also notched up the second-most birdies out of the 130 athletes who participated with 11.
“This was one of those courses that worked very well for me,” Heisele said. “A wide-open course where I didn’t have to worry about where I placed the ball, and with big greens, I had a bunch of driver wedges here so overall it played fairly easy for me. There was a lot of wind, and we were still at what, 1,000 feet, so the ball flies and flies when the wind was at your back.”
Heisele was followed by senior Justin Bardgett who finished in seventh place with a 1-over 71 for a 2-over 212 total. Freshman Derek Fribbs ended the day with his best collegiate results of the season, recording an 8-over 218 total enough for a 36th place tie.
Sophomore Kevin Kring was the Buffs’ top performer in the final round with a 2-under 86 to finish 10-over 220, placing him in a tie for 48th. The Buffs’ fifth and final competitor, junior Michael Imperato, finished with a 4-over 74 for 222 points to tie for 60th.
Following his team’s performance, Edwards said the team is definitely improving, calling the performance encouraging heading into the upcoming Big 12 Championships.
“Sebastian played pretty solid overall, and had a great birdie on his way in on No. 18, his 17th hole of the day, which is a pretty tough finishing hole,” Edwards said. “Justin was solid, Derek had his best tournament, so we had a lot of good things happen here. Hopefully we can do some damage there and go into the Big 12 Championships with a lot of momentum.”
The Buffs charge to Texas for the Texas Aggie Invitational on April 17 and 18. The tournament will serve as the last competition before the Big 12 Championships also taking place in the Lone Star State.
Contact CU Independent Sports Editor Esteban L. Hernandez at Esteban.email@example.com.