Lobos Start NCAA Championship Run Today
TEEING OFF: The University of New Mexico men's golf team begins play in the 2003 NCAA Championships on Tuesday, May 27, in Stillwater, Okla. The four-day tournament runs through Friday, May 30, and will be played at Karsten Creek, hosted by Oklahoma State University. The field is comprised of 30 teams and six individuals. The Lobos, ranked 17th in the Golfweek poll, qualified for the NCAA Championships by tying for fifth place at the NCAA West Regionals in Auburn, Wash. on May 17. UNM is back in the NCAA Championships for the second consecutive season and the 12th time in the last 14 seasons.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS: The following is UNM's itinerary for the week in Oklahoma at the 2003 NCAA Men's Golf Championships:
Saturday, May 24Depart for Stillwater, Okla.
Sunday, May 25Practice round - 11:00 a.m. (MDT)
Monday, May 26Practice round - 7:00 a.m. (MDT)
Tuesday, May 27First round, 6:00 a.m. (MDT)
UNM will be paired with Wake Forest & Kentucky
Wednesday, May 28Second round, 11:30 a.m. (MDT)
UNM will be paired with Wake Forest & Kentucky
Thursday, May 29Third round, TBA Tee times run from 6:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. (MDT)
Friday, June 1Final round, TBA Tee times run from 6:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. (MDT)
Saturday, June 2Return to Albuquerque
THE COURSE: The NCAA Championships are being hosted by Oklahoma State University and played at Karsten Creek in Stillwater, Okla. Designed by Tom Fazio, Karsten Creek earned a five-star rating by Golf Digest in 1998. The course plays to a par-72 and measures over 7,100 yards.
THE FIELD: The NCAA Championships consist of 30 teams and six individuals which all qualified through regional play May 15-17. Twenty-three of the teams are ranked in the Golfweek Top-25. The field consists of (ranking in parentheses): Clemson (1), Florida (2), Wake Forest (3), Texas (4), Oklahoma State (5), Arizona (6), Augusta State (7), UNLV (8), UCLA (9), North Carolina (10), Georgia (12), Georgia Tech (13), Auburn (14), Minnestoa (15), Arizona State (16), New Mexico (17), North Carolina State (18), Tennessee (19), Illinois (20), Washington (22), Arkansas (23), South Carolina (24), Duke (25), Southern Caifornia (27), San Diego State (31), Vanderbilt (32), SMU (33), Oregon (40), Kentucky (41), and Wichita State (54).
RESULTS: Results for the 2003 NCAA Men's Golf Championships can be obtained at www.golobos.com after each round of play. Live scoring is available at www.golfstatlive.com. For more information on Karsten Creek visit www.okstate.com.
LOBO LINEUP: The UNM fivesome will consist of the following student-athletes (2002-03 stroke average in parentheses): Michael Letzig (70.78), Ian Medlock (73.50), Jay Reynolds (73.88), Madalitso Muthiya (73.55), and Jay Choi (73.06).
2002-2003 UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO MEN'S GOLF ROSTER |Name|Ht|Wt|Class|Hometown (High School)|Stroke Avg.| |Michael Letzig|6-3|175|Sr-3L|Richmond, Mo. (Richmond HS)|70.78| |Ian Medlock|6-3|175|Jr-2L|Thousand Oaks, Calif. (Westlake HS)|73.50| |Madalitso Muthiya|5-8|150|So-1L|Lusaka, Zambia|73.55| |Jay Reynolds|6-2|190|So-1L|Austin, Texas (Stephen F. Austin HS)|73.88| |Jay Choi|5-11|185|Fr-HS|Cerritos, Calif. (Gahr HS)|73.06|
Head Coach:Glen Millican (New Mexico `98 - 2nd year) Assistant Coach:Ryan Murphy (New Mexico `97 - 2nd year)
LOBOS VS. THE FIELD: UNM has already faced several of the teams competing in the NCAA Championships. A look at how the Lobos have done against the field in the 2002-03 season: |Arkansas|0-1-0| |Arizona|1-6-0| |Arizona State|1-3-2| |Auburn|1-0-0| |Augusta St.|0-1-0| |Clemson|0-1-0| |Florida|1-0-0| |Georgia|0-2-0| |Georgia Tech|0-2-0| |Minnesota|2-0-0| |N.C. State|0-1-0| |Oklahoma St.|0-2-0| |Oregon|4-0-0| |San Diego St.|3-2-1| |Southern Cal|3-3-0| |SMU|3-0-0| |Texas|2-3-0| |UCLA|2-2-0| |UNLV|4-4-0| |Wake Forest|0-1-0| |Washington|2-0-0| |Total:|29-34-3|
