Tigers Win First C-USA Championship in Program History
April 24, 2012
TEXARKANA, Ark. -The University of Memphis golf team posted scores of 282-289-288 to win the 2012 Conference USA Men's Golf Championship and claim the first conference championship for the program since the 1991-92 season.
"I'm just so proud of the guys for the way they battled all week," Memphis head coach Grant Robbins said. "They led wire-to-wire and kept it together when it got close at the end. I'm just really proud of them."
Jack Belote led the charge for the Tigers with a 7-under-par 54-hole total of 209 to finish in a tie for second individually. Belote had a one stroke lead with three holes to play, but UCF's Greg Eason birdied Nos. 16 and 17 to post 208 (-8) and top Belote by one stroke.
Jonathan Fly, who won the individual title at last year's C-USA Championship, was a presence again this year for the Tigers. Fly carded scores of 69-73-72 to post a 2-under-par 54 hole title and tie for fifth individually.
Will Pearson turned in another solid round, this time posting a 1-over-par 73 to land in a tie for 13th position. Grant Milner also posted 73 (+1) and tied for 24th individually, while Steve Lee finished 45th with a three-round total of 231.
"Grant Milner really stepped up the last two days," Robbins said. "Will (Pearson) was clutch. He finished out each round with birdies. Everyone played great."
The Tigers led the championship wire-to-wire after coming out of the gate strong with a 282 (-6) in Sunday's opening round. Memphis followed that with a 289 (+1) Monday and an even-par 288 Tuesday to secure the title. UCF finished two strokes back in second with a 54-hole total of 861 (-3), but the Knights never really threatened until the last three holes and Eason's two late Birdies.
Memphis bested its previous high finish of second at the C-USA Championship, which was set last year when Fly won medalist honors en route to leading the Tigers to a runner up finish. The last conference title prior to this season for the Tiger golf program came in 1991-92 when Memphis posted a 927 54-hole total to claim the Great Midwest Conference title.
The Tigers will now await the announcement of the fields at each of the six NCAA Regional sites. The men's golf selection show is scheduled for May 9. Memphis clinched a berth into the regionals by winning the C-USA title.
"We're going to go back and enjoy this for a bit and then start preparing for the (NCAA) Regionals," Robbins said. "I'll give the guys a week off to get their exams under control and then we'll find out where we're headed and start to prepare."
The Regionals will take place May 17-19 at the following sites:
The University of Georgia Golf Course
University of Michigan Golf Course
The Club at Olde Stone
Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club
Stanford Golf Course
The top four schools from all six regionals advance to the 2012 NCAA Men's Golf Championship, which is set to be held at historic Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif. on May 29-June 3.