Missura Leads Pioneers to Strong Finish at Bandon Dunes

University of Denver Bandon Dunes Invitational

The team’s runner-up finish is the best of the season.

Behind the strong play of redshirt freshman Esteban Missura—who started Tuesday’s final round of the Bandon Dunes Championship in first place and finished tied for third—the University of Denver golf team locked up its best finish of the year by taking second.

The Pioneers shook off the elements to fire a final-round total of 303, 15-over-par on the 6,954-yard, par-72 Bandon Dunes Course.

Overall, DU (18-over) was six shots behind Utah, who took home the team title at 12-over. The second-place finish was the highest by the Crimson and Gold since taking second at the Summit League Championship last year.

Denver picked up some impressive head-to-head wins with its stellar performance over the last three days, including five victories over Power-5 schools (Ohio State, No. 19 NC State, No. 32 Oregon, Oregon State and Washington State) and a win against No. 10 SMU.

“Couldn’t be more proud of these guys,” head coach Erik Billinger said. “Today was extremely tough conditions with high winds, rain and several delays that included two due to hail.”

 

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Incredible week for the team and @estebanmissura! Runner-Up finish as a team and a tie for 3rd for Esteban! #PioneerTogether

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“We’ll close the deal next time”

Missura, an Ecuadorian who at 16 made the cut in the PGA Tour Latinomérica Ecuador Open, recorded his best finish of his collegiate career, tying for third with a 54-hole score of even par (216). His third-place finish was the best by a Crimson and Gold player since Petter Mikalsen won individual medalist honors at the Paintbrush Invitational in October 2016.

“Hats off to Esteban as he played incredible this week and almost nailed down his first collegiate win as a freshman,” Billinger said of the Ecuador native. “I told the guys that we will learn a ton from this experience and close the deal next time. We will to continue to focus on getting better.”

Missura putting
After a second-round 5-under 67, Esteban Missura held the lead going into the final round. (Photo courtesy of DU Athletics)

Billinger went with the lineup of Cal McCoy, John Sand, Roy Kang, Eric Hagen and Missura.

McCoy ended his tournament tied for 19th with a 54-hole total of 5-over. The Highlands Ranch native’s final-day 2-over was the lowest round by a Pioneer on the afternoon. Sand wrapped up his tournament in a tie for 33rd at 8-over. Hagen tied for 55th, Kang for 79th.

Denver returns to the Bandon for the Duck Invitational on Mar. 25. Oregon should fare better in its tournament than the host school of the Bandon Dunes Invitational. Gonzaga University tied for 16th in the 17-team field at 63-over-par.


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