UW Golfer Mike Urbatchka Earns Bid to the NCAA West Regional

May 6, 2002


University of Wyoming senior golfer Mike Urbatchka was selected on Monday to participate in the 2002 NCAA West Regional Men's Golf Championship. Urbatchka will be one of six individuals and 27 teams competing at the NCAA West Regional in Albuquerque, N.M., from Thursday, May 16 through Saturday, May 18. The University of New Mexico Championship Golf Course will be the site of this year's West Regional.

Urbatchka, a native of Sheridan, Wyo., will be playing in his first NCAA Championship event. He 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.

"I'm very excited to know that I've been selected," said Urbatchka. "I feel very honored that I get to represent my team, the University and the state of Wyoming at least one more time. Coach (Joe) Jensen really emphasized this tournament to our entire team this spring. When you set your mind to something like this, it's great to finally achieve it and realize that all the hard work paid off.

"It is always fun to play with the best players at any level. I've competed against a number of these players before, and I'm looking forward to playing at least one more college tournament. This is a big tournament, but I just want to approach it the same way I've approached every other tournament in my college career and see how far I can go."

"This is a great accomplishment for Mike (Urbatchka), and is a big positive for our program," said UW men's golf coach Joe Jensen. "Mike has worked extremely hard for this honor, and I know he will represent the University of Wyoming well.

"Mike is the type of player who usually plays his best against top competition. He will be playing against the top players in the country, and I know he is looking forward to this challenge."

Urbatchka's selection marks the fourth consecutive season that Wyoming has 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.

The West Regional is one of three regionals leading up to the NCAA Championship. The East Regional will be hosted by Georgia Tech University, and will be played at the Ansley Golf Club's Settin' Down Creek Course in Roswell, Ga. The Central Regional will be played at the Pleasant Valley Golf Course in Little Rock, Ark., and will be hosted by the University of Arkansas-Little Rock. All three regionals consist of 27 teams and six individuals, and all three will be played May 16-18.

The top 10 teams and top two individuals, not a member of one of those 10 teams, will advance from each 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.

Below is a listing of the 27 teams and six individuals selected to compete in the 2002 NCAA West Regional. The teams are listed in seed order.

Individuals Selected to the 2002 NCAA West Regional

Mike Urbatchka, Wyoming David Yarnes, Oregon StateChris Baryla, UTEP Brandon Hillpot, UC RiversideBen Leestma, Air Force Eric Billinger, Denver

Teams Selected to the 2002 NCAA West Regional (Teams are listed in seed order)

1. USC 10. Nevada 19. Arizona State2. Texas 11. Oregon 20. Texas Tech3. Minnesota 12. Ohio State 21. California4. Fresno State 13. UCLA 22. Brigham Young5. Washington 14. Washington State 23. Colorado State6. New Mexico 15. Cal Irvine 24. Illinois State7. Pepperdine 16. Pacific 25. Detroit-Mercy8. San Diego State 17. UNLV 26. Indiana-Purdue at Indianapolis9. Arizona 18. Stanford 27. Central Connecticut State