Sept. 12, 2007
OPENING DRIVE: The University of New Mexico men's golf team is set to host the William H. Tucker Invitational at the University of New Mexico Championship Course this weekend. A shotgun tee off will be held on Friday, Sept. 14, at 7:30 a.m. (M.D.T.) with 36 holes on the first day. The final round is Saturday, Sept. 15, with tee times beginning at 7:30 a.m. All of the action can be followed with live scoring via GolfStat on GoLobos.com.
This the 53rd year of the Tucker, one of the most prestigious college golf tournaments in the country. Held at the Championship Course every year since 1967, the Tucker is the second oldest collegiate tournament in the country, behind only the New England Intercollegiate Golf Tournament in Brewster, Mass.
THE COURSE: The William H. Tucker will be played on the Championship Course at the University of New Mexico. Since it was officially opened in 1967, The Championship Golf Course has been one of the finest facilities of its kind nationwide. It has been nationally recognized by Golf Digest Magazine as one of the top-25 public courses in the country, and by Golfweek Magazine as the No. 1 course to play in New Mexico. The course is still holding strong in the rankings, and was recently tabbed by Golfweek as the No. 9 collegiate course in the nation.
The Championship Course is no stranger to major tournaments. It was the site of the 1976, 1992 and 1998 NCAA Division I Men's Golf Championships as well as 1991, 1995 and 2002 NCAA West Regionals, Nationwide Tour events and the New Mexico State Open. In 1987 the course was the site of the Women's NCAA Championships and will again host the ladies championships in 2008. The Championship Course has been home to the William H. Tucker Invitational for the past 39 years, as well as being home to three Western Athletic Conference men's championships (1979, 1982, 1989).
Like most class layouts, The Championship Course flashes a personality all its own. The 7,350-yard, par 72 course boasts fairways that stretch out long and wide, bobbing up and down, both right and left - all factors that make it difficult to reach the rolling, well-manicured greens. Stray shots often land in the rough, loose desert sand, water or sagebrush.
RESULTS: Results can be found on the University of New Mexico web site at www.GoLobos.com following the conclusion of competition on each day. Live scores will also be available through GolfStat.com on GoLobos.com.
WILLIAM H. TUCKER HISTORY: The William H. Tucker Invitational turns 53 years old this season, and the invitational continues to rank among the nations most prestigious and selective in-season college golf events in the country.
The invitational is named in honor of a great English golf course architect and former University of New Mexico groundskeeper, William H. Tucker.
The invitational has been held at the Championship Course at the University of New Mexico since 1967. The event was previously held at the University of New Mexico North Course from 1955-1966.
Participants of the Tucker have been impressive, including Bobby Clampett, Tommy Armour III, Tim Herron, Duffy Waldorf, Notah Begay, Tag Ridings and Kent Jones, all members of the PGA. Tiger Woods won the tournament in his first career college event in 1994. Phil Mickelson participated in 1992. Matt Kuchar who was the 1998 U.S. Amateur Champion and a current PGA player, participated in the Tucker. 2003 NCAA Champion Alejandro Canizares of Arizona State University and 2004 NCAA Champion, 2004 U.S. Pub Links Champion and U.S. Amateur Champion Ryan Moore have been the most recent participants in the Tucker.
The Lobos have had 12 individual winners and have won the team championship nine times. Houston has the most team titles at the Tucker, winning 13 times,all before 1971.
The 72-hole record at the Tucker is held by former BYU golfer Bobby Clampett who shot a 10-under 278 in 1979. Former Lobo Tim Herron set a course record with a 62 in the final round in 1992 that still stands today.
NEW MEXICO FLAVOR: For the first time in head coach Glen Millican's tenure, three native New Mexicans were in field at once for the Lobos. Junior Steve Saunders and sophomore Brandon Putnam from Albuquerque and junior Guillermo Chavez hails from Clovis all competed at last week's Gene Miranda Falcon Invitational. Redshirt freshman Alez Zannes and freshmen James Gehrke, both from Albuquerque, give the Lobos a total of five New Mexicans on the roster.
LOBOS LOOKING TO REPEAT: UNM will be gunning for its second-consecutive Tucker trophy after winning the event last season. The Lobos shot a 10-over 874 (286-297-291) to edge BYU by one stroke and Pepperdine by three last season. Former Lobo Charlie Beljan won the individual title with a 6-under 210.
RIO GRANDE RIVALRY POINTS UP FOR GRABS AT THE TUCKER: Also on the line for New Mexico at the 2007 William H. Tucker Invitational will be the 1.5 Rio Grande Rivary points in men's golf against New Mexico State. UNM holds a 3-1.5 lead over the Aggies in the year-long all-sports competition. New Mexico earned three points with its win in football last weekend, while NMSU got 1.5 points with a win in volleyball earlier in the season.
GENE MIRANDA FALCON INVITATIONAL RECAP: UNM finished ninth at the 2007 Gene Miranda Falcon Invitational at the Eisenhower Course in Colorado Springs, Colo. New Mexico finished with a three round total of 877 (291-295-291), 25 strokes off the pace set by Iowa State (286-283-283=852) and Wichita State (288-278-286=852). UNM was led by Putnam and Sauer, both finishing tied for 19th individually at 2-over (216). Chavez tied for 45th overall with a 7-over 223 (74-74-75). Saunders was one stroke back with a 224 (73-78-73, +8) while Lestishen tied for 51st at 225 (77-72-76, +9).