Utah Golf Selected to Compete at Norman Regional
SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah men's golf team has qualified for the 2022 NCAA Division I Men's Golf Norman Regional, hosted by the University of Oklahoma. The regional will take place May 16-18, at the Jimmie Austin Golf Club in Norman, Okla. This marks the second consecutive year the Utes have qualified as a team and the fourth time in program history.
"It's great to be heading back to regionals again for the second consecutive season," head coach Garrett Clegg said. "We have been extremely consistent this year and we need to be ready to compete in a couple of weeks! We are looking to make a push to get to the NCAA Championship!"
Regionals will be broken up into six sites with three having 13 teams and 10 individuals competing while the other three will have 14 teams and five individuals. The top-five teams (30 teams total) and the low individual not on an advancing team from each regional site (six individuals total) will advance to the NCAA Championships played at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz., from May 27 to June 1.
In the 13-team field at the Norman Regional, No. 49 Utah will join No. 1 Oklahoma, No. 7 Texas, No. 18 Auburn, No. 24 South Carolina, No. 26 Ole Miss, No. 36 Louisville, No. 37 Missouri, No. 50 San Diego State, No. 63 Kent State, No. 64 Kansas State, No. 186 UT Martin and No. 247 Rider University.
In seven of the 11 tournaments this season, the Utes have stuck with a consistent starting five of seniors Blake Tomlinson and Tristan Mandur, sophomore Javier Barcos, red shirt freshman Martín León and true freshman Braxton Watts. Utah finished outside of the top-10 just once this season and finished in the top-5 eight times.
Tomlinson and Watts are fresh off earning Pac-12 All-Conference honors this morning and paced the Utes during the 2022 Pac-12 Championships a week ago, helping the team earn their second-best finish (T-8th) at the conference championships since joining the Pac-12. Both posted a historical tournament in their own regard as Tomlinson's 72-hole score of 284 (E) is the third-lowest at a conference championship on record at Utah and Watts earned the highest finish by a freshman in program history at the Pac-12 Championship, placing T-28th.
Mandur kicked off his senior campaign at the Maui Jim Invitational and led the Utes shooting 3-under (67) in two of the three rounds. He finished with the fifth-lowest 54-hole score on record at Utah (202, -8). Mandur saw his best finish three tournaments later at the Oregon State Invite, shooting 4-under (209) to claim third-place. This was his highest finish since qualifying for the NCAA Championship in the 2020-2021 season.
Leon made his season debut at the Mark Simpson Invitational and turned some heads, being just one of two golfers at the tournament to set a record for the lowest 18-hole individual score shooting 9-under (63) in the first round. This tied for the second-lowest 18-hole score on record at Utah and he finished the tournament carding 9-under (207), as the second-highest ranking Ute. Leon followed up his impressive debut at the Notre Dame Collegiate, finishing in T-6th after carding a 5-under (205). This was Leon's best 54-hole score and ties for the fifth best at Utah.
Utah's best individual finish came from Barcos at the Notre Dame Collegiate earlier this season. Barcos led the team shooting 11-under (199) to finish in second place, the lowest 54-hole individual score on record at Utah. Barcos shot 3-under (67) in the first round and in round two remained consistent once again shooting 3-under enabling him to climb the leader board five spots to tie with four other golfers for first. In the third and final round, Barcos took his game to another level recording his second lowest 18-hole individual score by shooting 5-under (65) to secure the second-place finish.
As a team, the Utes' highest finish came at both the Mark Simpson Invitational (T-2nd) and Duck Invitational (2nd). Utah was locked in at the Mark Simpson, opening up the tournament shooting a blistering 18-under (270) for their second-lowest 18-hole team score. In the second round the team kept up their strong play by shooting 16-under (272), placing them in second overall with a tournament score of 34-under (545), the second-lowest 36-hole score since 1990. The Utes went on to post a final tournament score of 828 (-36), the third-lowest 54-hole team score on record at Utah.
At the Duck Invitational, four Utes placed inside the top-10 to propel them to the second-place finish and top third-ranked Arizona State (at the time) by 19 strokes. A second-round score of 270 (-14), tied for the second-lowest 18-hole team score, helped increase the gap from ASU.