CEDAR CITY, Utah, Sept. 18 – Southern Utah University’s men’s golf team plays the third event of its 2013 fall season next week when it travels to Eagle, Idaho, to compete at Boise State’s Dash Thomas Invitational. The two-day tournament begins with 36 holes on Monday and the final 18 on Tuesday at the par 71 BanBury Golf Course.

Senior Jake Holt, juniors Nic Booth, Sammy Cole and Tim Leonard and freshman Jameson Keiley will compete for the Thunderbirds with freshman Braxton Williams scheduled to compete as an individual.

The 12-team field includes SUU, Boise State, Cal State Fullerton, Concordia, Grand Canyon, Idaho, Sacramento State, Seattle, Stetson, Utah State, Utah Valley and Weber State.

SUU is coming off an eighth-place finish at Air Force’s Gene Miranda Falcon Invitational, where Jake Holt and Tim Leonard finished tied for 16th to lead the T-Birds.

SUU finished 10th at the Dash Thomas Memorial last year.

Last Year At the Dash Thomas Invitational: Despite posting their best score of the tournament in the final round the Thunderbirds slipped one spot to finish 10th in the final tally. SUU was led by sophomore Tim Leonard, who shot even-par 71 on Tuesday to finish at 2-over par 215 and in 23rd place. SUU continually improved throughout the tournament, opening with a 297 Monday morning and following with a round of 295 in the afternoon, and even though they cut another seven strokes off their score on Tuesday, coming in at 288, they dropped two shots to Cal State Bakersfield which beat the Thunderbirds in the final tally, 878 to 880. Every Thunderbird except Leonard (who had a 70 in the second round) shot or equaled his best round of the tournament on Tuesday. Sammy Cole, who had a hole-in-one in the opening round, went 72-74-72 to finish at 6-over par 218 and in 30th, while John Reid followed Monday’s 75-75 with another 72 on Tuesday to finish at 221 and in a tie for 41st. Jake Holt shot 73 on Tuesday after rounds of 78 and 776 on Monday to finish at 227 and all alone in 56th, while Taylor Schone shot 77-78-77 to finish 65th with a final tally of 232.

The Coach: Richard Church (Utah ‘89) is in his 14th season as head golf coach and his 18th on the staff at Southern Utah. Prior to taking over the program from former Coach John Evans, Church spent four seasons as the Thunderbirds’ assistant coach. During his tenure on the SUU staff, Church has coached five academic all-Americans, one Mid-Continent Conference medalist, two Mid-Con runner-ups and the University’s first NCAA post-season competitor in golf. He has also seen the team finish second in the league seven times during his tenure as head or assistant coach, including last season when the ‘Birds finished second in their inaugural season in the America Sky Conference.

Last Time Out: SUU fired three rounds of 292 in as many rounds Tuesday to finish eighth at Air Force’s 16-team Gene Miranda Falcon Invitational. The Thunderbirds turned in a score of 12-over par 876, five shots behind Utah and 27 off the pace of host Air Force, which won the tournament running away with a score of 15-under par 849. Jake Holt and Tim Leonard finished tied for 16th to lead the Thunderbirds. Holt shot 73 in the final round while Leonard shot 74 to finish at 1-over par 217. Sammy Cole had the best round by a Thunderbird Monday as he fired a 72 to finish 48th at 224, with Nic Booth 52nd at 225 and Jameson Keiley 56th another stroke back. SUU’s Braxton Williams, playing as an individual, finished 88th at 247.