2nd-place finish at NCCGA Desert Regional to send Lopes to Oklahoma next month
By: Garrett Osterode/GCU Staff
The Grand Canyon University Club Golf team entered the National Collegiate Club Golf Association Desert Regional this past weekend with two goals: (1) win their fifth straight regional tournament; and (2) more importantly, qualify for the NCCGA National Tournament in Thackerville, Oklahoma on Nov. 15-16.
Fortunately for the Lopes, they accomplished the latter with a second-place finish among eight teams in Tucson Sunday.
“That’s the main goal,” said Lopes Head Coach John Wasson. “Obviously, we’d like to win every tournament, but giving ourselves a chance to win nationals is what we hope for every year.”
The Lopes made the 130-mile trek south from Phoenix to Casino Del Sol Resort in Tucson to take on Arizona State University and the University of Arizona. GCU carried their A, B, C and D teams – finishingsecond, fifth, fourth and eighth respectively.
|Team||Round 1||Round 2||Total|
|Arizona State (A)||368||374||742 (+22)|
|Grand Canyon (A)||374||370||744 (+24)|
|Arizona (A)||388||383||771 (+51)|
|Grand Canyon (C)||405||391||796 (+76)|
|Grand Canyon (B)||414||392||806 (+86)|
|Arizona State (B)||410||398||808 (+88)|
|Arizona (B)||438||423||861 (+141)|
|Grand Canyon (D)||477||456||933 (+213)|
Despite falling short to ASU by two strokes, GCU had an individual walk away with some hardware. Tyler Smerz finished atop the leaderboard in the two-day tournament with a total stroke count of 143 (-1), four strokes ahead of his teammate Braden Price and Arizona State’s J.T. Naumann. It was Smerz’s first career individual victory and the freshman’s lowest career score.
“Tyler was great this weekend,” Wasson said. “I think during the first tournament (the NCCGA Desert Regional 1 in Glendale, which GCU won last month), he was a bit jittery, maybe trying too hard. This weekend, he was relaxed and much more focused, and it showed.”
Moving forward, Wasson likes his team’s chances next month in the Sooner State.
“We are playing pretty well,” said Wasson. “No one is going to carry the load for us, but if we all play well, we really have an opportunity to win it all.”
The Lopes head to Winstar Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Oklahoma on Nov. 15-16 in hopes to improve upon their seventh-place finish from a year ago. Stay tuned on the Club Golf home page to see how well the Lopes do!
Interested in joining GCU Club Golf? Contact the coach for the club golf team to learn more!