Men's Golf to Open NCAA Regional Play Thursday in San Diego

May 19, 2010

UCF NCAA Regional Notes in PDF Format

By Doug Richards

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - On Thursday, the UCF men's golf squad will open NCAA Regional play at the Carlton Oaks Golf Course in San Diego, Calif. The three-round tournament will conclude on Saturday.

The Knights earned a spot in the regionals by claiming their second-straight Conference USA Championship last month. UCF will be making its fourth-consecutive NCAA Regional appearance.

UCF is one of 13 squads that will be in action in San Diego. Starting Thursday, six 54-hole regional tournaments will be held across the country, with the low five teams and the low individual not on those squads advancing to the NCAA Championship. The championship will be conducted June 1-6 in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Other teams that are participating in the tournament in San Diego include No. 5 Augusta State, No. 9 Oregon, No. 16 UNLV, tournament host and No. 23 San Diego State, No. 28 Tennessee and No. 29 California. The Knights are ranked 47th in the latest Golfweek/Sagarin rankings.

Ten individuals from schools that did not make the regional field are also competing in San Diego.

Bryce Wallor, who is in his first campaign as UCF's head coach, has selected seniors Simon Ward (County Monaghan, Ireland) and Devin Spies (Sarasota, Fla.), junior Nuno Henriques (Funchal, Portugal) and sophomores Connor Arendell (Cape Coral, Fla.) and Brad Schneider (Valrico, Fla.) for his regional lineup. All five golfers boast postseason experience.

UCF will tee off at 11:50 a.m. Eastern Thursday along with Arizona and Chattanooga.

Live statistics for the regional will be available at Golfstat.com.

For the latest news on the Knights, log on to UCFAthletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. The site, which also contains ticket and Golden Knights Club donor information, is also the home of UCF's new online apparel store. Also visit UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.

Another Conference USA Championship: In late April, UCF earned Conference USA's automatic bid to the NCAA Regionals by claiming its second-straight league title at the RedTail Golf Club in nearby Sorrento, Fla. The Knights finished the 11-team tournament at 6-under 858, 18 shots ahead of Rice and Southern Miss, who tied for second place. Three Knights - Nuno Henriques, Connor Arendell and Brad Schneider - tied for second individually as four of the five UCF golfers posted top-10 finishes. UCF entered the final round with a five-shot lead over Rice. The Knights led the entire duration of the three-day tournament.

Immediate Success: In his first year at the helm of the Knights, head coach Bryce Wallor has led his squad to the postseason. Wallor came to UCF after a successful stint as an assistant coach at Tennessee, where he helped the Volunteers make five trips to the regionals, with the squad advancing to the NCAA Championship on three occasions.

Return to the Postseason: UCF will be making its fourth-consecutive NCAA Regional appearance. In 2009, the Knights took the title at the regional in Sorrento, Fla., and advanced to the NCAA Championship for the first time since 1992. The team tied for 10th at the championship. The trip to San Diego will serve as the 13th NCAA Regional appearance in UCF history.

Heading West: The Knights will be heading to the west coast for NCAA Regional play for the second time in the last decade. In 2008, the team competed in the NCAA West Regional in Bremerton, Wash. UCF also participated in the 2004 NCAA West Regional, which was held in Sunriver, Ore.

Honor Roll: Three Knights garnered honors from Conference USA following the league championship. Both Nuno Henriques and Brad Schneider were named to the All-C-USA Second Team, and Reid Martin received all-freshman team recognition.

Regional Experience: All five golfers in the UCF lineup have NCAA Regional experience. Brad Schneider, Simon Ward and Devin Spies all played for the Knights in the regionals a year ago, with Schneider finishing second, Ward tying for 27th and Spies tying for 38th. The three golfers also competed in the 2009 NCAA Championship. Nuno Henriques was a member of the 2007 UCF squad that played in the NCAA Regionals in Alpharetta, Ga. He placed 28th at event. As a freshman at Louisville a year ago, Connor Arendell finished 27th in regional play in Bowling Green, Ky.

California State of Mind: The Knights will be competing in California for the second time in 2009-10. In October, the squad participated in the Prestige at PGA WEST in La Quinta.

Follow the Leaders: Nuno Henriques and Brad Schneider, who both earned All-Conference USA Second Team honors, have been the Knights' top golfers this season. Henriques paces the squad with a 73.1 stroke average, followed by Schneider at 73.4. Both players have four top-10 finishes.

Nifty Newcomer: In his first season with the Knights, Connor Arendell has made an immediate impact. A Florida native who spent his freshman year at Louisville, Arendell has played in all 11 of the Knights' events and has posted two top-20 finishes. He best showing of the year came at the Conference USA Championship, where he tied for second at 214 (-2).

Maturity Ward: Simon Ward is not your typical senior. Ward, who is from Ireland, earned his undergraduate degree from Ulster University in 2008. He is pursuing his master's in business administration at UCF. Ward has played in all 11 of UCF's tournaments in 2009-10, and boasts three top-10 finishes.