April 21, 2012
TEXARKANA, Ark. - Eleven men's golf teams, seven ranked among the Top 65 nationally, are set to tee off Sunday morning as the 2012 Conference USA Men's Golf Championship gets underway at the Texarkana Country Club in Texarkana, Ark.
The championship consists of 54 holes on the par 72, 6,935-yard course over three days, with the winner receiving an automatic berth to the NCAA Regionals. This is the fourth time in six years that the tournament has been hosted at Texarkana Country Club.
After a blind draw, it was determined that Marshall, SMU and UCF would begin Sunday on the first hole at 8 a.m. CDT. Three-time defending champion UCF currently ranks No. 20 by Golfweek. The Knights are led by a trio of players ranked among Golfweek's Top 100 collegiate individuals, as senior Brad Schneider is No. 50, sophomore transfers Ricardo Gouveia and Jose Joia are ranked No. 56 and No. 87, respectively. SMU was the top team after last season's championship first round. The 2011-12 Mustangs are currently ranked No. 41 by Golfweek.
Memphis and Houston will also tee off at 8 a.m. CT from the No. 10 hole. The Tigers are having one of their best seasons and rank No. 42 by Golfweek. They have been led senior Jonathan Fly, who earned C-USA medalist honors a year ago. Houston enters the 2012 Championship ranked No. 62 nationally.
East Carolina, Rice and UAB tee off at 8:50 a.m. CDT from hole No. 1. The Blazers are one of three different teams to win a C-USA championship title in Texarkana, earning the 2008 crown. UAB enters 2012 ranked No. 31 by Golfweek. East Carolina is also among the Top 40 nationally with a No. 37 team ranking. Senior Harold Varner is currently the No. 89-ranked individual player in the country.
Rounding out C-USA teams in action will be Southern Miss, Tulsa and UTEP with an 8:50 a.m. tee time from the No. 10 hole. Tulsa enters the 2012 Championship with a No. 35 ranking from Golfweek. The Golden Hurricane has never placed lower than fifth since joining the conference in 2006, and won the 2007 Championship in the league's first time in Texarkana.
Following Sunday's opening round, the championship will resume Monday at 8 a.m. CDT and the final round will be played Tuesday at 8 a.m. Live scoring of this year's C-USA Men's Golf Championship will be provided by Golfstat and can be accessed here.