There will be something missing when the 39th annual Branch Law Firm/Dick McGuire Invitational begins today.
But he will be far from forgotten.
“This year absolutely has special meaning,” UNM coach Jill Trujillo said of longtime Lobo golf coach Dick McGuire, who started this tournament and never missed it. Until this year.
McGuire died at age 90 in June.
“It leaves a big void,” Trujillo said. “It will be a strange tournament without him here. But his family has been really, really sweet, and they gave us his portrait from the New Mexico Hall of Fame. We’re going to put it on his golf cart with his name plate.
“I think teams coming that have never been here before see all he did for golf, and how he is the Godfather of UNM golf.”
The Lobos are one of 18 teams in a field that includes defending tournament champion Oklahoma State and Northwestern, the NCAA runnerup last spring.
Former national champion Stanford is also in the field, as well as Texas — which is coached by former Lobo standout Ryan Murphy.
The event is 54 holes, with 36 being played today. The first round begins at 7:30 a.m. The afternoon round will follow.
The final round is on Tuesday at 7:30 a.m.
All rounds will have shotgun starts, meaning all players begin at the same time on different holes.
The top four scores on each five-player team count towards the team total each round.
The Lobos’ starting five: Deming High graduate, junior Darian Zachek; senior Ingrid Gutierrez; senior Alexandra Moisand; junior Emma Edwards; and sophomore Reva Morris.
Caroline Jansson and Zoey Akagi-Bustin, both freshmen, will compete as individuals, but their scores won’t count for the team.
“We have a whole new dynamic than last year, when we had four seniors,” Trujillo said. “This year, we only have two, but we have a highly-motivated team and a winning attitude.”