Lai Selected to NCAA New Haven Regional
LOS ANGELES – Graduate Eddy Lai was selected as an individual participant to compete at the NCAA New Haven Regional, as announced the NCAA announced in its selections on Wednesday. The 54-hole stroke play event will take place from May 16-18 at Yale Golf Course in New Haven, Conn.
The 14 teams competing at the New Haven Regional by order of seed are North Carolina, Texas Tech, Wake Forest, Illinois, NC State, Charlotte, North Florida, Georgia Southern, Mississippi State, Virginia, UCF, Seton Hall, course host Yale and Sacred Heart. Joining Lai as individual competitors are Roberto Nieves (Delaware), Caleb Manuel (UConn), Adrian Vagberg (VCU) and Ryan Tall (Lafayette).
This marks Lai's third career appearance at the NCAA Regional Championships (2017-2018 and 2018-2019 seasons). Most recently, Lai placed second for the Bruins and tied for 37th overall at the NCAA Pullman Regional (par 70) in 2019 at 1-under 209 (71-67-71) to help UCLA to an eighth team finish.
In 2018, Lai shot a 7-over 223 at the NCAA Bryan Regional to round out UCLA's top five finishers. The Bruins placed fourth at the event to advance to the NCAA Championships at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla., where Lai shot a 15-over 231.
Lai has competed in all 11 of UCLA's tournaments this season and averaged a team-best 72.3 scoring average. Lai leads the Bruins with 12 under par rounds and five under par tournament finishes coming at the Southwestern Invitational (-3, 213), Amer Ari Invitational (-3, 213), Southern Highlands Collegiate (-6, 210), The Goodwin (-1, 210) and the El Macero Classic (-3, 213).
Lai has recorded three top-20 finishes this season, including one top-10 finish at the Southwestern Invitational where he tied for eighth.
Bruins at NCAA Regionals
UCLA has won five NCAA Regionals team titles (2013, 2011, 2009, 2004 and 2003) and three Bruins have medaled at the event (Patrick Cantlay – 2011, Kevin Chappell – 2006 and Travis Johnson – 2004).
UCLA has competed at the Yale Golf Course once before at the 2010 NCAA Regionals where Mario Clemens and Alex Shi Yup Kim each tied for eighth to lead the Bruins to a 3rd overall finish.
Designed by Charles Blair Macdonald—renowned golf course architect, champion golfer and co-founder of the USGA—and opened for play in 1926, the Yale Golf Course is recognized globally as an exemplar of early American course design. The 6,749-yard, par-70 course features large and deeply bunkered greens and narrow fairways that challenge golfers at all levels of play. Two of the holes—the 432-yard par-4 fourth and the 238-yard par 3 ninth—have been ranked among the world's 100 most difficult holes.
There are six regionals – three of which have 13 teams and 10 individuals and three with 14 teams and five individuals. The top five teams (30 teams total) and the low individual not on an advancing team (six individuals total) from each regional site will advance to play in the championships at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz., on May 27- June 1.