Sept. 10, 2003
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The University of New Mexico men's golf team opens its 2003-04 season hosting the 48th annual William H. Tucker Intercollegiate at the University of New Mexico Championship Golf Course, which measures 7,354 yards and is a par 72. Play begins Friday, September 12 and concludes Saturday, September 13. Teams will play 54 holes total, 36 on Friday with a shotgun start at 7:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. On Saturday the final 18 holes will begin with tee times at 7:30 a.m.
THE FIELD: The William H. Tucker consists of 20 teams, six of which played in the 2003 NCAA Championships: Arizona State (6), UNLV (13), North Carolina State (15), Arizona (17), New Mexico (24) and San Diego State (28). The field also includes eight more teams who qualified for the NCAA Regionals: Baylor, Brigham Young, Colorado State, Pepperdine, Stanford, Texas A&M, Texas Tech and Toledo. Individually, the Tucker will have four top ten finishers from the 2003 NCAA Championships, which include defending national champion Alejandro Canizares and Chez Reavie (9) from Arizona State, Jason Moon (t10) from North Carolina State and Michael Puntnam (t10) from Pepperdine.
COMPLETE 2003 FIELD: Air Force, Arizona, Arizona State, Baylor, Brigham Young, Colorado, Colorado State, Hawaii, UNLV, New Mexico, New Mexico J.V., New Mexico State, North Carolina State, Pepperdine, San Diego State, Stanford, UTEP, Texas A&M Texas Tech and Toledo.
THE COURSE: The William H. Tucker will be played at the University of New Mexico Championship Golf Course, which measures 7,354 yards and is a par 72.
RESULTS: Results from the William H. Tucker can be found on the UNM website at www.GoLobos.com as soon as is possible following play both Friday and Saturday.
TUCKER HISTORY: The William H. Tucker Invitational turns 48 years old this season, and the tournament continues to rank among the nation's most prestigious and selective in-season college golf events in the country. The Tucker is the second-oldest college golf tournament in the country, behind only the New England Intercollegiate Golf Tournament. The tourney is named in honor of a great English golf course architect and former UNM grounds-keeper, William H. Tucker. Held at The Championship Course since 1967, the event was previously held at the UNM North Golf Course from 1955-1966. The year 1983 marked a first for the Tucker and collegiate golf when the William H. Tucker Invitational became associated with a charitable organization: The American Cancer Society (a beneficiary of tournament profits the last 18 years). From 1955 through 1988 the tournament was a 72-hole format. Only the last 13 Tucker's have been adapted to a 54-hole structure, conforming with current NCAA standard. The host Lobos have won the Tucker on seven separate occasions, ranging from the school's first title in the tournament's inaugural year, 1955, to UNM's most recent, coming this fall. The University of Houston has captured the most Tucker titles, winning 13, all between 1957-1970. The field for the Tucker is typically championship-caliber, and 2002 was no different. UNLV, Pepperdine, Brigham Young, Arizona and New Mexico highlighted one of the elite tournaments in the nation last year, with the Lobos taking the team title for the second year in a row. Former Lobo Michael Letzig won the individual title.
THE TUCKER AND CAMP ENCHANTMENT: Since 1983, the William H. Tucker Invitational has been working in conjunction with the American Cancer Society in an effort to raise money to benefit cancer victims in the state of New Mexico. Beginning in 1986, proceeds from the Tucker went into a program called Camp Enchantment, which provided sick children the opportunity to forget about their affliction for a week and enjoy life through friendships and discoveries in a safe and supportive environment. Each year, the American Cancer Society sponsors the week-long camp for children diagnosed with cancer. Between 70 and 80 children between the ages of seven and 16 make the pilgrimage to locations such as Taos and Alamogordo in anticipation of seven days of laughter and new adventures. The program is free to all families and subsists thanks to contributions from such entities as the William H. Tucker Invitational. While at Camp Enchantment, children are able to forget about treatments, forget about being different and just be kids. Enduring friendships are formed as campers share their experiences, even after camp has ended. The camp builds self esteem and confidence. The week-long experience allows community volunteers and underwriters to provide the children with new experiences and challenges. Caring and qualified volunteer counselors encourage everyone to stretch their abilities and learn new skills. Activities include swimming, horseback riding, arts and crafts, hiking, bowling, skating, rafting, ballooning, archery and field games. In 1997, the Tucker helped raise over $17,000 for Camp Enchantment and the American Cancer Society, and the figure was almost $18,000 in 1998. To further the link between the tournament and the Cancer Society, a group of trees at the practice area on the Championship Golf Course have been dedicated in the memory of the children who have died after attending Camp Enchantment. A plaque commemorating the event was dedicated on September 16, 1998.
RECENT PARTICIPANTS OF THE TUCKER: The Tucker has seen current PGA star Tiger Woods (top left) of Stanford, who won the tournament in his first career college event in 1994; current PGA pro Matt Kuchar (top right) of Georgia Tech, who was the 1998 U.S. Amateur Champion and finished in the top-10 of the 1998 Masters; and rookie professionals Michael Letzig (bottom left) of New Mexico and Ricky Barnes (bottom right) of Arizona who finished first and third, respectively, in 2002.
TUCKER TIDBITS: The 72-hole record at the Tucker is held by former Brigham Young golfer Bobby Clampett. Clampett fired a 278 (-10) in 1979. Tim Herron (New Mexico) set a course and Tucker record with a 62 in 1992 . His 54-hole total of 201 was also a Tucker record.