Pac-12 championships a long-awaited opportunity for CU Buffs men’s golf – The Denver Post

Their rosters are relatively small, and the sport is meant to be enjoyed in the fresh air amid scenic settings.

Social distancing? Golf already was based on that before the term became an everyday phase.

Given their game could always be played in accordance with most public health guidelines, the abrupt end of the 2020 spring season more than 13 months ago at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic was just as frustrating to the Colorado men’s golf program as any of CU’s athletic programs.

When it all fell apart last year, CU coach Roy Edwards recalls getting his team together on a call. Almost as he might implore them to find creative solutions for an errant tee shot, Edwards challenged his team to search for innovative solutions for the hurdles unfolding from the pandemic-induced lockdowns.

More than a year later, and after the loss of the 2020 postseason in addition to the fall season, the CU men’s golf team will attempt to make good on those efforts in a postseason that begins Monday in the opening round of the Pac-12 Conference championships. The three-round tournament will be held at the Mayacama Golf Club in Santa Rosa, Calif., with Cal serving as the host school.

“We had a call with the team, and our message to them — and I give them credit for taking this on — has been to use this as an advantage. Find a way to be better,” Edwards said. “Take this adversity of this situation and the changes in our lives and find other ways to be innovative in finding solutions. New solutions for new problems. And our guys have done that and it’s showing up on the golf course.

“I’m going to be really excited to get out there for this tournament as it was canceled last year. I’m appreciative of every moment that we have playing the sport, or coaching she sport, that we love.”

Edwards said no one on his team has ever competed at Mayacama Golf Club, but with a veteran team — Victor Bjorlow and Daniel O’Loughlin are two standouts who returned for their “super senior” seasons — that has improved throughout the spring, there remains a confidence the Buffs can improve on the No. 71 ranking they own in the latest Golfweek top 100 entering the tournament.

“I feel really good. This group has been awesome to be with,” Edwards said. “A goal of every program I think is to really try to improve and be better as you go through the year. Our team has played their best golf almost tournament to tournament as the season has progressed. Not having a fall season for is really challenging, being in a cold weather climate in our sport that relies on the weather so much.

“But it’s been really awesome to see our guys grow and develop. We’ve had a lot of really, really good wins on the year. I feel really good about where we’re at going into the conference tournament, and then having a great week and being in a position to make the NCAA Tournament once again.”

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