CSU men sweep team and individual titles at season-opening Falcon Invitational; Connor Jones fends off Rams teammate Davis Bryant for individual crown at AFA
By Gary Baines – 9/11/2022
It proved to be quite a season opener for the Colorado State University men’s golf team.
Let’s count the way:
— For the second straight year, the Rams started the season with a team victory, in this case prevailing by a whopping 25 strokes Sunday at the Gene Miranda Falcon Invitational that the Air Force Academy hosts at Eisenhower Golf Course.
— Connor Jones of Westminster, who swept the titles in the CGA’s major championships in 2022, didn’t skip a beat in winning the individual championship at Eisenhower. And, like in last month’s CGA Amateur, he finished first and CSU teammate Davis Bryant took second.
— Michael Wilson picked up team and individual victories in his first tournament as head coach at CSU.
In other words, it was an all-around good weekend for CSU men’s golf.
The Rams closed with a stellar round of 17 under par on Sunday to check in at 30 under overall, which fell just three strokes shy of the tournament record. It was their first team victory since winning the Ram Masters Invitational and the Paintbrush Invitational — both in Colorado — last fall.
It marked CSU’s fourth team championship at the Miranda since 2008.
The University of Colorado placed second on Sunday (-5) in the 24-team field, while the University of Denver was 10th (+14), the University of Northern Colorado 14th (+17) and host Air Force 22nd (+49).
CSU placed four individuals in the top 20 overall: Jones (first, -13, two shy of the tournament record), Bryant (second, -12), Christoph Bleier (13th, -2) and Matthew Wilkinson (19th, -1). Wilkinson, a Centennial resident, was competing in his first college tournament.
Jones posted his third individual college victory and second since transferring to CSU at the beginning of last season. The golfer from The Ranch Country Club made an eagle (No. 11), five birdies and a bogey en route to a 6-under-par 66 on Sunday.
Since the beginning of May, Jones has won the Mountain West Conference individual title, claimed titles in the CGA Match Play and Amateur, placed second in a playoff at the Trans-Miss and was low amateur (third overall) at the Inspirato Colorado Open. Then Sunday’s victory. Since joining the Rams, Jones has racked up six top-11 college finishes.
Bryant, who led after rounds 1 and 2, birdied the final two holes to shoot 69 on Sunday, when he finished with four birdies and a bogey.
This weekend marked the only time this season that all five Colorado-based NCAA Division I men’s golf programs in the state will compete in the same tournament field. CSU was competing at the Falcon Invitational for the first time since 2017.
Joining Jones and Bryant in the top 10 for a Colorado-based school was CU’s Dylan McDermott, who tied for ninth on Sunday at 3 under par. McDermott has finished first and ninth in his first two college tournaments of the season.
Also sharing ninth place on Sunday was Wyoming’s Tyler Severin, a product of Johnstown.
For all the scores from the Falcon Invite, CLICK HERE.