Making Headway

Buffs jump 6 spots up scoreboard, while CSU remains in 28th place at men’s golf NCAA nationals

By Gary Baines – 5/27/2023

The University of Colorado is the lowest-ranked team in the 30-school field for the men’s NCAA Division I golf nationals, but you’d never know it by the way the Buffs are performing so far in Scottsdale, Ariz.

CU, ranked 48th in the country by Golfstat (56th by Golfweek), sits tied for 17th place after two rounds of the tournament at Grayhawk.

If the Buffs — or any other team in the field — stand in the top 15 after Sunday’s action, they’ll make the 54-hole cut. Also advancing will be the top nine individuals not on those teams.

CU moved up six spots Saturday to check in at 19 over par, thanks to a 7-over-par round in round 2. The Buffs are three strokes out of the 15th position.

In the last 50 years, the Buffs’ top-15 finishes at nationals have been 14th place in 2002 and 11th in 1981.

Meanwhile, the other Colorado-based team in the field, 22nd-ranked Colorado State, remained in the 28th spot on Saturday. The Rams were 19 over par on day 2, leaving them at 35 over for the tournament.

CSU, which finished 30th at nationals in 2011, is looking for its best finish in the championship in its three appearances. The Rams placed 24th in 1999.

CSU’s Connor Jones of Westminster and CU’s Dylan McDermott of Granite Bay, Calif., continue to pace their teams as they share 36th place at 3 over par overall. They matched 2-over-par 72s on Saturday, each making two birdies and four birdies. CU’s Hunter Swanson, from Denver, also is in the top 70 as a 74 left him at 6 over par for the tournament.

Meanwhile, Tucker Clark rebounded in a big way for CU, following up his first-round 80 with a 3-under-par 67.

Illinois is the lone team under par through 36 holes as the Illini are 2 under and hold a three-stroke advantage over Florida. Ross Steelman of Georgia Tech, who led individually after 18 holes, remains in the top spot as a 69 left him at 7 under par.

For those teams that make the 54-holecut, the stroke-play portion of the tournament will continue through Monday. Then the top eight teams will advance to the quarterfinals of match play.

For all the results from the men’s NCAA Division I nationals, CLICK HERE.

About the Writer: Gary Baines has covered golf in Colorado continuously since 1983. He was a sports writer at the Daily Camera newspaper in Boulder, then the sports editor there, and has written regularly for since 2009. He was inducted into the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame in 2022. He owns and operates