D-II UCCS upsets field, wins D-I Falcon Invite
The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs was the only Division II team in the field at the Division I Gene Miranda Falcon Invitational. When all was said and done on Monday, it also was the only team under par.
Asher Wildman talks with University of Colorado at Colorado Springs coach Phil Trujillo to discuss the Mountain Lions’ stunning victory Sept. 20 at the Falcon Invitational.
The Mountain Lions took first place in the event with a 54-hole total of 3-under 861, topping Tim Mickelson’s San Diego Toreros by eight shots. San Diego (ranked No. 21 in Golfweek’s Division I preseason rankings) and fifth-place UNLV qualified for last year’s Division I NCAA Championships, but they were no match for CU-Colorado Springs this week at the U.S. Air Force Base’s Eisenhower Golf Course.
“Talent-wise, there’s absolutely zero difference from our team compared to a D-I school; the results show that,” said senior Riley Andrews. “Obviously, D-I schools have more resources so they can travel more and get better equipment.
“But that doesn’t really matter to us; we’re here to win.”
CU-Colorado Springs opened the event with an 8-under 280 behind Brian Morfeld’s first-round 68, taking a seven-shot lead over Wyoming.
After a first-round 69, Chris Shoop took over and led the Mountain Lions, finishing with 70-74 to take third place individually.
“This team, they’re legit,” said UCCS coach Phil Trujillo. “I look forward to seeing how the season plays out.”
Colorado State had the top two individual finishers, as Ryan Peterson took first place at 9 under and Kory Harrell finished at 4 under.
Winning may be something the Mountain Lions are starting to get used to this year – they also led wire-to-wire in their season-opening win at the Peaks Classic in La Veta, Colo. CU-Colorado Springs, which finished last season ranked No. 21 in the D-II Golfstat rankings, has three more tournaments scheduled for this fall. The Mountain Lions will open their spring season at the Golfweek Division II Spring Preview in Orlando, Fla.
“Last night, we had a team meeting,” said Andrews. “(Chris Shoop) and I were talking later on, about 11, just trying to figure out a way to calm down and get some sleep. We knew how big this is.”
– Information from CU-Colorado Springs used in this report.