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SALT LAKE CITY — Going out in style, Kyler Dunkle, a senior on the University of Utah golf team, wrapped up his final year on a record-setting high note.
He capped a successful 2019 season with a 28th place tie at the NCAA Championship last weekend. The finish was the highest that a Utah golfer has placed in team history.
Dunkle is the first Utah golfer to appear at the NCAA Tournament in 13 years. Dustin Pimm was the last athlete to do so in 2006.
“While Kyler didn’t finish the way he wanted to, placing in the top 30 at one of the best amateur tournaments in the world is awesome,” head coach Garrett Clegg said in a statement. “He was tremendous for us this year and set new standards of success for our program.”
While competing in the championship, Dunkle shot eight-over-par (69-71-77-79), and closed out the season averaging 71.2, the lowest on the team by 1.2 points. That number ties him for the school record. Dunkle had a total of 1,067 strokes over 15 rounds with the Utes in 12 different outings.
In addition to excelling in postseason play, Dunkle received a number of recognitions for his work during the season, including being named to the All-Pac-12 Second Team. He is the first Utah golfer to be honored by the league during the regular season.
Over the course of the season, Dunkle took home two individual titles in both the Showdown in the Rockies and the Mark Simpson Invitational. Overall, he has three career victories, which is the most of any Utah golfer in program history.
At the Pac-12 Championship, Dunkle put his name at No. 2 — the best finish for a Utah golfer ever. As a team, the Utes finished fifth, which is also their best finish since joining the Pac-12 in 2011.
During his three years at Utah, Dunkle had the three victories and six Top 5 finishes and 11 Top 10 finishes. His statistics rank him as the second best golfer in school history.
Looking back on his 2018 season, Dunkle took home a win at the Mark Simpson Colorado Invitational, and also landed in the Top 10 in three other events. He performed in 10 of the 12 events and his strokes-per-round average was 71.6, which is slightly higher than his total in the 2019 season.
In his first year with the team in 2017, Dunkle competed in all 13 events and had a 72.6 strokes-per-round average. He finished in 71st place at the Pac-12 Championship Tournament.
Dunkle graduated from Utah and will now be on the Mackenzie Tour, which is the PGA Tour Canada.