Men's Golf: Lobos Open Season Hosting 48th Annual William H. Tucker
OPENING DRIVE: The University of New Mexico men’s golf team opens its 2002-03 campaign this weekend when the Lobos host the 48th annual William H. Tucker Intercollegiate. Play begins Friday, September 13, with 36 holes and a shotgun start at 7:30 a.m. (MDT). The tournament concludes Saturday, September 14, with the final 18 holes, also a shotgun start at 7:30 a.m. (MDT). The Tucker will be played at the UNM Championship Course (South) and admission is free to all spectators. New Mexico is the defending champion.
THE FIELD: The William H. Tucker consists of 18 teams, four of which are ranked in the Golf World preseason top-25 poll (Golf World rankings in parentheses): Air Force, Arizona (4), Brigham Young, Colorado, Colorado State, New Mexico, New Mexico JV, New Mexico State, Oklahoma (21), Oregon State , Pepperdine (25), San Diego State, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, UNLV (16), Utah, Wyoming and UTEP.
THE COURSE: The William H. Tucker will be played at the UNM Championship Course, which measures 7,248 yards and is a par 72. The tournament has been played continuously at the Championship Course since 1967.
RESULTS: Results from the William H. Tucker can be found on the UNM website at www.golobos.com as soon as possible following play both Friday and Saturday. First round results will be posted Friday afternoon, with second round results available Friday evening. Results will be faxed to all competing schools and local media as well.
ABOUT THE TUCKER: The William H. Tucker Intercollegiate is the second-oldest golf tournament in the nation, behind only the New England Intercollegiate. It is named in honor of English golf course architect and former UNM groundskeeper William Tucker. From 1955-88, the tournament was a 72-hole format, but adapted to a 54-hole structure in 1989, conforming with current NCAA standards.
The host Lobos have won the Tucker seven times, most recently in 2001, and in 1992 prior to that. The University of Houston has captured the most team titles with 13, all coming between 1957-70. Brigham Young has won the event 11 times and has won two of the last three tournaments, winning the 1999 Tucker by 10 strokes and the 2001 tourney by two shots.
The 54-hole individual record for the Tucker is 201, set by former UNM All-American and current PGA pro Tim Herron in 1992. Herron also set the mark for low 18-hole round with a 62 in that same 1992 event. Several young stars have appeared in the Tucker, including Tiger Woods, who won the 1994 tournament in his first career college event as a freshman at Stanford.
HEAD COACH GLEN MILLICAN: Second-year head coach Glen Millican didn’t waste any time making news in his rookie campaign as head coach, as UNM tied for the NCAA West Regional title and earned a berth in the NCAA Golf Championships. While the Lobos finished a disappointing 26th out of 30, Millican feels that was a great step into continuing the success of this program.
“All-in-all, I’m happy with the way we played last year,” Millican said. “I think we could have performed better at the championships, but I think some of our youth showed that last weekend. But, for the returning guys, that will prove to be a valuable experience and something that will help get us to the next level.”
That next level Millican foresees includes a Mountain West Conference title and another trip to the championships, this time with a better showing. UNM returns three of the five golfers that played at the championships, and Millican believes that threesome, along with the younger guys, gives them a realistic shot at making that happen.
“We do have some good experience coming back, and we have some young guys who will now get the opportunity to show what they can do. I am extremely excited for this season.” 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. 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). Murphy was also a four-year letterwinner for the Lobos and competed in the NCAA Championships in each of his seasons (1993-96). He was an Academic All-American in 1996 and has been playing professionally the last few years.
LETZIG NAME TO WATCH LIST: Senior Michael Letzig has been named to the GolfWorld Top 50 Male Players to Watch List. The senior from Richmond, Mo., had a 72.56 stroke average last season, which ranks seventh-best in UNM history. He also holds the school record-low round of 54 with a 199, which he shot at the John Burns Invitational in 2001. He posted a 64 at the same tournament, which is tied for the second-best low-round of 18. His best finish last year was a second-place mark at last year’s Tucker, and he finished in the top-10 four times last season. Letzig was named a Freshman All-America by the Golf Coaches Association of America in 2000.
UNM VS. THE FIELD: A look at how UNM fared against the field in this year’s Tucker during last season:
|Air Force3-0|Arizona3-3-1| |Brigham Young8-1|Colorado1-1| |Colorado State5-0|New Mexico St.1-0| |Oklahoma2-1|Oregon State3-0| |Pepperdine 4-4|San Diego State3-2| |San Diego State|3-2SE Louisiana1-0| |Texas A&M4-0|Texas Tech2-1| |UNLV3-3-1|Utah3-0| |UTEP2-0|Wyoming3-0|
2001-02 MEN’S GOLF SEASON RECAP: 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 destroyed the field with a team total of 859, -5, on their way to a win in 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 hot start marked the first time in school history UNM had won its first two tournaments of the season.
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. Freshman Jay Reynolds placed 10th in Tucson, while Collins had his third top-10 of the year with a 10th-place finish on the islands.
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.
All told, the season was quite a success for the UNM program. In addition to qualifying for its 11th NCAA Championships appearance in 13 years, New Mexico captured a share of its second NCAA West Regional title in five years. Furthermore, the Lobos won three tournaments for the first time in recent history and were ranked among the top-20 all season. Hailes was named honorable mention All-America and his 72.19 stroke average was the fourth-lowest in school history. Hailes and Collins were named all-Mountain West Conference, while Collins garnered his third Academic All-American award. Letzig was solid all season, recording four top-10 finishes and the seventh-lowest single-season stroke average in school history (72.56).
2002-03 UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO MEN’S GOLF ROSTER
|Name|Height|Weight|Class|Hometown (Last School)| |Jim Anderson|5-11|180|Jr-2L|Sioux Falls, S.D. (O’Gorman HS)| |Kyle Bornowski|5-8|190|Fr-HS|Albuquerque, N.M. (La Cueva HS)| |Jeff Briggs|6-2|185|So-RS|San Antonio, Texas (U. of Arkansas)| |Jae Choi|5-11|185|Fr-HS|Cerritos, Calif. (Gahr HS)| |Curtis Foster|6-3|195|Fr-HS|Independence, Iowa (Indee HS)| |Jeb Grueneberger|5-10|170|Fr-RS|Viola, Wisc. (Kickapoo HS)| |Jeremy Kirkland|6-2|175|So-HS|St. Nom La Breteche, France (Suger HS)| |Jeff Lanier|6-2|180 |Fr-HS|Austin, Texas (Westlake HS)| |Daniel Lee|5-10|162|Fr-HS|Huntington Beach, Calif. (Edison HS)| |Michael Letzig|6-3|175|Sr-3L|Richmond, Mo. (Richmond HS)| |Ian Medlock|6-3|175|Jr-2L|Thousand Oaks, Calif. (Westlake HS)| |Madalitso Muthiya|5-8|150|So-1L|Lusaka, Zambia| |Scott Phegley|6-2|185|Fr-HS|Morton, Ill. (Morton HS)| |Jay Reynolds|6-2|190|So-1L|Austin, Texas (Stephen F. Austin HS)| |David Schultz|6-0|160|So-IL|Dallas, Texas (Berkner HS)| |Tyler Symons|6-2|205|Fr-RS|Albuquerque, N.M. (La Cueva HS)| |Charles Thomas|6-1|165|Fr-HS|Dallas, Texas (Highland Park HS)|
Head Coach:Glen Millican (New Mexico ‘98 - 2nd year)
Assistant Coach:Ryan Murphy (New Mexico '97 - 2nd year)