LOGAN, Utah – After nearly an 11-month layoff, Utah State’s golf team returns to tournament action this weekend at the Southern Utah-hosted Pizza Hut-Pat Hicks Thunderbird Invitational in St. George, Utah.
The 54-hole tournament, which will be played at the par-72, 6,900-yard Sunbrook Golf Club, gets underway on Saturday, Feb. 6. The tournament consists of one, 18-hole round per day, with a shotgun start each day at approximately 9 a.m. (depending on weather).
It is the first time in the history of the event that the Thunderbird Invitational will be played over three rounds. Live scoring for the tournament will be available on golfstat.com and daily results will be available at UtahStateAggies.com.
Utah State is the defending champion of the event after finishing the 2019 tournament with a 3-under-par 573 (287-286). It marked the Aggies’ first tournament win since Oct. 17, 2017, when they claimed the tournament title at the Cal State Northridge-hosted Bill Cullum Invitational.
Utah State’s five-man lineup includes fifth-year student-athlete Chase Lansford (No. 1), senior captain Colten Cordingley (No. 2), senior Andy Hess (No. 4), redshirt junior Jesse Henderson (No. 5) and one freshman making his collegiate debut in Javier Vazquez (No. 3).
Cordingley is coming off a junior season that saw him lead the Aggies and rank 18th in the Mountain West with a 71.82 scoring average. His season-best 54-hole score and season-best tournament finish was an 8-under 208 (67-69-72) at the Colorado-hosted Mark Simpson Invite, where he tied for eighth.
Hess ended the 2019-20 season with a stroke average of 72.18 over 17 rounds to rank 22nd in the MW, while Lansford had a stroke average of 72.47 over 17 rounds to rank 24th in the conference.
A dozen teams are slated to compete in this year’s tournament: Air Force, Dixie State, North Dakota, Northern Colorado, Oral Roberts, Sacramento State, Southern Illinois-Edwardsville, SUU, Utah, USU, Utah Valley and Weber State.
Like every other team in the NCAA, the Aggies had their 2019-20 campaign ended abruptly by the COVID-19 pandemic, and they missed out on three regular season tournaments and the entire postseason.
In their last event of the year, Utah State placed sixth as a team at the South Dakota State-hosted Jackrabbit Invitational at Boulder Creek Golf Club in Boulder City, Nev. The Aggies finished one stroke behind fifth-place Southern Utah.
Fans can follow Utah State’s golf program on Facebook at facebook.com/USUMensGolf and on Twitter at @USUMensGolf.
Pizza Hut-Pat Hicks Thunderbird Invitational
Date: Feb. 6-8
Host Course: Sunbrook Golf Club (St. George, Utah)
Live Scoring: https://bit.ly/3cIC1ma