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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Golf

Men’s golf tees off at NCAA Championships


JDismuke_Hamilton

The Cougars, along with senior Blair Hamilton, will compete at the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Oregon. | Courtesy of UH Athletics

Despite being outside of the top five, the University of Houston men’s golf team turned in their best performance of the weekend to finish in a third-place tie with the Louisiana State University Tigers on the final day of the NCAA Franklin Regional Tournament.

The victory launched the Cougars past regional play and will drive them to the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Oregon on Friday. This will be the third consecutive year the Cougars have competed in the NCAA Championships, although they failed to make it past the first round of cuts in last year’s tournament.

At the NCAA Regional Tournament, sophomore Michael Perras finished first overall after posting three consecutive under-70 scores and becoming the second player in Cougar history to do so. Perras beat out University of Texas’ Doug Ghim and James Madison University’s Ryan Cole, who are ranked No. 14 and No. 16 nationally.

Senior Vincent Martino came in 17th place overall after finishing 5-under-par 72 on the last day, which was his best day of the weekend.

Senior Blair Hamilton, last year’s NCAA Regional winner, finished 2-above par that placed him in a tie for 51st. After finishing 6-above par on the first day, Hamilton hit 4-under par on the second and was on par on the third. At the NCAA Championships last season, Hamilton was the only UH player to play in the entire tournament and finished 27th.

At this year’s NCAA Championships, the Cougars will face 29 other universities, 23 of whom are ranked in the nation’s top 25.

All 30 teams will compete in the first three rounds that will end on Sunday. After this, the top 15 teams, and the top nine individuals not on a qualifying team, will compete on Monday before a final cut is made for Tuesday’s concluding round.

On Tuesday, the top eight teams will vie for the tournament trophy.

Director of Golf Jonathan Dismuke recently announced the lineup for the championship tournament. Sophomore Papito Gonzalez and junior Matt Scobie will make their debut at the tournament, while Perras and Hamilton will make their second appearance. Martino will make his third consecutive outing.

At the tournament, the Cougars will look to capture the program’s 17th national championship, and the first in over 20 years. UH’s last team title came in 1985. Throughout its history, the Cougars have also added eight individual titles.

The Golf Channel will broadcast the event throughout the weekend, but live scoring can be followed here.

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