Men's Golf Opens American Championships this Weekend
April 25, 2014
PALM HARBOR, Fla. - After 10 regular-season events, the ninth-ranked University of Houston Men's Golf program begins postseason competition this weekend when it tees off at the inaugural American Athletic Conference Championships.
The three-day, 54-hole tournament tees off with a 7a.m. (CDT) split-tee start Sunday on the 7,340-yard, par-71 Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club. Fans can follow live scoring by visiting GolfStat.com and following the appropriate links or by clicking here.
The Cougars will square off against No 7 UCF, No 30 USF, No 31 SMU, No 47 Memphis, Cincinnati, Louisville, Rutgers, UConn and Temple. For Sunday's First Round, Houston will go off No. 1 at 8:40 a.m. (CDT) and compete in a pairing with UCF.
Houston looks to repeat as conference champions but will try to accomplish that feat in its first appearance at the American Athletic Conference Championships. A year ago the Cougars swept the team and individual titles while competing in their final season in Conference USA.
Houston finished with a 3-stroke victory over 20th-ranked SMU, while Roman Robledo captured the individual crown with a 2-stroke win over SMU's Bryson Dechambeau. It was the first time since 2001 that the Cougars earned either title at a conference championship.
The Cougars enter this weekend's event on the heels of a third-place finish at the rain-shortened Reunion Intercollegiate on April 14-15. It was the program's seventh top-3 team finish in 2013-14.
Director of Golf Jonathan Dismuke and associate head coach Chris Hill - who was named a finalist for the 2014 Jan Strickland Award earlier this week - elected to return to the lineup that they used for most of the spring season.
Robledo has been one of the college golf's best performers during the 2013-14 season. The Harlingen, Texas, native has posted four tournament wins, including three straight to open the spring season, in 2013-14 and has enjoyed six top-10 finishes in 10 events.
Robledo, who is ranked No. 26 nationally in the latest Golfweek/Sagarin rankings, is a two-time American Athletic Conference Golfer of the Week winner and leads the Cougars with a 71.37 scoring average and 19 rounds of par or better.
Ross stands second among the Cougars with a 72.04 scoring average and has made a name for himself on the international stage as well this season. In late March, he sat out a collegiate event to represent his native Scotland on Team Europe in an international friendly match vs. Team Asia/Pacific for the Sir Michael Bonallack Trophy in Bangalore, India.
He recently was named one of 10 amateurs to compete for Team Europe in the Palmer Cup, a Ryder Cup-like event, scheduled for June 26-28 in Surrey, England.
This season, Ross has competed in eight events and enjoyed top-10 showings six of those, including a tie for second at the Reunion Intercollegiate on April 15. That tied his best finish as a Cougar, first set at the Fighting Irish Gridiron Classic early in the 2011 fall season.
As he has throughout his collegiate career, Reed will represent the Cougars at his final conference postseason event. The Castroville, Texas, native is the only student-athlete to compete in every team-scoring event during the last four years and recently became just the sixth player in school history to move past 10,000 strokes during his career.
Reed has enjoyed eight top-20 finishes in 10 events this season, including back-to-back top-10 showings at the 3M Augusta Invitational (April 5-6) and Reunion Intercollegiate (April 14-15).
Pilgrim and McClain return to the Houston lineup. McClain, a native of Diboll, Texas, has compiled four top-20 finishes in eight events this season, including a second-place showing at the Cougars' own Bayou City Collegiate Championship in late February.
Pilgrim joins Robledo as the only Cougars to win individual titles in 2013-14. The Colleyville, Texas, native fired a final-round 66 at the Fighting Irish Gridiron Classic on Sept. 23-24 to earn the first individual championship of his career and lead the Cougars to the first of four team titles this season.
Fans can receive live scoring updates by following @UHCougarGolf on Twitter and catch up with the latest news and notes on the team by clicking LIKE on the team's Facebook page at HoustonCougarGolf.
Following the American Athletic Conference Championships, the Cougars will wait to learn their NCAA postseason fate. The Cougars are poised to make their third straight NCAA Regional appearance as a team, a first since 2000-02.
The NCAA Men's Golf Selection Show will air at 9 a.m., Monday, May 5 on the Golf Channel.