TCU Travels to Riviera for NCAA Championship
May 28, 2012
FORT WORTH—TCU looks to close out its 2012 season strong this week when it competes at the 2012 NCAA Men’s Golf Championship in Pacific Palisades, Calif. Competition runs Tuesday through Sunday at historic Riviera Country Club.
The Horned Frogs are one of 30 teams who survived NCAA Regional play to earn the opportunity to compete at the national championship tournament. This year marks TCU’s 16th all-time appearance at the NCAA Championship and the 13th trip in head coach Bill Montigel’s 24-year tenure. TCU is one of only 15 teams who earned a berth for at least the third time in the last four seasons.
The NCAA Championship will consist of three 18-hole rounds Tuesday through Thursday to crown an individual champion and provide a cut of eight teams. Those eight, seeded by their finish in the medal format, will then compete in up to three rounds of single-elimination match play Friday through Sunday to determine a national champion.
TCU will be playing at the Riviera Country Club for the first time in program history. One of the world’s most iconic courses, Riviera has played host to several professional major championships, including the 1948 U.S. Open, the 1983 and 1995 PGA Championships and the 1998 U.S. Senior Open. The course will play a distance of 7,292 yards during the tournament and feature a par score of 71. The 2012 NCAA Championship will be the first time Riviera has hosted an amateur event.
A live video web stream will be available during the tournament on NCAA.com and is scheduled for Thursday through Sunday. Coverage for Thursday’s final round of stroke play is scheduled to begin at 7 a.m. PDT, while each of the three rounds of match play will commence at 10 a.m. PDT.
TCU will utilize the same five-player lineup that competed at the NCAA Central Regional and Mountain West Championship: freshman Julien Brun, senior Johan de Beer, junior Daniel Jennevret, freshman Thomas Mantovanini and sophomore Ian Phillips.
The Frogs look to top the previous best NCAA Championship finish in program history of fourth place recorded in 1980. The squad also notched top-10 results in 1997 (t-No. 7) and 2009 (No. 9). TCU also has placed five individuals in the top 10 in its previous 15 NCAA appearances, including four in the top 5: David Sann (t-No. 5; 1980), Charlie Stevens (t-No. 10; 1992), J.J. Henry (t-No. 2; 1998), Adam Rubinson (t-No. 2; 2002) and Tom Hoge (t-No. 3; 2009).
FOLLOW IT LIVE
The NCAA Championship event website can be found here. Live online scoring will be provided by Golfstat.com.
NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP REGULARS
TCU has been a mainstay on the NCAA Championship stage under 24th-year head coach Bill Montigel.
* TCU is making its 16th all-time NCAA Championship appearance and its 13th under Montigel’s watch.
* The Frogs have been to the national championship three of the last four years. Only 15 schools in this year’s field have made it three times in the last four years, including only six who have advanced all four seasons.
* When including individual appearances, TCU has sent at least one golfer to the NCAA Championship 18 times overall, 15 times under Montigel and four of the last five seasons.
* TCU advanced to the NCAA Regional Championship for the 23rd consecutive season this year, all under Montigel. The Frogs are one of only four teams to build a current streak that long under the same head coach along with Clemson, Florida and UNLV.
* TCU’s national postseason tournament streak is the longest in the history of Horned Frog Athletics. The women’s golf team owns the second-longest streak, having reached 17 consecutive NCAA Regionals.
TCU boasts two of the nation’s top golfers this season in freshman Julien Brun and senior Johan de Beer.
* Both Frogs are ranked among the nation’s top-50 golfers according to Golfweek, with Brun ranking No. 9 and de Beer checking in at No. 48.
* TCU will be one of only 11 teams in the NCAA Championship field with two or more players with top-50 rankings. The other squads are Alabama, Cal, Illinois, North Florida, Oregon, Stanford, Texas, UCLA, USC and Washington.
FANTASTIC FRENCH FRESHMAN
Freshman Julien Brun has taken college golf by storm this season after arriving at TCU from Antibes, France.
* Brun is among the nation’s top-ranked individuals in several ratings systems:
Rank - College Ratings System
No. 2 - Golfstat national ranking
No. 5 - Golfstat Cup
No. 9 - Golfweek/Sagarin
* Brun also ranks among the world’s top amateur golfers:
Rank - Amateur Ratings System
No. 13 - Scratch Players (No. 1 in France, No. 2 in EU)
No. 17 - R&A Amatuer (No. 1 in France, No. 3 in EU)
* Brun was one of 10 semifinalists for the Ben Hogan Award presented to the nation’s top golfer.
Julien Brun is in the midst of completing the top overall season ever by a Horned Frog golfer.
* Not only has Brun set the TCU single-season record for individual victories with three, the figure also broke the program’s career record.
* Brun, along with teammate Johan de Beer, is one of only six Frogs ever to win multiple tournament championships in a career. Brun is the only freshman with multiple event wins in a season.
