O'Loughlin Earns NCAA Regional Invitational
BOULDER — University of Colorado senior Daniel O'Loughlin earned an individual berth into the NCAA Men's Golf Regionals, but will play solo as the Buffaloes as a team missed qualifying.
O'Loughlin will compete in the Albuquerque regional, set for May 17-19 at the University of New Mexico's Championship Golf Course. He has played the course three times as a Buff in UNM's Tucker Invitational, where he has averaged 72.67 strokes for nine rounds, with his best finish a tie for ninth in 2019 (214, -2).
He is in second go-round as a senior, which many have tagged as being a "super senior" due to the extra year of eligibility the NCAA granted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He will graduate tomorrow from CU with a degree in Geography. In the Pac-12 honors that will be released later this week, he earned second-team All-Conference accolades from the league coaches.
The NCAA utilized the GolfStat rankings to select 51 at-large teams (there are 30 conference champions as automatic qualifiers) and 45 individuals to participate in six regionals across the country; the Buffs were ranked No. 79 in those rankings. Northwestern was the lowest ranked team (65th) to earn a bid.
Since the inception of the regionals in 1989, Colorado has qualified as a team on 22 occasions and will now have sent an individual six times; O'Loughlin is the first individual to be selected twice. He tied for 46th two years ago in Pullman, Wash., turning in a 68-75-79—212 score (2-over par). He is looking to become the first Buff selected individually to advance to the NCAA Finals; to do so, he needs to be the highest finisher either not attached to one of the five advancing teams as well as defeat four other invited individuals also competing.
"It's a tremendous honor for Daniel to be selected to play in a regional," said CU head coach Roy Edwards. "It will be awesome to see a great career continue. We were just outside of being selected as a team, so it's great to see Daniel represent us to go and compete in the NCAA's. It should be a great course for him, it takes a lot of knowledge to play that course well. While we're disappointed to not make it as a team, Daniel is in a great position to play well and go on a good run."
O'Loughlin is CU's leader in 17 statistical categories, including stroke average (71.23), which currently is the eighth-best mark in the Pac-12 Conference. He is the only player in school history with at least two seasons with sub-72.0 stroke averages, and he recorded three: 71.54 as a sophomore (fourth-best overall), 71.90 as a junior (tied for ninth), 71.65 in first crack as a senior (fifth) and is looking to do it a fourth time this year (the 71.23 mark is sitting in the third spot on CU's all-time best list, so in the end, he will own four of CU's top 10 season averages). It has him in contention to become the school's all-time stroke average leader, as his 71.63 mark is currently ahead of Jeremy Paul, who is in the books with a 71.72 career mark from 2013-17.
Also in school annals, he is third in rounds in the 60s (35), subpar rounds (55) and in rounds of par or better (65); he's fourth in rounds counting toward CU's team score (109 of 115, or 94.8 percent). In 42 career events, he has been under par 19 times and was even-par in two others and is collectively just 3-over par in 120 rounds. He has played 2,160 holes as Buff, and has just 43 worse than bogey (40 doubles, three triples), or 1.99 percent.
Eight Pac-12 schools qualified for the NCAA Championships: Arizona State (No. 12), Arizona (No. 20), Stanford (No. 31), Washington (No. 37), Oregon State (No. 41), Utah (No. 54), Oregon (No. 57) and Southern California (No. 59).