Golfers Head To NCAA Championships
WALNUT CREEK, Calif.--Six Pac-12 teams, the most from any conference, open play at the 2012 NCAA Men's Golf Championships, May 29-June 3, at The Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif. (hosted by USC). Thirty teams and six individuals will compete in the 115th NCAA Championships.
THE COURSE: The Riviera Country Club, Pacific Palisades, Calif. (par 71 - 7,279)
THE FORMAT: The 2012 NCAA Championships will see the team champion determined via match play for the fourth straight year, as 2009 was the first time the winner wasn't awarded by total strokes since 1965. The top eight teams after 54 holes of stroke play will advance to match play, with the quarterfinals being held June 1, the semifinals on June 2 and the championship match set for June 3. During the match-play portion, each match will be worth one point with all five players participating. The first team to win three points within the team match will win the match. The NCAA individual champion will be crowned after the first three-rounds of stroke play competition (May 29-May 31).
SCORING: Live scoring of the Championships will be available at www.golfstat.com.
THE PAC-12: There are six Pac-12 teams in the 30-team field, the most of any conference, followed by Conference USA (5) and the SEC (4). The past three years the Pac-12 has had the most teams in the field with 19. Nine of the 12 member institutions have competed in the NCAA Championships over the last three years. The Pac-12 has won 14 NCAA titles, including three in the last eight years - California (2004), Stanford (2007), and UCLA (2008). The Pac-12 teams in the field:
CALIFORNIA (NCAA seed No. 3): California captured the Palo Alto Regional and enter the NCAA Championship as the No. 3 seed. The Bears have claimed one NCAA title (2004). The Bears captured their first ever Pac-12 title this season. Pac-12 Coach of the Year Steve Desimone is taking the Golden Bears to their eighth appearance at the NCAA Championship and third in a row. The Bears won their lone NCAA title in 2004. California has won six of the 13 of the tournaments the Bears have played this season, doubling the school's previous record for victories. The balanced squad is paced by junior Max Homa, sophomore Brandon Hagy and freshman Michael Kim. Each post a 71.2 stroke average this season.
OREGON (NCAA seed No. 7): Oregon advances by finishing second at the Ann Arbor Regional. The Ducks claimed their eighth top-two finish among 12 stroke play events this year, including six wins. The Ducks are making their 25th appearance at the NCAA Championship and fourth since 2006. The Ducks best finish is a third-place tie in 2010. Senior Eugene Wong, the Pac-12 Player of the Year, has led the team in the final standings of five of the its 12 stroke play events. His win in the Alister MacKenzie Invitational (65-63-67-195) last fall was his third career-wise, and his school-record 18-under score was a career best by eight strokes. He averages 70.18 strokes per round, just ahead of senior teammate Daniel Miernicki (70.76).
STANFORD (NCAA seed No. 9): Stanford advances by finishing fourth at the Palo Alto Regional. The Cardinal have made six NCAA Championship appearances in his seven years. The Cardinal have claimed eight NCAA titles, most recently in 2007. Pac-12 Freshman of the Year Patrick Rodgers was one of three finalists for the Ben Hogan Award, presented annually to the top player in collegiate golf. He's been Stanford's top finisher in nine of 11 tournaments played this season and is averaging 71.35 strokes per round. Junior Andrew Yun, the Pac-12 medalist, leads the Cardinal with a 71.32 stroke average.
UCLA (NCAA seed No. 5): UCLA advanced by finishing third at the Bowling Green Regional. It's their 10th consecutive NCAA Championship appearance. UCLA as captured a pair of national championships (1988 and 2008). Sophomore Patrick Cantlay was honored as the 2012 Ben Hogan Award winner, becoming the first Bruins to win the collegiate golfer of the year award. He finished second at last year's NCAA Championship, then followed that with low amateur honors at the 2011 U.S. Open (t21) and 2012 Masters (t47) this past year. He leads the Bruins with a 71.28 scoring average, followed by junior teammate Pedro Figueiredo at 71.39
USC (NCAA seed No. 6): The Trojans captured the Ann Arbor Regional to earn their sixth consecutive NCAA Championship appearance, and 53rd overall. Only Oklahoma State (65) and Texas (58) have made more NCAA Championship appearances. The Trojans best finish at the NCAA Championships is third, achieved most recently in 2008. The Trojans are led by senior Steve Lim (71.58), junior Sam Smith (71.71) and sophomore Jeffrey Kang (71.79). As a team, USC finished in the top 10 in each of the 11 tournaments played this season, and posted top 5 finishes in 9 of the 11 tournaments.
WASHINGTON (NCAA seed No. 8): Washington was the third Pac-12 team to claim a Regional victory as the Huskies captured the Norman Regional. The Huskies reach the NCAA Championships for the ninth time in 11 years, and the 12th time overall. Washington's best finish is a third-place showing in 2005. Senior Chris Williams took home medalist honors at the Norman Regional for his sixth career victory. He paces Washington with a 70.49 scoring average, followed by freshman Cheng-Tsung Pan (71.19).