ATLANTA — The No. 9 University of Arkansas men’s golf team got its first look at the Capital City Club’s Crabapple course on Monday, playing in a practice round at the NCAA Championship.
Arkansas spent just over 5 hours on the national championship course getting a feel for the greens and preparing for the final tournament of the 2012-13 season.
Arkansas advanced to the NCAA Championship with a second-place finish at the NCAA Fayetteville Regional and was awarded the No. 8 seed in this season’s championship. The 30-team championship tournament includes two waves of 15 teams and the Razorbacks tee off in the afternoon session today with a morning tee time on Wednesday. Arkansas tees it up at 12:10 p.m. Central from the 10th tee with players from TCU and Kent State.
“We are excited about getting started,” Arkansas head coach Brad McMakin said. “We played the preview here in the fall and got a feel for the course, but conditions are significantly different now. The rough is much shorter than it was in the fall and that should help scores significantly across the board. As a team we are also playing much better than we were last fall, so that should make this a fun week.”
The Razorback lineup for the NCAA Championship includes senior Austin Cook, junior Sebastian Cappelen, sophomore Thomas Sorensen and freshmen Taylor Moore and Nicolas Echavarria. All five Razorbacks played at the preview event in late September with Cook tying for 22nd overall with a four-over par tournament.
Overall, Arkansas is making its 18th trip to the NCAA Championship as a team and its third in the last five years under McMakin’s guidance. The Razorbacks’ last trip to the championship came in 2011 where Arkansas finished 15th at Karsten Creek in Stillwater, Okla. Arkansas’ best finish at the tournament came in 2009 when McMakin led the Razorbacks to a second-place finish at The Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio.
The NCAA Championship consists of three rounds of stroke play which crowns the individual champion as well as the teams that will advance to match play. The top eight teams in stroke play advance to match play which continues through Sunday and crowns the national champion.