May 18, 2002
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Mike Urbatchka of the University of Wyoming concluded his collegiate golf career with a final round of 74 at the 2002 NCAA West Regional on Saturday in Albuquerque, N.M. Urbatchka ended with a 54-hole total of 226, 10-over par to tie nine other individuals for 72nd in the field of 141 golfers.
New Mexico shot the low round of the tournament, a 284, on Saturday at its home course to tie Washington for the team title. The Lobos and Huskies each posted eight-over par totals of 872 for the three-day event. Ricky Barnes of Arizona and Justin Smith of Minnesota tied for individual medalist honors with three-round totals of six-under par 210.
The tournament ended in dramatic fashion with a playoff between Texas Tech and San Diego State for the 10th and final qualifying spot in the NCAA Championships to be played at Ohio State University on May 29-June 1. Texas Tech won the one-hole playoff to advance to the NCAA Championship. There also was a three-player playoff for the two individual bids to the NCAA Tournament. John Merrick of UCLA and Mark Warman of San Diego State advanced, while Aaron Byers of Oregon was eliminated in the one-hole playoff.
For Sheridan, Wyo., native Urbatchka it was the final round of his collegiate career. Urbatchka was tied for 18th after Thursday's opening round, but fell back to a tie for 82nd on Friday after suffering with medical problems during the second round in which he shot a round of 80.
"Mike (Urbatchka) really hit the ball well on Saturday," said UW men's golf coach Joe Jensen. "He shot a 74. He wasn't able to make a lot of putts, but he played a solid round. It was too bad that Mike had all the problems with his health (a severe nose bleed that required the attention of medical training staff) on Friday, but he came back on Saturday to play a nice round of golf.
"Mike had a great career at Wyoming, and really enjoyed an outstanding senior season, qualifying for his first NCAA West Regional. I'm very proud of the way he represented our program, the University and the state of Wyoming throughout his career. Mike should be proud of his accomplishments these past four years."
The top 10 teams and top two individuals advanced from the West Regional to the NCAA Championship. The 2002 NCAA Championship will be played May 29-June 1 at the Scarlet Course at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. In addition to New Mexico (tie for 1st place), Washington (tie for 1st place) and Texas Tech (10th place), the other teams that advanced to the NCAA Championship are: UNLV(3rd), Minnesota (4th), Pepperdine (5th), Arizona (tie 6th), Pacific (tie 6th), Texas (tie 6th) and Fresno State (9th).
The tournament format for the NCAA West Regional was three 18 hole rounds for a total of 54 holes.
The West Regional was one of three regionals leading up to the NCAA Championship. The East Regional was hosted by Georgia Tech University, and was played at the Ansley Golf Club's Settin' Down Creek Course in Roswell, Ga. The Central Regional was played at the Pleasant Valley Golf Course in Little Rock, Ark., hosted by the University of Arkansas-Little Rock. All three regionals consisted of 27 teams and six individuals, and all three were played May 16-18.
Urbatchka's participation in the 2002 NCAA West Regional marks the fourth consecutive season that Wyoming had placed an individual in the NCAA West Regional. Former Cowboy David Hearn earned bids to the 1999, 2000 and 2001 NCAA West Regionals, with his best finish being 17th at the 1999 NCAA Regional.
Urbatchka was named All-Mountain West Conference by MWC coaches on May 1. He posted five Top 25 finishes in 10 tournaments during the 2001-02 season, including four Top 10 showings. Urbatchka also led the Cowboys in stroke average this season at 73.34 strokes per round.