CEDAR CITY, Utah, Oct. 16 – Southern Utah University’s men’s golf team plays the final event of its 2013 fall season next week when it travels to Simi Valley, Calif., to compete at Cal State Northridge’s Bill Cullum Invitational.

The two-day tournament begins with 36 holes on Monday and the final 18 on Tuesday at the par 72, 6,801-yard Woodranch Golf Club.

Senior Jake Holt, juniors Nic Booth, Sammy Cole and Tim Leonard and freshman Jameson Keiley are scheduled to compete for the Thunderbirds.

The 19-team field includes SUU, Arizona State, Cal Poly, Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Bakersfield, Gonzaga, Hawai’i, Long Beach State, Loyola Marymount, Pepperdine, Sacramento State, San Diego, Seattle, UC Santa Barbara, UC Irvine, Utah State, Utah Valley, Weber State and host Cal State Northridge.

SUU is coming off a seventh-place finish at the Utah Invitational, where Nic Booth and Jake Holt finished tied for 18th to lead the Thunderbirds.

Last Year At the Bill Cullum Invitational: Jake Holt finished ninth to lead Southern Utah's men's golf team to a seventh-place finish at the 20-team tournament.  Holt shot 2-under par 70 in the third round for a final total of 1-under 215. He opened with a 72 before shooting 73 in the second round.  Sophomore Sammy Cole (78-70-77) and freshman Taylor Schone (76-72-77) finished tied for second among Thunderbirds at 9-over par 225 and in 41st place, while sophomore Tim Leonard (79-72-80) finished 69th at 231 and freshman John Reid (78-82-72) was 74th at 232. SUU, which opened with a round of 304, followed with rounds of 287 and 296 to finish at 23-over par 887, two shots up on Boise State (889) and four ahead of Loyloa Marymount (891). Utah State finished 11th at 896, with Weber Satate 14th at 910. University of San Diego ran away with the team championship, shooting 14-under par 850, nine shots better than Arizona State, the only other team to finish under par. Washington state was third at 866, followed by Cal State Fullerton (868), UC Irvine (872) UC Santa Barbara (881) and SUU.

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: Nic Booth and Jake Holt finished tied for 18th to lead Southern Utah as the Thunderbirds finished seventh at the Utah Invitational, held at Jeremy Ranch Country Club. After opening with two rounds of 364 the Thunderbirds were in sixth place at 728, 12 shots off the pace of second-round leader Utah State heading into the final 18 holes. A final-round 373 dashed the T-Birds’ hopes of moving up, however, and allowed Northern Colorado to slip past the Thunderbirds. Boise State shot a final-round 356 to claim the team title at 11-under par 1,076, followed by Utah State and UTEP at 21-over 1,086. The team scoring was done using the PAC-12 system of counting the top five scores among a team’s six players as opposed to the more customary system which counts the top four scores of a team of five players. Holt shot two rounds at 1-under par 70 on Monday but fired a 76 on Tuesday to finish at 3-over par 216, slipping from eighth to 18th. Booth shot 72-17 on Monday for a share of 16th but a round of 73 left him in a tie with Holt and Utah Valley’s Clark Fredrickson for 18th. Sammy Cole was third among Thunderbirds in 30th place at 221, while Tim Leonard finished 34th at 222, Jameson Keiley was 42nd at 229 and Braxton Williams finished 59th at 240.