Biwer Garners Pac-12 Honors, NCAA Regional Invitation
BOULDER — University of Colorado freshman golfer Justin Biwer has been named to both the Pac-12 Conference's All-Freshman Team as well as its All-Conference second team, the league announced Wednesday. Both teams were selected by the conference coaches.
On Wednesday afternoon, he also found out that he will represent the Buffaloes as an individual in the NCAA regionals, as he will play in the Norman Regional, May 16-18. He is the fourth-seeded individual out of 10 invited to Oklahoma's Jimmie Austin Golf Club and is the first Buff freshman to earn an individual berth since Rick Cramer in 1979.
"Three tremendous honors for Justin," CU head coach Roy Edwards said. "He has come in right away and has established himself as one of the top players in the Pac-12, and the coaches have recognized that. It is well deserving for him as he has had one of the best freshman campaigns in CU golf history. Justin is well-liked, hard-working and highly competitive.
"Also a great honor for him also to be selected for regionals," Edwards added. "It's the 10th straight year we've had a team or individual selected. For a freshman coming in to be selected is especially a terrific accomplishment." Biwer will become the 11th freshman under Edwards to play in the NCAA's."
Biwer set several freshman records, most notably currently owning the best stroke average – 70.61 – nearly two strokes better than the previous mark of 72.51 set by Jeremy Paul during the 2013-14 season. He also set frosh marks for subpar rounds (20), rounds of par or better (22) and rounds in the 60s (12), all of which rank third overall. He was also under par in eight of 10 tournaments, one shy of the school's overall mark but a freshman best, and had a ninth where he finished even par. His seven top 20 finishes also were the most by a CU rookie, besting Paul's six that '13-14 season.
Biwer owned the best stroke average of all Pac-12 freshmen, owned the most rounds in the 60s, subpar rounds and par or better scores and tied for the most top 20 finishes, the latter with Arizona State's Preston Summerhays, who won the conference's Freshman of the Year honor. He had a stroke average of 71.38 with nine rounds in the 60s, 12 subpar scores and 16 round of par or better; he topped Biwer in wins (1-0) and top 10 efforts (5-2), but matched his seven top 20 finishes.
Biwer finished fifth at last week's Pac-12 Championships, finishing with a 1-under 283 score and was the only player to shoot in the 60s the last two rounds. He was the second freshman overall, finishing a stroke behind ASU's Jose Ballester while Summerhays was the fourth freshman and ninth overall (1-over 285). He had the better national ranking as the Sun Devils played one of the nation's toughest schedules and had the opportunity to face off against more top players; he was 88-106-12 against the top 100, while Biwer was 17-41-3.
"Finding out that I made the All-Freshman team and also second-team All-Pac-12 was really cool," Biwer said. "It reflects my entire season and for those honors and the length that it took to achieve those. But the season isn't over, and hopefully I have one more tournament after this one. That's definitely my goal."
Biwer is the second Buff to make the Pac-12's All-Freshman Team, joining Paul who did so in 2013-14. Paul also earned second-team All-Pac-12 honors that same year, the only other freshman to earn all-conference accolades on any team level. The only other freshmen to earn all-league honors were Steve Jones (1977-78) and Cramer (1978-79) when the Buffs were members of the Big Eight Conference.
He was also named CU's Male Athlete of the Year at last week's CUSPY's (CU Sports Performers of the Year). If he were to advance out of regionals, he would become the sixth Buffs to participate in the NCAA Finals as a freshman, the first since Matt Zions in 1999. Several have played in regionals, the last being Victor Bjorlow in 2017.
MAX EARNS MR. BUFFALO AWARD
At Colorado's annual banquet Tuesday night, senior Kristoffer Max was named the recipient of the team's "Mr. Buffalo Award." The criteria by design is broad, but comes down to what the players, coaches and select support staff who vote think best represents what it means to be a Colorado Buffalo and "Who helps make us all better the most?"
Max lettered four years and played in 33 tournaments; he owned a 73.92 stroke average for 101 rounds, 29 of which were par or better. He won one event and had five top 20 finishes overall. He will graduate Thursday, along with fellow senior John Paterson, with a degree in Business (Finance).