Kentucky Set to Tee Off at the NCAA Championship on Friday
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The opening round of play at the 2016 Men’s Golf NCAA Championship begins on Friday at the Eugene Country Club in Eugene, Ore., with Kentucky among the field for the first time since 2014 and the sixth time in the Brian Craig era. The Wildcats are one of 30 teams who will open action at the 7,014 yard, par-70 course vying for a national title.
The championship format begins with all 30 teams and six individuals competing in stroke play over 54 holes. Following the third day of competition, the top 15 teams along with the top nine individuals not on advancing teams will play an additional 18 holes to determine the top eight teams for match play and the 72-hole stroke play individual champion.
The top eight teams after 72 holes of play will be placed into a bracket for match play which is slated to begin on Tuesday.
What coach Brian Craig is saying:
"We are excited to be at Eugene Country Club representing the Big Blue Nation in the National Championship. I am super proud of this team, but we are not done yet. We simply need to keep focusing on what we can control – our attitudes, our body language, our self-talk and our course management. Our competition this week is the golf course and ourselves. We are ready.”
About the lineup:
Kentucky’s lineup will remain the same from the NCAA Regional qualifying round with senior David Snyder, junior Stephen Stallings, sophomores Tyler “Chip” McDaniel and Cooper Musselman and freshman Lukas Euler. The quintet combined for a fourth-place finish at the Tuscaloosa Regional with an 8-under score to send the Cats to Eugene.
Euler and McDaniel scored top-10 finishes to highlight the week. Craig awarded Euler with the team’s “game ball” after carding his first-ever top-10 finish as well as stringing together three-consecutive rounds at under par for the first time in his career.
McDaniel scored his sixth top-five finish of the season with a fourth-place showing in Tuscaloosa, Ala. He has also registered top-five finishes in both postseason competition after earning runner-up honors at the Southeastern Conference Championship. McDaniel has registered par-or-better rounds in five of six postseason rounds as a sophomore.
Snyder and Stallings both logged top-25 finishes at the Tuscaloosa Regional. Stallings’ had a 71 on the opening day of play, while Snyder’s 69 on the final day of competition led the squad. Musselman who led UK in scoring in three of six spring tournaments finished the NCAA Tuscaloosa Regional in style with a 72 in the final round.
The Tournament Field:
The tournament field is comprised of 30 teams who advanced from NCAA Regional qualifying where a team had to finish in the top five of its region to advance to Eugene. Ten teams total, including five from the Tuscaloosa Regional, advanced from the SEC to the final week of competition including, Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, South Carolina Texas A&M and Vanderbilt.
Teams will begin play at 10 a.m. ET on Friday to begin the opening 54 holes of play. Teams will be reseeded each day based on standings. Following 54 holes of action, the top 15 teams will play an additional 18 holes on Monday to determine the eight-team match-play field. Additionally, nine individuals not on advancing teams will join the field to play a final 18 holes on Monday to determine a 72-hole individual national champion.
Coverage of the NCAA Championship will be live on the Golf Channel May 30-June 1 to feature the individual and team champions. Fans can also follow along with live scoring here.
The Eugene Country Club, organized in 1899, is the second oldest country club in the state of Oregon, antedated only by Waverley of Portland.
In 1923, the Young-Ford-McAllister properties were purchased and Chandler Egan, one of the nation's greatest tournament golfers, was engaged to lay out a new 18-hole golf course. Over the years this course with its natural setting among tall firs and other scenic wonderments developed a reputation as one of the finest golf courses on the Pacific Coast.
During the past years, improvements at Eugene Country Club have further enhanced the course. The new Robert Trent Jones course was made more challenging and enjoyable by the large spacious greens, the addition of a new lake and waterways, and the sparkling white bunkers. The deep, lush grass of the course continued to be maintained in the highest standard by a completely automatic sprinkling system installed during the course remodeling.
The course has hosted the NCAA Men’s Championship twice before in 1959 and in 1978.
For the latest on the Kentucky men's golf team, follow @UKMensGolf on Twitter and on the web at UKathletics.com.
Eugene Country Club
May 27-June 1