May 1, 2013
Club Glove WAC Men's Golf Championship
Rio Secco Golf Club
April 29-May 1
HENDERSON, Nevada – UT Arlington senior Paul McConnell carded a 3-under 69 Wednesday to claim the 2013 Western Athletic Conference men's golf individual championship. McConnell jumped from a tie for ninth place to the top of the leaderboard with the low round of the day at the Rio Secco Golf Club.
The UT Arlington team finished second overall, six shots behind WAC team champion New Mexico State. The Mavericks came into the day 17 shots behind the Aggies before posting the low round of the day (292) to narrow the gap.
"We could have won the WAC championship," UT Arlington coach Jay Rees said. "We shot the low round of the day, but unfortunately counted 13 doubles for the week."
McConnell was the only golfer among 50 at the WAC championships to break 70 in the final round. The Garland native has won three tournaments during his UT Arlington career. McConnell captured the Fighting Irish Gridiron Classic in 2011-12 season and the San Diego Intercollegiate in 2010-11.
"It feels awesome to win," said McConnell, who birdied the last two holes to take the title. "I haven't felt this way since I won at Notre Dame my junior year and it feels great. I just wish we could have made it as a team, but we played great as a team and really made a run at New Mexico State. I was proud of the that we played well the last day
"Key to the 69 was swinging within myself and not over-swinging. I also putted amazing, which is what you always need."
All five Mavericks landed in the top 25. Hunter Brown tied for fifth with a plus-7 233, which included a 76 in the third round. Brad Mason (225, T11), Riley Fleming (227, T16) and Cash Wilkerson (230, T23) also completed solid weeks for UT Arlington.
McConnell becomes the fifth UT Arlington golfer to win an individual conference title, and the first since Zach Fischer was a Southland Conference co-medalist in 2009. By virtue of the win, McConnell is automatically qualified for the NCAA Regionals from May 15-18.
First Team All-WAC
Victor Lange, Fr., Louisiana Tech
Travis Wilmore, Jr., Louisiana Tech
Justin Shin, Sr., New Mexico State
Cody Blick, Fr., San Jose State
Paul McConnell, Sr., UT Arlington
Second Team All-WAC
Ole Ramsnes, Jr., Denver
Aaron Cockerill, So., Idaho
Kenneth Fadke, Fr., New Mexico State
Justin Estrada, Sr., San Jose State
Hunter Brown, Sr., UT Arlington
Player of the Year: Cody Blick, Fr., San Jose State
Freshman of the Year: Cody Blick, San Jose State
Coach of the Year: Mike Dirks, New Mexico State
MG: Deane qualifies for PGA Championship in playoff
GOLF: Gonzalez wins US Junior Am Qualifier
GOLF: Deane claims 3rd Eastern Championship
Challenging fall schedule awaits UTA men’s golfers
MG: Deane's Byron Nelson run comes to an end
GOLF: UTA support on display at Byron Nelson