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NCAA Regional at UNM Championship GC gets underway

University of New Mexico’s Bastien Amat, the Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year, hits at UNM Championship Golf Course on Wednesday. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Journal)

The University of New Mexico men’s golf team went through a practice round on Sunday in preparation for the three-day NCAA Regional that starts on Monday at UNM Championship Golf Course.

The fifth-seeded Lobos, obviously, know the south course well and plan to use that to their advantage to advance to the NCAA Championships. They tee off from No. 10 at 8 a.m.

The five lowest-shooting teams and the lowest-shooting individual not from that group of five teams at the 54-hole event will move on to the NCAA Championships at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona, May 28-June 2.

The Southwest Regional also features UNM rival New Mexico State, the No. 12 seed. Freshman Aidan Thomas, a former St. Pius standout, leads the Aggies, averaging 72.14 in 21 rounds this season. He helped NMSU to the Western Athletic Conference title to secure a spot in the NCAA Regionals. NMSU starts from No. 10 at 8:55 a.m.

Junior Sam Choi, ranked No. 23 in the country by Golfstat, averaged 70.52 in 21 rounds to lead the Lobos, the Mountain West Conference champions. He tied for first in regulation at the MWC Championship at the Omni Tucson National Golf Course in Arizona on May 1. Choi lost in a playoff to his high school teammate at Anaheim Discovery Christian High School in California, San Diego State’s Puwit Anupansuebsai.

The regional also includes UNM’s MW foes Boise State and Nevada. Oklahoma, the overall No. 1 seed, is also in the regional. The Sooners feature four All-Americans: Quade Cummins, Jonathan Brightwell, Garrett Reband and Patrick Welch. Oklahoma last won the national championship in 2017.

Fans are allowed at UNM Championship and are required to abide by all COVID-19 safety regulations including remaining socially distant on the course. Fans cannot interact with the golfers and officials.

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