HEAD COACH GLEN MILLICAN: The Lobos began the 2001-02 season with a new head coach in former player Glen Millican. Millican was named UNM's seventh coach since World War II on June 25, 2001, replacing J.T. Higgins, who departed for Texas A&M after four years in the Cherry and Silver. During his first season guiding the Lobos, Millican took UNM to the NCAA West Regional Championship and a 26th place finish at the NCAA Championships in 2002. The 27-year old Millican served as the Lobos' assistant from 1998-2001, following his graduation from UNM in 1998. He was a four-year letterwinner for the Lobos and played in the 1997 NCAA Championships. Millican was an Academic All-American in 1997. He is assisted by another former Lobo, Ryan Murphy (UNM `97), who is also in his second season with UNM. Murphy was a four-year letterwinner for the Lobos and competed in the NCAA Championships in each of his seasons (1993-96). The 29-year old Lovington, N.M. native was an Academic All-American in 1996 and has been playing professionally the last few years.
NEW MEXICO BACK IN THE BIG DANCE: UNM is returning to the NCAA Men's Golf Championships for the second consecutive season and the 12th time in the past 14 years. The Lobos did not qualify for nationals in 2001, finishing tied for 19th of 27 in the West Regional. However, last season the Lobos won the NCAA West Regional which was held at the South Championship Course in Albuquerque. This year, New Mexico finished tied for fifth place overall at the NCAA West Regionals, with senior Michael Letzig firing an eight-under-par 208 to take home the individual championship. Prior to 2002, UNM had missed the NCAA Championships twice in three years - something that had not happened since 1982-84. The Lobos have now advanced to the NCAA Championships 12 times in the last 14 years. Through the 1998 Championships, New Mexico was one of just eight schools to have made at least nine straight NCAA Championship appearances from 1990-98. UNM has advanced to the national championships 27 times in the 37 years since 1967, and the Lobos have been represented at the NCAAs either as a team or by an individual in 42 of the last 47 seasons.
NCAA HISTORY: UNM made its first team showing at the NCAA Championships in 1967, when it finished T9th. The Lobos top NCAA showing was in 1973, when they finished fourth, 21 shots behind champion Florida. New Mexico has eight top-10 finishes in its NCAA history, most recently in 1996, when it tied for sixth in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Individually, Tommy Armour III and Paul Simson have finished the highest in school history. Armour shot 289 (+1) in 1981 at Stanford to finish tied for fifth, while Simson shot 287 (-1) in 1973 at Oklahoma State to also tie for fifth. UNM has hosted the NCAA Championships on four occasions: 1950, 1976, 1992 and 1998. Only Ohio State (10 times) has hosted more National Championships.
LOBOS IN THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS: Three of the Lobos on this year's squad have NCAA Championship experience. Senior Michael Letzig has competed in two NCAA Championships, in 2000 and 2002. As a freshman, Letzig made the cut and finished tied for 34th with a four-round total of two-under-par 286. Last season, Letzig shot a nine-over-par 293, finishing tied for 80th overall. Sophomores Jay Reynolds and Madalitso Muthiya both played in the 2002 NCAA Championships. Muthiya shot a +14, 298, tying for 117th place. Reynolds finished with a +15, 299, which tied him for 124th place. A look at how those players fared in their NCAA appearances: |Year|Player|Score|+/- Par|Finish| |2000|Michael Letzig|71-71-72-72286|-2|T34th| |2002|Michael Letzig|76-71-73-73293|+9|T80th| |2002|Madalitso Muthiya|72-72-75-79298|+14|T117th| |2002|Jay Reynolds|74-76-77-72299|+15|T124th|
LOBO RANKINGS: New Mexico is currently ranked 17th in the latest Golfweek poll. Individual rankings include Michael Letzig (19), Jay Reynolds (172), Jay Choi (136), Madalitso Muthiya (224), and Ian Medlock (284).
