The NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Committee announced the selections for the 2016 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championships and UC Riverside, along with two individual at-large selections, made the cut. The Highlanders earned the league’s automatic qualifier after claiming the Big West Conference title for the first time since 2005.
UC Riverside is set to compete in the Arizona regional where it will participate at the Gallery Golf Club in Marana, Ariz., as the No. 13 seed. Stanford is the top seed of the regional and is followed by Wake Forest, California, Oregon and North Carolina.
Sam Gillis enters the postseason pacing the Highlanders with a 73.4 stroke average over 11 tournaments. The junior from San Jacinto, Calif., carded six top 10 finishes this season, including his best finish of second at the Folino Invitational back in February. Matt Lutz, who led the Highlanders at the Big West Championship, ranks second on the team with a 74.3 stroke average and is followed by Brandon Tsujimoto (76.7) and Andrew Spilman (77.0).
Fresh off of becoming just the third UC Santa Barbara golfer ever to win the Big West Conference Tournament individual title, sophomore Brandon Bauman will be joining UC Riverside in the Arizona regional. Bauman’s victory in the Big West Tournament earlier this week was his third title of the season. He also won titles at the UC Riverside Winter Intercollegiate and the Wyoming Cowboy Classic. In addition, he had a second-place finish at the OGIO-UCSB Intercollegiate and a fourth-place finish at the LMU Invitational. In his last three tournaments, Bauman has two first-place and a second-place finish, which earned him April’s Big West Golfer of the Month. After shooting a 212 to win the Big West title, the Las Vegas, Nev., native is averaging a league-best 71.55 shots per round and 23 of his 33 rounds this year have been under or at par.
Long Beach State’s Daniel Chian is the final individual representing the Big West Conference in this year’s NCAA Regionals. The senior from Covina, Calif., led the 49ers at eight events this year and currently paces the league with a 71.2 stroke average. He won individual medalist honors at both the Folino Invitational and the Anteater Invitational before nabbing a second-place finish at the OGIO UCSB Invitational. Chian also claimed Big West Golfer of the Month accolades for both September and October.
Six 54-hole regional tournaments will be conducted May 16-18 to determine the championships field. Thirteen teams and ten individuals not on those teams will compete at each of three regionals while the other three regionals will have 14 teams and five individuals not on those teams. Regional tournaments are considered preliminary rounds of NCAA championships competition and all national championships policies apply. The other five regional sites include Tuscaloosa, Ala., Kohler, Wis., Albuquerque, N.M., Stillwater, Okla., and Nashville, Tenn.
Team and individual medalist titles will be decided May 27-June 1 at Eugene Country Club in Eugene, Oregon. The University of Oregon is the host institution for the 2016 championships.