MARANA, Az. — Three strong days of play in the desert yielded a trip to Eugene, Oregon – site of the NCAA Men’s Golf Championship for CUSA Coach of The Year Alan Murray and squad. The Blazers competed against 13 of the best college golf teams in the country in the Tucson Regional, which boasted nine top 50 ranked teams.
The drama for lowest team average ended quickly. By the end of day one, the Stanford golf team had shot a collective -14 under, nine shots better than second placed UAB. To give a little background of Stanford’s dominance in college golf this season, the second place team in the PAC 12 championship, California (Also in this regional), lost to The Cardinal by 29 strokes. Stanford’s five man team consists of the #2, #29, and #79 ranked players in the nation.
As the next two days played out, Stanford’s lead grew larger and the fight for the other four advancing spots was on. After finishing second the first day, the Blazers dropped no further than fourth during the final two rounds. Advancing with UAB and #1 Stanford is #24 Oregon, #13 California, and #12 Wake Forest.
Lee Hodges Shines Among College’s Best
The Blazers were lead this season in stroke average by sophomores Lee Hodges and Taylor Eyster who both made the CUSA first team list. Coming into the NCAA Regionals, Eyster had the hot hand earning first place at the CUSA Men’s Golf Championship and leading the Blazers to a first place finish in stroke play. However, is was Hodges who led the way for UAB at the Tucson Regional as Eyster finished +10 overall after 3 rounds.
Of the 75 participants in the Tucson Regional, Lee Hodges finished tied for fourth overall with a score of -6. The stellar sophomore bested Palmer Cup participants David Boote (Stanford) and Will Zalatoris (Wake Forest) and finished just four strokes behind #2 ranked Maverick McNealy (Stanford). Hodges score of 67 in the second round was the overall low round of the day at the regional.
On To Eugene
UAB and 29 other college teams will compete for the NCAA Division 1 Men’s Golf Championship at the Eugene Country Club. This is the eighth NCAA championship appearance in program history. The format of the championship is a stroke play team competition. After 54 holes, the top 8 teams are seeded and will compete in a match play playoff to determine the overall champion.
NCAA Division 1 Men’s Golf Championship Schedule