The Old College Try

CU posts program’s 2nd-best NCAA men’s golf nationals finish in last 40 years; CSU notches its 2nd-best showing ever at the event

By Gary Baines – 5/28/2023

The University of Colorado made a run at surviving the 54-hole cut at the men’s golf NCAA nationals, and though the Buffs fell short, they posted their second-best finish in the event in the last 40 years.

CU, which was inside the top 15 in the standings early on the back nine on Sunday, ended up 21st in the 30-team event, and the only Buff squad in the last four decades to place as good or better in the event was the one in 2002 that finished 14th. (All time, this year marked the ninth-best performance at nationals for the CU men’s golf team.) All in all, it was a solid showing for a Buff team that came in ranked 48th in the country by Golfstat (56th by Golfweek).

As for Colorado State, though it struggled at times at Grayhawk, it placed 28th, recording its best showing at nationals since 1999, when CSU was 24th.

With just the top 15 schools advancing full teams to Monday’s final round of stroke play, neither of the Colorado-based squads made the cut. But CU’s Dylan McDermott has a chance to be one of the top nine players not on one of the advancing teams who will move on. Depending who wins the team playoff for the 15th spot between Ohio State and Texas Tech on Monday morning, McDermott either will advance on the number or will be involved in a 3-for-2 playoff for the final individual berths.

(Monday Update: McDermott advanced in a 3-for-2 playoff Monday morning — thanks to a nifty up and down for par from an awkward lie in a bunker. Then he shot a 2-over-par 72 in round 4 of stroke play, recording a 7-over 287 total for the tournament. The left-hander’s 70.12 norm for the season established an all-time best for a CU golfer, bettering the previous record of 70.24 set by Yannik Paul in 2017-18. Paul is a now a one-time winner on the DP World Tour. McDermott made three birdies and five bogeys on Monday. At 7 under overall, Fred Biondi of Florida won the individual national title.)

On Sunday, placing in the top 100 for CU were Justin Biwer and Tucker Clark (both 81st at 220 ).

As for CSU, Connor Jones of Westminster led the way at 218, good for 68th place. Davis Bryant of Aurora, the 2019 CGA Player of the Year who was competing in his final tournament as a college golfer, was next best, in 81st place at 220.

The top eight team finishers in stroke play on Monday advance to Tuesday’s match-play quarterfinals of the championship.

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