Strange Bedfellows: Golf and Snow

Stellar final-round 67 by freshman Teiffel in snow and cold gives CSU men sweep of titles at Paintbrush Invite at Colorado Golf Club

by Gary Baines - 10/9/2018

Colorado State University men's golf coach Christian Newton didn't mince words or equivocate when asked about the performance of freshman Oscar Teiffel in brutal weather conditions this week at Colorado Golf Club in Parker.

"That's the best competitive round I've ever seen -- under pressure, playing for the lead, shoot 67 in blowing snow and 35 degrees. That's as good as I've ever seen," Newton said.

And it's hard to argue.

Teiffel shot a 5-under-par 67 on a very tough golf course with snow flying and temperatures in the mid-30s to win the individual title at the Paintbrush Invitational at Colorado Golf Club.

And to add to the accomplishment, Teiffel and the Rams (pictured below) also took home the team title while competing against a field that included three Pac-12 Conference schools, including the University of Colorado, which has won twice already this season.

Like CU, CSU has now claimed two team titles in the fall portion of the schedule -- one in a tournament it hosts and another in Colorado. The Rams won the Ram Masters Invitational in Fort Collins in September.

This one, though, likely will be etched indelibly in the memory of the CSU players and coaches, given the conditions. All three rounds were played in temperatures between 35-40 degrees, with snow adding an especially unusual element on Tuesday.

"I think it's the toughest conditions I've ever played in," said Teiffel, who hails from Sweden. "It was snowy for nine holes and it was super cold. I have like three pairs of pants on me right now."

Teiffel finished with a remarkable -- given the conditions -- 10-under-par 206 total, which was good for a three-stroke victory. On Tuesday, when eight players shot in the 80s, his 67 was the only score below 70.

"I had no idea what to expect before I went out," said Teiffel, who notched his second top-10 finish of the season in major tournaments. "At first I was thinking 3 over was going to be a good score. But I got into a good flow, made a few putts and played pretty good. I'm happy with my score.

"I knew it was going to be tough for everyone. I didn't have any expectations of myself. I was just going to accept whatever happened."

Teiffel's victory marks the first individual win by a CSU player since Blake Cannon won two events in a row two years ago.

As for capturing a title so early in his college career, Teiffel said, "It feels fantastic. You don't get wins very often in this sport. When you do it's pretty special. To do that so quickly after coming over here to college is also pretty cool. It's an individual sport, but you're playing as a team and it's nice to win as a team as well."

Indeed, on two days that very few golfers would even consider playing, the Rams finished with a 6-over-par 870 total for three rounds, which earned them an eight-stroke team victory over Oregon.

"Today was one of the better rounds that I've ever seen out of a team," Newton said of his CSU squad, which shot a 1-over 289 on Tuesday. "We preached resiliency this whole week. (The CSU players) did a wonderful job. I'm very proud of them."

Perhaps it has something to do with the makeup of the five players who constituted the Rams' team this week. Four of the five are from places where it's not unusual for golfers to battle the elements. As noted, there was Teiffel (left) from Sweden. And then there were three Coloradans -- AJ Ott, Davis Bryant and Jake Staiano. And Californian Cullen Plousha rounded things out.

"When it starts getting windy, rainy and this cold, I think it really gives us an advantage," said Bryant, who like Teiffel is a freshman. "I know Oscar has played in a lot of weather like this. And Jake, me and AJ have in similar stuff to this throughout our time living in Colorado. So I think it definitely helped us. And we're a tough team mentally."

As for the aforementioned Coloradans, Ott (below) finished ninth individually at 1-over-par 217, while Bryant was 17th at 221 and Staiano 32nd at 227. But they weren't the top Colorado resident on the final Paintbrush scoreboard. That honor went to the University of Northern Colorado's Coby Welch, who placed fifth on Tuesday at 2-under 214.

Remarkably, Welch was 5 under par through 11 holes of Tuesday's round, but bogeyed three of his last seven to shoot 70.

"I just keep going as if it weren't snowing," Welch said. "I keep playing. There's nothing I can do about it. I try to stay as focused as I can.

"I'm very happy with (the finish). I felt like I played well. Everyone was going to miss some short putts because of the greens and the snow -- and I missed a few of those -- but that's OK. I felt like I played well. I hit the ball well and my short game was very good at this tournament."

It was Welch's third top-five individual finish of the season, with all three coming in Colorado as he placed third in both the Ram Masters and the Gene Miranda Falcon Invitational.

Meanwhile, Welch's UNC squad placed an impressive third out the 12 teams at the Paintbrush. The Bears checked in at 19-over-par 883, 13 behind CSU. Joining Welch in the top dozen individually for UNC were Joshua Matz (sixth at 215) and Li Chen (12th at 219).

CU, meanwhile, tied for fourth at 887 in its fall season finale. Daniel O'Loughlin had another strong showing for the Buffs, placing sixth individually at 215.

The host University of Denver ended up 12th on Tuesday with a 929 total. DU's Roy Kang, competing only as an individual this week, finished 10th individually at 218.

Teiffel became the second Scandinavian player to win the individual title in the two years the Paintbrush Invitational has been held. DU's Petter Mikalsen, of Norway, claimed the top spot two years ago. Last year's Paintbrush was canceled due to snow.

With the U.S. Mid-Amateur being held at Colorado Golf Club next September, the Paintbrush Invitational will take a one-year hiatus from the schedule before an anticipated return in 2020.

This year's Paintbrush marks the seventh and final NCAA Division I invitational -- men's and women's combined -- that is being held in Colorado during the fall college season.

Paintbrush Invitational
Oct. 8-9, 2018 (final) at Colorado GC in Parker
1. (out of 12 teams) Colorado State 287-294-289--870

1. Oscar Teiffel 70-69-67--206
9. AJ Ott 73-74-70--217
17. Davis Bryant 71-76-74--221
32. Jake Staiano 74-75-78--227
39. Cullen Plousha 73-78-78--229
Competing Only as Individuals
25. Andrew Lafferty 80-71-73--224
30. Akedanai Ponghathaikul 74-75-77--226
47. Jack Ainscough 75-76-80--231

3. Northern Colorado 298-291-294--883
5. Coby Welch 71-73-70--214
6. Joshua Matz 73-70-72--215
12. Li Chen 73-70-76--219
60. Nick Sharp 81-78-79--238
68. Marcus Tait 90-78-76--244
Competing Only as Individual
23. Jack Castiglia 79-74-70--223

4. Colorado 295-293-299--887
6. Daniel O'Loughlin 69-70-76--215
17. Trevor Olkowski 74-73-74--221
28. Kristoffer Max 73-73-79--225
39. John Paterson 79-77-73--229
51. Ross Macdonald 79-78-76--233
Competing Only as Indivdual
17. Andre Leveque 77-73-71--221

12. Denver 312-309-308--929
30. Jun Ho Won 75-74-77--226
44. Esteban Missura 81-73-76--230
60. Cal McCoy 79-73-86--238
68. Carson Griggs 77-89-78--244
72. Jackson Solem 82-90-77--249
Competing Only as Individuals
10. Roy Kang 72-72-74--218
32. Eric Hagen 78-74-75--227
57. John Sand 83-76-76--235

39. Coloradan Tyler Severin, Wyoming 76-78-75--229
For complete results, CLICK HERE.

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