Men’s golf set for the 2022 NCAA Championships starting Friday
TOURNAMENT: 2022 NCAA Men’s Division I Golf Championships
DATE: May 27-June 1
LOCATION: Scottsdale, Arizona/Grayhawk Golf Club
PER/FOOTAGE: 70; 7,289
LIVE SCORE: Golfstat.com or the Golfstat app
After notching its best result in an NCAA region in program history, the Utah men’s golf team travels to Scottsdale, Arizona to compete in the 2022 NCAA Championships for the first time since. 1988 and the seventh time in the program’s history. The championships will be held May 27-June 1 at Grayhawk Golf Club and will be hosted by Arizona State University.
Advancing to where the road ends for the NCAA men’s golf season, Utah will face the top 30 teams in the nation. In ranking order, the teams that clinched their NCAA Championship tickets are Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Vanderbilt, Arizona State, North Carolina, Pepperdine (2021 Champions), Texas, Texas Tech, Florida, Georgia Tech, Texas A&M, Stanford, Arkansas, Georgia, Wake Forest, Auburn, Florida State, Ole Miss, Kansas, Arizona, Oregon, East Tennessee State, South Florida, Ohio State, North Florida, Liberty, BYU, Georgia Southern, and College of Charleston.
Utah arrives as the No. 29 seed and will be paired with Georgia Southern and the College of Charleston for the first two rounds. The Utes will be out of the morning wave Friday with the first tee at 9 a.m. MDT on the 10th tee. The three teams will face off on Saturday in the afternoon heat, starting at 2:20 p.m. MDT on the first tee.
THE UTAH RANGE
The Utes’ six-man roster will consist of their usual five players in Javier Barcos, Tristan Mandur, Blake Tomlinson, Braxton Watts, Martin Leon and completing the squad as a substitute making their third tournament appearance will be Oscar Maxfield.
Mandur returns to the NCAA Championships for the second straight season. Earning a bid last year as an individual, Mandur posted Utah’s all-time best finish with a 17th-place finish at the 2021 NCAA Championships with a career 72-hole score of 283 (+3). Mandur collected a top five and a pair of top 10s to go along with an average of 72.0 competing in all 12 events this season.
Tomlinson is having a career year with two top-five finishes, five top-10 finishes and a 70.8 career point average so far over 12 events. At this time, that gives Tomlinson the lowest season scoring average (Min. 10 rounds) in Utah history. Tomlinson posted the lowest third round of the year at the Mark Simpson Invitational, shooting 64 in the second round to tie his career.
Barcos have played in all 12 tournaments this season and rank second in the team in scoring average with a rating of 71.2. Barcos have twice finished in the top five and posted three top-10 finishes. At the Visit Stockton Invitational, Barcos tied for the lowest round of the year with a career low 63 in the second round.
Leon rounds out the four Utah players who have seen action in every tournament this season. Finishing in the top 10 just once, Leon boasts a 72.8 scoring average for the season and is tied with team-mate Barcos for the lowest round of the year by shooting a searing 63 (career low ) in the first round of the Mark Simpson Invitational.
Watts played in eight events in his first campaign and finished in the top 10 once. Watts is averaging 72.6 and recorded his lowest round of the year in the first round of the Lake Las Vegas Intercollegiate, in earning a 68. Watts paced the Utes for most Pac-12 championships, holding the team lead after three rounds with his career-low 54-hole score (213, E) and then winning the best result of a freshman in program history at conference championships (T-28th).
The backup player this week, Maxfield played in a tournament at the Pac-12 Championships and posted scores of 79-76-75-75 to shoot a 305 (+21).
COACHING THOUGHTS: Head Coach Garrett Clegg
“We’re thrilled to get into the championship and I’m thrilled for Blake, Tristan and Oscar. They’ve given their all to this program and being able to finish their careers at the NCAA championships is a great way out,” the head coach Garrett Clegg mentioned. “We know it’s great to be in the Championship, but the objective is to compete to get into the last eight for match play. We know it will take a big effort from everyone and we are delighted with this opportunity!”
The 2022 NCAA Championships will be held on the 7,289-yard, par-70 Raptor course at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz., between May 27 and June 1. Live scores will be available via Golfstat and Golf Channel will provide live television coverage. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
The 30 teams will face off in the first three rounds (Friday through Sunday) and the field will be reduced to 15 teams for the fourth and final round of move play on Monday. The top eight teams will advance to match play, with the quarter-finals and semi-finals on Tuesday and the national championship game on Wednesday.
Facing a field that included five teams in the top 25, the Utes posted their best result at an NCAA regional placing fifth in Norman, Okla. From the 10th tee of the final round, it was a battle between Utah and the South Carolina Gamecocks as they both bounced between fifth and sixth for most of the round. Three of Utah’s five players had already made the turn, and the Utes were one shot behind South Carolina at the time in the sixth, when Barcos birdied a clutch on the par five 18th to tie the game. Tomlinson followed and hit the green in two shots, setting up for the huge eagle putt he would roll into to give the Utes a two-shot lead over the Gamecocks going into the back nine. Utah never looked back as they combined for eight more birdies en route to fifth and final spot to clinch their ticket to the NCAA championships for the first time in 34 years.
As a team, the Utes have only competed in the NCAA Championships six times. Their first appearance was in 1948 where they placed third (651). Utah would make it a hat-trick in championship appearances in 1949 and 1950, where they finished 11th (614) and ninth (597), respectively.
The Utes made their fourth championship appearance in 1954 earning a top-20 finish (19th, 631) and tied for 36th 10 years later in 1964. It would be another 24 years before Utah made their sixth and final participation in the championships, but were eliminated after 36 holes of play.
On record, three people have represented Utah at the championships. Current Volunteer Assistant Coach, Dustin Pimmbecame the first Ute to qualify as an individual in 2006. Pimm finished three rounds in a tie, but did not advance to the final round. Kyler Dunkel became the second player from Utah to compete in the championships in 2019. Moving on to the final round, Dunkle shot a 296(+8) to finish t-28th. Finally, Utah senior Mandur became the third individual to play in 2021 and posted Utah’s best-ever finish, tied for 17th with a career-low 283 (+3).
utes all conferences
The Pac-12 conference announced its all-conference teams on May 4, as a senior Blake Tomlinson was All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention and freshman tab Braxton Watts received an honorable mention on the Pac-12 All-Freshman team. It is Tomlinson’s second conference honor of his career, being named to the Pac-12 All-Freshman team in 2018.
In his senior campaign, Tomlinson was in the top five of 12 tournaments and had his best finish of the year at the Duck Invitational, finishing fourth on the team after shooting 2 under (211). Among other tournaments, Tomlinson has won a top 10 including the Mark Simpson Invitational (T-5th), Visit Stockton Invitational (T-7th), Pac-12 Championships (T-6th) and NCAA Norman Regional (T -9th) .
His 72-hole score of 284 (E) is the third-lowest in a conference championship on record at Utah and became only the third Ute to finish in the top 10 at the Pac-12 championships.
In his first season with the Utes, true freshman Watts achieved a feat that many freshmen aren’t able to do in their freshman year of college golf – earning a top-five finish. season team tournaments. Making his collegiate debut at the Maui Jim in Scottsdale, Arizona, Watts shot his best round on second 18 1-over shooting (71).
He notched his best finish at the Duck Invite, finishing T-9 after shooting 2-over (215) and excelled in the second round climbing six spots in the standings by carding a 2-under (69).
Live scores for the 2022 NCAA Championships are available at GolfStat.com. Fans can also follow on social media (Twitter: @UtesGolf | Instagram: @UtesGolf).