ARLINGTON, Texas. - The UTA men's golf team looks to maintain its positive start to the season this weekend when it travels to Albuquerque, N.M. for the 63rd William H. Tucker Intercollegiate at the University of New Mexico's Championship South Course.
UTA joins a strong 17-team field that includes programs from Arizona, BYU, Cal State Fullerton, Colorado, Colorado State, Denver, Louisiana Tech, UNLV, Nevada, host New Mexico, New Mexico State, UTEP, San Diego, San Diego State, Washington and Washington State.
UNLV is ranked 12th in the Golf Coaches Association of America's national preseason poll, while BYU, Colorado, San Diego State and Washington each received votes. UTA is scheduled to play the tournament's first two rounds with golfers from Louisiana Tech, Nevada and San Diego.
Thornton, a graduate transfer from Baylor, led the Mavs at the team's season opener last week in Mississippi with a tie for fourth place at the Sam Hall Intercollegiate. Guanlao (33), Gore (21) and Greenspoon (19) own a total of 73 career tournaments between them, while freshman Gonzalez registered a top-20 finish in his first collegiate event.
"Definitely, the vibe has changed around the program," said UTA director of golf Stuart Deane, who played in both the AT&T Byron Nelson and the PGA Championships over the spring/summer. "Coming in tied for first in the first event of the season really confirmed what we believed going into the year. The standards are raised. The expectation is high and the guys get along fabulously. This is more of a power team and there is a high level of confidence.
UNM's Championship South Course is configured at 7,556 yards and par 72 for the Tucker Intercollegiate. The golfers are scheduled for an 8:45 a.m. (CDT) shotgun start to open the first round on Friday with the second 18 holes taking place immediately afterward. The final round's shotgun start is scheduled for Saturday morning at the same time.
The Tucker Intercollegiate begin in 1955 and this year's tournament marks the event's 63rd edition. San Diego State is the defending team champion, posting a 1-under par 863 in last year's event and defeating runner-up Colorado State by 10 strokes. CSU's Blake Cannon earned medalist honors with a 6-under par 210, winning by two strokes over San Diego State's PJ Samiere.
Built in 1967, the Robert "Red" Lawrence-designed Championship South Course features bluegrass and rye in the fairways and bent and poa annua grass on the greens. It is generally regarded as one of the top public courses in the United States and served as the host the site for the 1950, 1976 and 1992 NCAA Division I Men's Golf Championships as well as the 1998 NCAA Championships. In 1987 the course was the site of the women's NCAA Championships.
Following the Tucker Intercollegiate, UTA returns to action Oct. 9-10 at the Bayou City Collegiate Classic at Golfcrest Country Club in Pearland, Texas. The team will also play in the Little Rock Intercollegiate on Oct. 23-24 before concluding its fall season at the Saint Mary's Invitational on Nov. 6-8 at Poppy Hills Golf Course in Pebble Beach, Calif.
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