Photo courtesy UTEP Athletics
The UTEP men’s golf team is set to compete at the 2019 Conference USA Championship April 22-25 at the Texarkana Country Club (Par 72/6,969 yards).
The Miners will compete against 12 other programs for a bid to the NCAA Regionals May 13-15. Tee time pairings are based off the latest Golfstat national rankings. No. 130 UTEP will begin to tee off at 10:20 a.m. MT at hole no. 1 alongside no. 110 Charlotte and no. 121 Middle Tennessee.
The Blue Raiders will defend their 2018 title, while the Miners won the C-USA Tournament in 2017.
Before looking for its second title in three years, UTEP Head Coach Scott Lieberwirth explains the process before having visions of victory.
“All we can focus on right now is getting into match play,” Lieberwirth said. “Our conference is unique in the top four teams, after 54 holes, advance to match play. We can’t get too long term as far as what we want to accomplish out there. Of course, we want to win, but before we get there, we have to qualify for match play.”
Making the trip for Lieberwirth will be junior Eduardo Gonzalez (tees off at 10:20 a.m. MT), seniors Settavut Paradee (10:30 a.m.) and Ben Getman (10:40 a.m.), sophomore Oskar Ambrosius (10:50 a.m.) and senior Aaron Terrazas (11 a.m.). Sophomore Santiago Castilla will also make the trip as a substitute. C-USA is allowing a sub for the first time in championship play.
“There’s no question in my mind, it’s possible [won win the C-USA Tournament] the way Aaron and Oskar have played. They’ve competed great pretty much all year long,” Lieberwirth said. “Both of them, back-and-forth, have been our no. 1 and no. 2 player virtually the entire year. We’re at a point where we need some depth. Our depth at three, four and five, and our sub, we at least need some consistency. When we’ve been consistent in the backend of our lineup, we’ve played really well. We’ve contended for a couple different wins in the fall and spring. When they’re inconsistent, we’ve obviously struggled. That’s our key and we know it. We know exactly what the recipe is to compete well.”
Terrazas leads the squad with a 72.1 stroke average, while Ambrosius has penciled in a 72.5. Paradee is ranked third on the team with a 74.6 stroke average. Gonzalez has tallied a 74.7 stroke average, while Getman has fashioned a 75.4. The Miners won the Pepsi-Cola Classic on Oct. 21, while finishing in the top five in three other events during the course of the campaign.
Rounding out the remainder of the field will be no. 77 UAB and no. 85 UTSA teeing off at 9 a.m. MT at hole no. 1; no. 87 WKU and no. 94 North Texas will tee off at 9:40 a.m. MT at hole no. 1. No. 150 LA Tech, no. 152 Southern Miss and no. 162 Florida Atlantic will start at 9 a.m. MT at hole no. 10, while no. 168 Rice, no. 200 Old Dominion and no. 207 Marshall will go at 9:50 a.m. MT at hole no. 10.
The championship is four days, with 18 holes scheduled for the first three days. After the 54 holes of stroke play, the top four teams would be seeded and will conclude the championship on the fourth day with a match play playoff.
Playing partners for the first day will be determined by a blind draw. For every succeeding round, team scores will determine pairings. The winner gains the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Championship.