CONFERENCE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Senior Michael Letzig won the 2003 Mountain West Conference Tournament in Bend, Oregon earlier this season, giving him the MWC Player-of-the-Year Honors. In the MWC Championships, he shot a three-round total of 210, six strokes under par. He won the tournament on the first hole of a sudden-death play-off with Martin Laird of Colorado State.
TOP-10 FINISHES: UNM's individuals have had great success on the links this season with the five players participating at the NCAA Championships scoring 14 top-10 finishes. Michael Letzig leads with way with six, inclding three wins on the season. Madilitso Muthiya has three while Ian Medlock and Jay Choi have two each. Jay Reynolds recorded one top-10 finish on the season.
LOBO WINS IN 2002-03: UNM started the 2003-03 season with their second consecutive win at the Tucker Invitaitonal in Albuquerque. They also won the Western New Mexico Intercollegiate in the fall in Ruidoso and then went on to win the Mountain West Conference Championships in the spring season in Bend, Oregon. The Lobos also have tied for second in two events, the Sooner Invitational in Frisco, Texas and the John Burns Invitational in Honolulu, Hawaii.
FIRST TO WIN AN NCAA TITLE: The Lobos will be gung for the first National Title in any sport in school history. The best finish finish the golf team has ever had at the NCAA Championships was fourth place in 1973. The best finish by a UNM team in any sport came in 1992 when the UNM Ski Team finished second at the NCAA Championships.
2001-02 IN REVIEW: After a one-year hiatus from the NCAA Championships, the University of New Mexico men's golf team roared back in 2002 to stake its claim among the elite in college golf. The Lobos finished 26th at the NCAA Championships in Columbus, Ohio, capping off perhaps the most successful season in school history. UNM won three tournaments as a team, including the NCAA West Regional on its own home course in Albuquerque. The Lobos had one individual capture medalist honors, and four golfers had stroke averages which ranked among the top-20 all-time in school history. All of this was accomplished under first year head coach Glen Millican, who took the reigns of his alma mater in June after serving as an assistant for three years. New Mexico began the season in its own backyard, at the 46th annual William H. Tucker Intercollegiate. The Lobos, with a team total of 859 (-5), won their own event for the first time since 1992. A pair of Lobos, Wil Collins and Michael Letzig led the way, each shooting 212, -4, good for second place. UNM duplicated the feat of winning a tournament its next time out, at the Adams Cup in Newport, R.I. The Lobos beat out 16 other schools with a three-round total of 854, +10. Collins won medalist honors, shooting 207 (-4) en route to his third career collegiate victory. The Lobos concluded fall play by finishing third at the Baylor Invitational and 13th in the Golf World Intercollegiate. The spring began in Arizona, as UNM recorded what would be the first of three straight top-10 team finishes at the PING Arizona Intercollegiate. New Mexico finished fourth in Tucson, as well as Honolulu, Hawaii, at the John Burns Intercollegiate. After struggling to 13th place at the Las Vegas Collegiate in early March, UNM rebounded with some strong performances by placing fourth at the Morris Williams in Austin, and third at the Border Olympics in Laredo, Texas. The team ended the regular-season with a 10th-place showing at the ASU Thunderbird Invitational, led by senior Scott Hailes, who recorded three straight top-10 finishes to close out the year. In the Mountain West Conference Tournament, the Lobos were third after days one and two, but jumped up to second with a strong final round, and finished just two strokes behind team champion UNLV. Hailes once again led the way with a sixth-place showing, while true freshmen Jay Reynolds and Madalitso Muthiya impressed by each finishing 10th. The NCAA West Regional kicked off at the UNM Championship Course, with the top-10 teams advancing to the NCAA Championships. The Lobos started slowly, and stood in eighth place after the opening round. They stayed in the top-10 after the second round, and shot the low round of the tournament, a 284 (-4), in the final round to catapult all the way into a share of the lead. UNM ended up sharing the title with Washington at 872 (+8), while Hailes finished fourth and Letzig placed 16th. New Mexico entered the NCAA Championships as the number one seed out of the West. The Lobos shot consistent rounds throughout the event, staying between 291-293 in each of the four rounds. They ended up with a total of 1,170 (+34), good for 26th place, while Hailes was once again the top individual, finishing tied for 38th at 287, +3. Hailes was three-under par over the final two rounds on the very difficult Scarlet Course on the campus of Ohio State University.