May 29, 2007
OPENING DRIVE: The University of New Mexico men's golf team is in Williamsburg, Va., for the 2007 NCAA Championships. Play begins Wednesday at the 6,817-yard par-71 Golden Horseshoe Golf Club. UNM tees off at 6:07 a.m. MDT on Wednesday and 11:17 a.m. on Thursday. The NCAA Championships is a four-round event hosted by Virginia Commonwealth University. The Lobos are making their 30th appearance in the NCAA Championships and the fifth showing in the six-year tenure of head coach Glen Millican.
The Lobos advanced to the NCAAs by placing eighth at the NCAA West Regional in Tempe, Ariz. UNM shot a season-low 833 in the three round tournament and was the only unranked team to finish in the top-10. Senior Charlie Beljan led the way with a 13-under 203 to tie for seventh overall.
The schedule calls for 18 holes each day with tee times each morning. Participants will play practice rounds on May 28-29 prior to the opening round.
THE COURSE: The NCAA Championships will be played on the Golden Horseshoe Golf Club in Williamsburg, Va. Opened in 1963 and the work of Robert Trent Jones Sr., who called it his "finest design," this is one of the best examples of traditional golf course architecture in the world. The NCAAs will be played on the 6,817-yard par-71 Gold Course, one of three 18-hole courses at the Golden Horseshoe. For more information on the course and the layout, visit www.GoldenHorseshoeGolf.com.
RESULTS: Live scores and results can be found on the University of New Mexico website at www.golobos.com.
NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP FIELD: Following the three regional tournaments, the field is set for the 2007 NCAA Division I Men's Golf Championships. The 30 squads participating in the team championship include Alabama, Arizona, Arizona State, Auburn, Charlotte, Coastal Carolina, Duke, East Tennessee State, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia State, Georgia Tech, Lamar, Louisville, Michigan State, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma State, South Carolina, Southern California, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas, Texas Tech, Tulsa, UCLA, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest. Along with the 150 players from the above schools, six additional golfers will battle for the individual title, including Daniel Summerhays of Brigham Young, Kyle Stanley of Clemson, Chance Piptone of Pennsylvania, Zach Sucher of UAB, Tim Streng of Western Illinois and Dan Woltman of Wisconsin.
BELJAN NAMED MWC MEN'S GOLFER OF THE YEAR: The MWC announced its 2007 men's golf all-conference team and individual awards at the conclusion of its championship at the OMNI Tucson National Golf Course and Resort on April 28. New Mexico senior Charlie Beljan was selected as player of the year. Beljan ranked fourth in the Mountain West Conference with a 70.69 stroke average. He recorded six top-10 finishes in 2006-07, including three tournament titles, and ranks 10th nationally according to GolfWeek.com. Beljan was named MWC Freshman of the Year in 2004 and is the first Lobo to capture conference golfer of the year accolades since Michael Letzig in 2003.
LOBOS PEAKING AT THE RIGHT TIME: The Lobos seem to be peaking at the right time, setting numerous career and season low marks at the NCAA West Regional. The team's opening round 275 was the lowest of the season and tied for the seventh lowest score in school history. The three-round total of 833 was also the lowest of the year and the fourth lowest 54-hole total in Lobo history. Each individual also set or tied a season or career-low at the NCAA West Regional, including: Beljan's opening round 65 tied his career-low 18-hole score Saunders' third round 67 tied his career-low for 18 holes...his 54-hole total of 204 was the lowest ofhis career Bierbaum's 69 in the final round was a career-low Geyer had a season-low 69 in the opening round Nielsen's 1-under 215 was his season-low for 54 holes
BELJAN NAMED MWC MEN'S GOLFER OF THE MONTH (April): New Mexico senior Charlie Beljan was selected Mountain West Conference Men's Golfer of the Month for April. Beljan finished all three April tournaments under par, beginning with the National Invitational Tournament April 2-3. The Mesa, Ariz., native placed 16th and shot a one-under 215 (68-75-72) on the 7,200-yard Omni Tucson National Course. A week later, Beljan earned medalist honors at the ASU Thunderbird Invite in Tempe, Ariz. It was his third win of the season with a 15-under par three-round total of 201 (66-67-68). His opening round score of 66 on the 7,057-yard Karsten Course tied a career low for 18 holes. His 54-hole total of 201 also was a career low. In Beljan's last outing at the PING BYU Cougar Classic at Riverside Country Club in Provo, Utah on April 19-21, he carded two rounds of 67 and a round of 73 on the way to a third place finish. Beljan shot a 54-hole total of nine-under 207 (67-73-67) on the 7,001-yard course. Seven of Beljan's nine rounds in April were par or better and six were under 70. He shot an average of 69.22 per 18 holes. He is currently ranked No. 11 in the nation in the GolfWeek.com rankings and holds fourth in the league in shooting average at 70.46. This is Beljan's second MWC Golfer of the Month honor this season.
