Men's Golf Set to Compete in C-USA Championship
April 23, 2006
For Immediate Release
WEST POINT, Miss. - The University of Memphis men's golf team will be on of 12 teams competing for the 2006 Conference USA Championship title, hosted by Southern Miss, beginning Monday at the Old Waverly Golf Course in West Point, Miss. The winner of the championship receives an automatic berth to the NCAA Regionals.
Three teams--Tulsa (24), SMU (35) and Houston (42)--are ranked among the top 50 nationally by Golfweek entering the championship. The Cougars are the only previous team champion and have the most men's golf titles in C-USA history with five-straight wins from 1997 to 2001. Tulsa and SMU along with Marshall (163), Rice (105), UCF (58) and UTEP (141) are all making their C-USA championship debuts.
The Tigers are the seventh lowest ranked team in the tournament and are currently ranked No. 82. Along with returning C-USA teams Houston and Memphis, East Carolina (124), Southern Miss (66), Tulane (209) and UAB (63) also compete in the tournament. Last year the Tigers place seventh in the tournament, which was won by former C-USA member TCU. Sophomore Keven Fortin-Simard led Memphis in the tournament with a 7-over 223 (77-71-75) to tie for 26th.
Fortin-Simard will again look to lead the Tigers in the tournament in the No. 1 position. The Roberval, Quebec native has medaled three times in 10 tournaments this season, including two individual championships in the screen. Currently ranked No. 94 by Golfweek, Fortin-Simard has finished in the top 10 seven times this season and leads the team with a 72.8 stroke average.
The Tigers' No. 2 will be sophomore Ian Rochester who is averaging a 74.4. Rochester has finished in the top 20 four times this season and is coming off a seventh place tie at the Billy Hitchcock Intercollegiate. Sophomore Robbie Greenwell will compete in the No. 3 hole and has a 75.9 average with two top 20 finishes in nine tournaments this season. Junior Lewis Clarke, who is third on the team with a 75.8 average, will play in the fourth spot. Freshman Brad Benjamin completes the Tiger rotation. Benjamin, who has only played in one fall tournament, earned the final position in the lineup in pre-tournament qualifying rounds.
Three of the top individuals that will compete against Fortin-Simard for the championship are from UAB and SMU. UAB's Garrett Osborn is the highest ranked individual in the conference at No. 27 and took fifth last year in the tournament. SMU has a pair of contenders in Brandon DeStefano (76) and Colt Knost (84). Fortin-Simard is the fourth-lowest ranked individual in the tournament.
The championship consists of 54 holes over three days on the par 72, 7,000-yard course. The first tee time for each day of the competition will be 8 a.m. Central.