GOODYEAR, Ariz., March 24 – John Reid and Tim Leonard finished tied for 12th place to lead Southern Utah to a fourth-place finish at the University of Denver’s Desert Shootout on Saturday. The tournament was played at the par 72, 7,015-yard Palm Valley Golf Club.
After shooting 294 on Friday SUU bounced back with a round of 284 on Saturday, enabling the Thunderbirds to move up from 11th place and into a tie with Wichita State in fourth in the final standings. The round of 284 gave the Thunderbirds two of their best rounds of the season at the Desert Shootout, as they opened with a season-low 280 on Thursday.
After rounds of 71 and 75 on Thursday and Friday, Leonard fired the second-best round of the day on Saturday, 67, to shoot up the leaderboard, all the way from 50th place, into a tie with Reid and two other players in 12th at even-par 213. Reid was steady throughout the tournament, following rounds of 70 and 72 with a 71 on Saturday.
SUU had four players in the top third of the field as Jake Holt, who opened with a round of 68 and shot 75 on Friday, finished in 23rd place at 215 after coming in at 72 on Saturday, while Sammy Cole (71-72-74, 217) was 33rd. Taylor Schone (78-75-77, 230) finished 90th, while SUU’s Brady Welburn, who competed as an individual, finished 71st (77-74-73, 224).
BYU’s Zachary Blair, who had a tournament-low round of 64 on Saturday, ran away with the individual title, coming in at 198, seven strokes better than second-place Hunter Sparks, who led Wichita State at 205.
As a team Southern Utah finished at 858, 20 shots off the pace of champion Brigham Young, which won the event at 838, 10 strokes better than host Denver, which finished second. Baylor finished third at 850, followed by SUU and Wichita State.
Nebraska came in sixth at 859, with Colorado State seventh at 861. Tulsa, Air Force, Kansas and Idaho finished in a four-way tie for eighth place at 865, followed by Illinois (866), New Mexico State (874), Kansas State (877), Wyoming (887) and Boise State (891).