Led by senior Petter Mikalsen (Stavanger, Norway), the DU men’s golf squad stared down the Eugene Country Club in Eugene, Oregon at the Duck Invitational on March 27-28. The course is a 7,020 yard par 71 layout that proved to be a tough test for the tournament field. The invitational was a two day event, with rounds one and two played on day one.
Round one saw stellar play by Mikalsen, as he posted a two-under par 69 to get the Pioneers rolling. Coming off a breakthrough performance at the Bandon Dunes Championship, freshman Isaac Petersilie (Colorado Springs, Colorado) shot a solid one-over par 72, and junior Jake Kelley (Littleton, Colorado) was not far behind with an opening three-over par 74. They would sit alone in sixth place as a team after 18 holes of competition.
Things would continue to roll for Mikalsen in round two. He would hole six total birdies en route to another two-under par outing. A total score of four-under par left Mikalsen in second individually going into the final day. Backing up Mikalsen, junior Chris Korte (Littleton, Colorado) fired a two-over 73, and Petersilie, Kelley and freshman Troy Dangler (Grand Junction, Colorado) all carded scores of four-over par during their second rounds. Denver was in a tie for seventh on the team leaderboard with one loop remaining in the invitational.
A true team effort on day three allowed the Pioneers to maintain the seventh spot on the team leaderboard. The low score of the day came from Korte, who shot another two-over par 73, and right behind him were the youngsters Petersilie and Dangler, who both posted three-over par 74s. The team’s total score was 881, 29-over par (291-292-298). The host University of Oregon Ducks took home first place with a total score of 844, eight-under par (283-277-284). Freshmen Eric Hagan (Aberdeen, Washington) and Roy Kang (Vancouver, British Columbia) were competing as individuals at the event and held the 44th (12-over) and 66th (16-over) spots on the leaderboard, respectively, when play ceased.
Unfortunately, Mikalsen dropped into a tie for 14th on the individual leaderboard after a final round 77, but the effort did not go unrecognized. Following his play in Eugene, Mikalsen was named the Summit League Men’s Golfer of the Week. This is the second time this year and the fifth time in his career that Mikalsen has been the recipient of the honor.
“It’s a testament to his dedication and incredible work ethic,” said Head Coach Erik Billinger on Mikalsen receiving the honor. “He played two great rounds in Eugene on a difficult course. I am proud of [Mikalsen] not only for his hard work, but also his leadership on this team and striving to be a good example for the younger players. [Mikalsen] is excited about the direction of his game and this award is an honor for him to receive.”
The Pioneers will be out on the course next at the Wyoming Cowboy Classic on April 10.