* Providing more evidence of Brun’s outstanding season is his season stroke average of 70.53, which ranks No. 6 nationally and is on pace to set a new TCU single-season record:
Place - Individual (Year) - Figure
1. - Julien Brun (2012) - 70.53
2. - J.J. Henry (1998) - 71.08
3. - Adam Rubinson (2003) - 71.34
4. - Albert Ochoa (1997) - 71.79
5. - Adam Meyer (2003) - 71.76
6. - Adam Meyer (2004) - 71.82
7. - Johan de Beer (2012) - 71.77
8. - Bret Guetz (2002) - 72.00
9. - David Schultz (2003) - 72.06
10. - Adam Rubinson (2002) - 72.15
* J.J. Henry’s school record for stroke average came when he was named Golfweek National Player of the Year. He finished 1998 ranked No. 2 in college golf in average.
* Other single-season records that Brun has reached this season include: score vs. par (-1.06), finish percentage (90.0%) and top-10 finishes (eight). He needs one more below-par round to tie the program’s single-season mark for such rounds (27).
Senior Johan de Beer will be in his final competition as a Horned Frog at the NCAA Championship. It will be his third career appearance at the national tournament, as he previously tied for 58th place as a sophomore in 2010 and tied for 89th place as a freshman in 2009.
* De Beer is experiencing his best season yet as a Frog, having reached a career-high individual ranking (currently No. 48 according to Golfweek) while also owning a career-best stroke average of 71.77, which would rank No. 7 in TCU program history.
* The season stroke average is nearly 1.5 strokes better than his previous best mark (73.12).
* De Beer is one of the most accomplished golfers in TCU history. He became the first four-time all-conference individual in program history earlier this year and is one of only three golfers in Mountain West history to earn four All-MW accolades.
* De Beer became only the sixth Frog with multiple individual tournament titles and only the fifth TCU conference champion when he was top-medalist honors at the Mountain West Championship.
* TCU’s leader for much of the spring season, de Beer recorded top-15 finishes in seven consecutive tournaments prior to tying for 31st at the NCAA Central Regional.
* De Beer owns a current career stroke average of 73.02, which ranks No. 5 in program history.
JENNEVRET MAKING STRIDES
Junior Daniel Jennevret has been a mainstay in the lineup throughout each of his three seasons as a Horned Frog, but this year he has made major strides in improving his game.
* Jennevret owns a season stroke average of 72.97, well below his previous best of 74.92 recorded as a freshman in 2010.
* Jennevret has improved his consistency this season, notching five top-20 individual finishes in 13 tournaments. He has placed among the lower half of the leaderboard in only two events.
* Jennevret is ranked No. 154 according to Golfweek. He finished No. 211 as a freshman and No. 393 at the conclusion of last season.
COMING UP CLUTCH
TCU likely would not have advanced to the NCAA Championship without the timely performance of freshman Thomas Mantovanini at the NCAA Central Regional.
* The No. 4 player in the Frogs’ lineup, Mantovanini had a major breakthrough in Ann Arbor, tying for 11th place with a final 3-under-par score of 210, easily his top effort as a Frog.
* Mantovanini’s final score consisted of three rounds of par or better golf at the par-71 University of Michigan Golf Course (70-69-71). Prior to the weekend, he had only shot par or better in two of 18 competition rounds for TCU.
* Mantovanini’s previous best score in relation to par was a +3 effort at the Insperity Augusta State Invitational, while his top finish was tying for 36th place out of 87 individuals at the John Hayt Collegiate Invitational.
* Bill Montigel called Mantovanini’s effort one of the most memorable in his 24 seasons as TCU’s head coach. “It had to be one of the most clutch, unbelievable performances by a freshman that I have seen here,” Montigel said. “To come up with your best tournament, by far, at this time of the year when the pressure is on was just incredible.”
BIG 12 BOUND
The NCAA Championship will mark TCU’s final golf event as a member of the Mountain West before joining the Big 12 Conference on July 1.
One other Mountain West squad made the NCAA field in San Diego State, while two other 2012-13 Big 12 members will join TCU at Riviera Golf Club in Texas and Oklahoma.
HERE WE GO AGAIN
Bill Montigel is one of the most successful head coaches in this week’s NCAA Championship field. He ranks No. 4 among the 30 coaches in NCAA Championship appearances (13) and No. 6 in longest current tenure (24 years).
IN THE PROS
TCU boasts two different former Frogs who currently possess PGA TOUR cards in J.J. Henry (1994-98) and J.J. Killeen (2002-05).
* Henry made headlines last week by tying for third place at the HP Byron Nelson Championship in Dallas. He actually led the field early in the final round after recording a hole-in-one on the par-3 fifth hole.
* Killeen received his tour card for the first time last fall after topping the Nationwide Tour money list last season. He was named 2011-12 Nationwide Player of the Year in a vote of his fellow competitors.