BELJAN NAMED TO HOGAN WATCH LIST: Charlie Beljan was named to the 2007 Ben Hogan Award watch list announced by the Colonial Country Club and The Friends of Golf (FOG) in cooperation with the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA). The most prestigious award in men's college golf, The Hogan is presented annually to the top men's NCAA Division I, II or III, NAIA or junior college golfer taking into account all collegiate and amateur competitions during the last 12 months.
NCAA WEST REGIONAL RECAP: The Lobos shot a 12-under 276 in the final round of the NCAA West Regional to advance to the NCAA Championships. UNM finished eighth with a three round total of 833, 31 strokes under par (275-282-276). No. 36 South Carolina won the event at 44-under at the Karsten Course in Tempe, Ariz. New Mexico was the only unranked team to finish in the top-10. The top-10 teams from each regional advanced to the NCAA Championships in Williamsburg, Va., May 30-June 2. Beljan led the Lobos with a 13-under total of 203 (65-68-70). He tied for seventh in the individual race, posting a 70 in today's round. Beljan carded three birdies and one bogey in his final round. Saunders had the low round for UNM today, carding a 67. Saunders started out hot with birdies on five of his first eight holes. His 67 today ties a career low, having posted the same score at the Karsten Course in the ASU Thunderbird Invitational earlier in the season. He posted a three-round total of 204 (68-69-67, -12) to finish tied for 10th. Bierbaum had a solid final round, shooting a career-low 69. Starting on the back nine, he birdied three of his first five holes to get to three under. A round-killing double-par on the par-3 16th could have ruined his good start. However, Bierbaum strung together three-straight birdies to get back to 3-under. He finished with a 219 total (74-76-69, +3) after three rounds. Nielsen shot a 2-under 70 today to finish with a 215 total (73-72-70, -1), tying his lowest 54-hole total of the season. Sophomore Nick Geyer finished with a 71 today. He shot a 213 (69-73-71, -3) for the tournament setting a personal season-low for 54 holes.
MWC CHAMPIONSHIP RECAP: New Mexico finished the 2007 Moutain West Conference Championships in sixth place today with a three-round total of 865 (289-287-289), 13 strokes over par. BYU won the MWC title at 6-under (272-288-276=846) at the 7,136-yard, par-71 Tucson National Golf Club in Tucson, Ariz. UNM had its streak of four straight MWC Championships snapped by the Cougars. Saunders led the way with a 68 in today's final round. Saunders tied for fourth overall with a 3-under total of 210 (73-68-69) for the tournament. TCU's Robby Ormand and San Diego State's Adam Porzak tied for medalist honors at 6-under. Beljan finished with an even par score of 213 (72-68-73) to tie for ninth place. Despite having the worst finish of his career at the MWC Championships, Beljan still managed to finish in the top-10 all four years of his Lobo career. He was also named the 2007 MWC Men's Golf Player of the Year following the tournament. Nielsen had a solid tournament, posting a 2-over 215 (70-76-69). His final round of 69 was a season low. Bierbaum finished 14-over (74-75-78=227) while sophomore Parker Pemberton posted a three-round total of 237 (79-78-80=237, +24).