May 17, 2011
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Wyoming Cowboy senior golfer Gabe Maier will begin play in the NCAA Regional Tournament, hosted by the University of Colorado-Boulder, on Thursday in Erie, Colo.
"I am very proud of Gabe making the (NCAA) regional two years in a row," Wyoming head golf coach Joe Jensen said. "I know Gabe likes this course and he plays well when he is relaxed and having fun. He will go down there to represent our program well. I would like to see him get off to a good start. If he can go play solid and consistent, he can be right in the mix of this thing."
Maier, a senior from Cody, Wyo., joins current PGA Golfer David Hearn as the only Cowboys to make consecutive regional tournament appearances. He is the fifth Cowboy golfer in history to make an NCAA Regional. He joins Dave McCleave (1990), Pat Fry (1995), David Hearn (1999-2001) and Mike Urbatchka (2002).
Maier earned his spot in the regional after completing a very successful senior campaign. He placed in a tie for seventh at the 2011 Mountain West Conference Championship after holding the 36-hole lead. It was his third top-25 finish in as many years at the MWC Championship. Maier currently holds the fifth-best stroke average in the MWC at 72. He has placed in the top-10 a total of 10 times over the past two seasons, including seven top-five finishes. He closed out his career on an excellent note, finishing in the top 25 in 20 of his last 21 events. Maier also tied the school record lowest round of seven-under par twice this season at the Wyoming Cowboy Classic (63) and the Denver Desert Shootout (65).
At last season's NCAA Regional in Bremerton, Wash., Maier shot a first-round 77 (+5) which tied him for 44th place. During the second round, Maier moved up 12 spots on the leaderboard after shooting a even-par 72. During his final round of the regional he shot his best round, one-under 71, giving him a three-round total of 220 (+4) which tied him for 24th place.
"I think last year Gabe was a little nervous beginning his regional tournament," Jensen added. "I would like to see him get settled in early this year. He is the kind of player that can really play well when he feels good about the situation he is in and I think this year he does. He knows the course and likes to play it."
There are six regional tournaments in the 2011 NCAA Golf Championship that will serve as qualifiers for the NCAA Championship Tournament, played May 31-June 5 in Stillwater, Okla. The top five teams plus the top individual (not from one of the five teams) will advance to the NCAA Championship Tournament.
The Colorado NCAA Regional Tournament will be played Thursday-Saturday at Colorado National Golf Club in Erie, Colo. Hosting its first-ever NCAA Regional Tournament, CNGC will play 7,753-yards and a par 72.
This year's field at the regional will feature five top-25 teams including the No. 1-ranked and Big 12 Conference champion Oklahoma State Cowboys, No. 9 Auburn Tigers, No. 12 Georgia Bulldogs, No. 24 Arizona State Sun Devils and No. 25 Clemson Tigers. Other teams in attendance to the Colorado Regional will be: Chattanooga, MWC members TCU and Colorado State, North Florida, Western Athletic Conference champion New Mexico State, Northwestern University, San Jose State and Sun Belt champion Denver University. There will also be 10 individuals including Maier rounding out the 75 competitors at the Colorado Regional Tournament.
Maier will tee off his tournament on Thursday at 10:10 a.m. MT at CNGC.