Men’s golf set for Friday’s US Championships
BROOKSVILLE, Florida. – For the first time since 2019, the University of Houston men’s golf program will kick off at the American Athletic Conference Championships, beginning Friday morning at the Southern Hills Plantation Club.
The 2020 championships were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Cougars were forced to miss the 2021 tournament due to their program protocols.
The Cougars have compiled some of their best golf of the 2021-22 season over the past two months, posting three top-five finishes in their last four tournaments heading into the U.S. Championships.
In their most recent team event, the Cougars battled blustery conditions and a tough course to place fourth in the Aggie Invitational at the Traditions Club in Bryan-College Station, Texas on April 9-10. Senior Braxton Watkins opened this tournament with a 69 and tied for sixth to lead the Cougars, while fellow senior alexander frances joined him among the top 10 leaders.
The winner of the league’s annual postseason tournament receives an automatic bid for NCAA regional play, scheduled for May 16-18 at one of six venues across the country.
Fans can follow live scores at the American Athletic Conference Championships by clicking here.
WATCH SUNDAY’S FINAL ROUND
Fans can watch Sunday’s final round at the American Athletic Conference Championships on ESPN+ by clicking here from 9:50 a.m. (CDT).
Lincoln Rose (play-by-play), Ed Clements (analyst) and Morgan Uber (reporter) will call the action.
Under the direction of the Golf Director Jonathan Dismukethe Cougars will be represented by Frances, Watkins, junior Marcus Wochnerfreshman in red shirt Jacob Borow and junior Austyn Reily.
This season, Frances leads the Cougars with an average of 72.13 and is tied with Watkins for the team lead with 14 rounds of par or better. The Stege, Denmark native earned medalist honors at the Border Olympics in February with a 7-under 209 for the first college title of his career.
He was honored as American Athletic Conference Golfer of the Week for the first time after this performance.
Now in his fifth competitive season with the Cougars as a COVID-senior, Frances recently entered the Cougars’ Top 10 career point guard with 133 rounds played and ranks 13e in school history with 9,682 moves.
This will be his second appearance at the US Championships.
Watkins is second among the Cougars with an average of 72.69. The Winthrop, Ark., native earned four top-10 finishes in 2021-22, including a sixth-place finish at the Frontier Olympics in February. He tied with Reily for first place with an equal par of 72 in an individual tournament against Sam Houston earlier this week at Whispering Pines Golf Club in Trinity, Texas.
Wochner is third on the team with a 73.48 average and 11 rounds of par or better and has an advantage over his Cougar teammates heading into the weekend. The native of Holte, Denmark is the only Cougar to have competed in the Southern Hills Plantation Club USA Championships, tying for second place in the 2021 tournament as a member of the Wichita State team.
Borow finished tied for eighth at the Houston Classic after closing that tournament at 70-68 in the Cougars’ spring opener, while Reily finished tied for eighth at the Cougars’ own All-American Intercollegiate at the Houston Golf Club in March. Both will make their first appearances in the U.S. Championships this weekend.
The Cougars will be part of a nine-team field, which includes Cincinnati, East Carolina, Memphis, SMU, South Florida, Temple, UCF and Wichita State.
For Friday’s first round, the Cougars will face off in pairs with student-athletes from South Florida and SMU, beginning at 8:40 a.m. CDT from No. 1.
Reily starts the day for the Cougars at 8:40 a.m. CDT, with Borow (8:50 a.m. CDT), Wochner (9 a.m. CDT), Watkins (9:10 a.m. CDT) and Frances (9:20 a.m. CDT) following.
Fans can find full pairings once finalized by clicking here.
HOUSTON in CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY
Houston Men’s Golf enjoys a rich history in conference championships. The Cougars have recorded 20 team conference titles with 21 individual medalists, dating back to 1951 in the Missouri Valley Conference.
The Cougars won the 2013 Conference USA Championship at Texarkana Country Club in 2013. Michael Perras is the most recent Cougar to win an individual conference championship title, earning medalist honors on the first hole of a playoff on the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort in Palm Coast, Florida on April 26-27, 2017.
In her last appearance at the American Athletic Conference Championships, Houston finished ninth on the Copperhead course at Innisbrook Resort in Palm Coast, Fla. from April 21-23, 2019.
Following the American Athletic Conference Championships, the Cougars will learn their NCAA playoff fate on the NCAA Draft Show, which airs at 3 p.m. May 4 on the Golf Channel.
Six NCAA regional championships will be held May 16-18 at one of six venues across the country. These sites include Traditions Club (Bryan, Texas; hosted by Texas A&M); Champion Course – PGA National Resort (Palm Beach Gardens, Florida; hosted by Florida Atlantic); The course at Yale (New Haven, Conn.; hosted by Yale); The Reserve at Spanos Park (Stockton, CA; hosted by Pacific); Ol’ Colony Golf Complex (Tuscaloosa, Ala.; hosted by Alabama) and OSU Golf Club (Columbus, Ohio; hosted by Ohio State).
The top five teams and the lowest individual not on a progressing team will qualify to play in the NCAA Championships, which take place May 27-June 1 at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona.
JOIN PROJECT 17
Fans are invited to join Project 17 in support of Houston Men’s Golf. Project members provide financial support directly to Houston Men’s Golf for needs beyond the program’s operating budget.
For more information on Project 17 or to join, fans can Click here.
STAY LOGGED IN
Fans can receive updates by following @UHCougarMGolf on Twitter and get the latest team news and notes by clicking AS on the team’s Facebook page at UHCougarMGolf. Fans can also follow the team on Instagram at euhcougarmgolf.
– UHCougars.com –