University of Texas at El Paso golfer Chris Baryla became the first Miner to win back-to-back tournaments in eight years on Tuesday.
Baryla, a junior from Vernon, British Columbia, finished first at the Anteater Invitational in Newport Beach, Calif., a week after he won the PING Intercollegiate in Tucson, Ariz.
Baryla shot a 213 (72-69-72) at the Anteater tournament to finish three strokes ahead of UC-Riverside's Eric Riehle (73-71-72-216) and UTEP's Dan Swanson (74-69-73-216), who tied for second place.
'I was consistent,' Baryla said. 'The first day, we had good weather and I didn't play really well. Today, the weather was terrible. It was pouring rain, and I played pretty well and shot even par. I wasn't as good as I was last week, but I'm happy to get a win anyway.'
'The last two weeks, Chris has been doing all of his work in El Paso, so when he gets here he's ready to go,' said UTEP coach Rick Todd. 'He has made a couple of mental mistakes, but not many. I could probably count them on one hand in the last 108 holes. He knows he can beat these guys, and now he's going to try to do it every week. This is the smartest that he has played. A lot of college golf is mental. You don't screw up the easy stuff, where you get greedy or lackadaisical and the next thing you know you made a double bogey. He hasn't done that.'
The last UTEP player to finish first in consecutive tournaments was Ryan Hietela, who won the Western Intercollegiate in Santa Cruz, Calif. and the Cougar Classic in Provo, Utah in April, 1995.
Baryla has now won three tournaments at UTEP. He lowered his stroke average for the 2002-03 season to 71.5 with his performance at the Anteater Invitational.
The Miners took third place at the 11-team tournament with a tally of 895 (297-292-303). UC-Riverside was first (286-287-301-874), and host UC-Irvine second (297-292-303-892).
UTEP's Nathan Fritz finished 44th (76-74-86-236), Trent Rommann tied for 45th (78-79-80) and Scott Hollenbach tied for 47th (78-81-79-238).