UC Riverside sophomore Matt Lutz is just 24 hours away from competing in the 2016 Division I NCAA Men’s Golf Championship scheduled for May 27-June 1 at Eugene Country Club in Eugene, Ore.
Lutz, currently sporting a 73.9 stroke average, earned a spot in the NCAA Championships after blasting a final round score of 4-under 68 to conclude the NCAA Tucson Regional with the third-best score of 209. The top five teams and the top individual not on a top five team advanced to the NCAA Championships May 27-June 1 at Eugene Country Club in Eugene, Ore., and Lutz’s stellar performance was the best of the non-advancing teams.
The Placentia, Calif., native efforts marked the best performance by a Highlander in the NCAA Regionals, besting Brandon Hillpot’s 11th place finish at Cross Water Creek in 2005. He led the Highlanders to a sixth-place finish with a total of 866, just three shots shy of advancing to the NCAA Championships with a top-5 team finish. The Highlanders established a new top finish in the NCAA Regionals for the program since joining the Big West with their sixth place result.
Lutz, a 2016 All-Big West Honorable Mention member, also becomes the first Big West men’s golfer to advance to the NCAA Championships as an individual since Cal Poly’s Geoff Gonzalez and UC Davis’ Matt Hansen did so in 2011.
The championship format consists of all 30 teams and six individuals completing 54 holes of stroke play, and then the top 15 teams along with the top nine individuals not on an advancing team will advance for one additional day of stroke play to determine the top eight teams for match play competition and the 72-hole stroke play individual champion.
Round one of the NCAA Championship tees off from the par 70, 7,014-yard course at 7:00 a.m., with Lutz scheduled to begin at 9:12 a.m. from the first tee.
Live scoring of the event can be found at www.golfstat.com and the Golf Channel will provide live coverage for the final three days of the championships, May 30-June 1.