Arizona men’s golf is headed to the NCAA Championships, and the Wildcats won’t have to travel far to get there.
Arizona dominated the NCAA Bryan, Texas Regional wire-to-wire winning the three-day event with a 13-under par to finish five strokes ahead of second-place Pepperdine.
The regional win advances the UA to the NCAA Championship in Scottsdale May 27-June 1. Arizona will be one of 30 schools competing at the event, which consists of four rounds of stroke play and an 8-team match play contest to determine the national champion.
Figured we’d just win this whole thing since we’re out here ♂️. #BearDown | #NCAAGolf pic.twitter.com/spW2JHwyrj— Arizona Men's Golf (@ArizonaMGolf) May 18, 2022
Arizona left little to chance in winning its first regional title since 2006. The Wildcats entered the final round with a three-stroke advantage over second-place and grew the lead Wednesday to as many as six strokes.
Chase Sienkiewicz led the Wildcats with a 5-under to finish tied for second in the individual contest. Christian Banke finished tied for 10th with a 2-under, while Johnny Walker (even par) and Sam Sommerhauser (2-over) each finished in the top 20.
SEE— Arizona Men's Golf (@ArizonaMGolf) May 18, 2022
SCOTTSDALE!#BearDown | #NCAAGolf pic.twitter.com/7fuVnmEAmj
The event victory gives Arizona its first NCAA Championships appearance since 2011 and its first under coach Jim Anderson.
“I am incredibly proud of our entire program for accomplishing our key goals,” Anderson told Arizona Athletics. “We set out at the beginning of the year with our sights set on Scottsdale and winning a very competitive regional on top of that is another feather in our cap. Hats off to our guys for maintaining focus and staying hungry throughout a long year to play some outstanding golf this week and send us through to NCAA Championships.”
The trip to Scottsdale is sweet redemption for Anderson and Arizona upperclassmen Sienkiewicz and Banke after what the UA experienced a year ago. The Wildcats won the 2020-21 Pac-12 Championship only to finished ninth at the Cle Elum, Washington Regional, well out of qualifying position for the NCAA Championships.
This season the script flipped. Arizona delivered a poor performance at the Pac-12 Championship, finishing in last-place. The No. 33-ranked Wildcats regrouped to capture their first event win of the season. They saved their best golf for the right time.
Arizona now gets to compete for a national championship playing on familiar desert terrain at Grayhawk Golf Club.
The NCAA Championships will be televised on the Golf Channel.