FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The No. 31 Arkansas men’s golf team will make its 10th straight NCAA Regional appearance on Monday, when it opens play at the University Club in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
The Razorbacks are the No. 6 seed and are looking to advance to the NCAA Championship for the fourth time in the last five years. The top five teams after three rounds of stroke play will advance to the NCAA Championships held at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Illinois. The low individual from each region that is not on one of the five advancing teams will also earn a berth in the NCAA Championships.
The Baton Rouge Regional features eight of the top 50 teams in the country, including No. 6 LSU and defending National Champion and 7th-ranked Oregon. The Razorbacks played in the Tiger Invitational at the University Course last month, finishing T-2nd as LSU took home the team title.
Arkansas will begin Monday’s opening round at 8:20 a.m. CT, going off the 10th tee with No. 19 Duke and No. 29 Northwestern. Live hole-by-hole scoring for all three rounds is available at Golfstat.com or via the Golfstat Live app.
Date: Monday-Wednesday, May 15-17
Course: University Club
Location: Baton Rouge, La.
Regional Central: Click Here
Razorback Lineup (Stroke Average)
1. Alvaro Ortiz, Jr. (71.6)
2. Luis Garza, Fr. (71.8)
3. Mason Overstreet, Fr. (73.4)
4. Charles Kim, So. (73.4)
5. William Buhl, Fr. (74.0)
NCAA Regional Notes
• The Razorbacks are making their 10th consecutive appearance at NCAA Regionals and the 13th in the last 15 years.
• During its last eight NCAA Regionals, Arkansas has advanced to the NCAA Championship five times.
• The Razorbacks have four of their top five team scores in NCAA Regional history during the last three seasons.
• In 23 NCAA Regional appearances, Arkansas has finished in the top five 10 different times, including runner-up five times.
• Arkansas is one of 12 teams in the SEC to make the NCAA Tournament field, with the league taking up three of the six No. 1 seeds.
The Front Nine
• The Razorbacks are ranked No. 31 in the country according to GolfStat.com, No. 29 by Golfweek.com and have earned the No. 6 seed in the Baton Rouge NCAA Regional.
• During head coach Brad McMakin’s 11-year stint at the helm of the program, Arkansas has made 10 NCAA Regionals.
• After wins at the Mountaineer Intercollegiate and the SunTrust Gator Invitational, Arkansas has multiple team victories in a season for the fifth time in the last seven years.
• The Razorbacks will play at the University Club for the second time in as many months after finishing second at LSU’s 36-hole Tiger Classic on April 13.
The Best Freshmen In The Country
Arkansas features one of the youngest lineups in the nation and has the best freshman impact ranking in the country according to Golfstat. Razorback rookies have combined for 73 percent of the team’s rounds and have a 73.19 stroke average. Arkansas and Ohio State are the only programs in the land with four freshmen among the top five scorers on the team.
Four of the five players in Arkansas’ lineup have finished inside the top five this season, while No. 5 golfer Charles Kim has the only victory with his dramatic finish at the SunTrust Gator to capture the individual title. Alvaro Ortiz leads the team with six top-10 finishes, while Luis Garza has the sixth-best scoring average in the SEC among freshmen.
The Veteran’s Success
Junior Alvaro Ortiz boasts the most experience on the team as he tees it up in his third straight postseason. He holds the third lowest NCAA Regional round in program history when he fired a 3-under 67 in the final round of the 2015 Yale Regional to finish T-34th overall at 5-over.
The Quest For Back-To-Back
Arkansas is looking to advance through regional play and on to the NCAA National Championship for the second straight year. McMakin also led the Razorbacks to back-to-back Championship appearances in 2013-2014.
The Winner’s Circle
The Razorbacks captured a pair of team titles in 2016-17, winning the Mountaineer Intercollegiate by 11 shots and edging the field at the SunTrust Gator Invite by seven strokes. Arkansas has now won 24 team titles in the Brad McMakin era, including 19 in the last seven years. McMakin’s squads have captured multiple tournament wins in a season six times, including five those coming in the last seven years.
A Performance For The Ages
Arkansas enters NCAA Regional play coming off the second-best team round in program history after firing a 12-under 268 on the final day of the SEC Championship at Sea Island Golf Club. The record performance featured a pair of 65’s from Luis Garza and Alvaro Ortiz and a 4-under 66 from Mason Overstreet.
Baton Rouge NCAA Regional Participating Teams
For more information on Arkansas men’s golf, follow @RazorbackMGolf on Twitter.