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story.lead_photo.caption Blessings Golf Club Founder John H. Tyson (center) said he expects to put in another bid to host the NCAA golf championships and that he was encouraged by the support he saw the past two weeks for the tournaments. - Photo by David Gottschalk

FAYETTEVILLE -- Blessings Golf Club founder John H. Tyson said he expects to put in another bid to host the NCAA Men's and Women's Golf Championships.

"I would be surprised if we don't," Tyson said minutes after Stanford claimed its ninth NCAA championship by downing Texas 3-2 at Blessings on Wednesday.

The NCAA championships committee is scheduled to meet in September to begin considering venues in all sports for upcoming years.

Grayhawk Golf Club, located in Scottsdale, Ariz., will host the NCAAs for three consecutive years, from 2020-22, with Arizona State serving as the host institution. There are host openings available after that.

Tyson said he was encouraged by the local support for college golf he saw during the men's and women's championships over the past 13 days.

"I think our community enjoyed it, watching them come out and support the different schools," he said. "Yeah, I would do it all over again."

Tyson said he appreciated the quality of play he saw on the course.

"As the teams got reduced and narrowed down, watching the young men who play the game think their way around the golf course, and they could go from birdie to double bogey, the highs and lows, pretty quickly," Tyson said. "The teams were respectful, the coaches were outstanding. The different schools that were here were outstanding. I think our community demonstrated that we're not a bad place to come enjoy."

Stanford Coach Conrad Ray showered praise on the course and the people who made the event happen.

"I want to say thanks to Mr. Tyson and everyone here at the Blessings," Ray said during the awards ceremony on the Golf Channel. "We felt at home from the minute we stepped on property. That golf course is as good as you'll ever find. The superintendent did an amazing job. We are just very fortunate."

A dozen years

Stanford Coach Conrad Ray won his first national championship with the Cardinal in 2007, 10 years after he graduated from the school after teaming with Tiger Woods, Casey Martin and Notah Begay to win the 1994 NCAA championship.

He thought the Cardinal could be regulars hoisting the national championship trophy, but it took another 12 years to reach the top again.

"At the time it felt like we could do that again, a lot," Ray said. "And it's been a while. So for us it's a special deal."

Cracked head

University of Arkansas men's golf Coach Brad McMakin got word that Stanford freshman Daulet Tuleubayev had a broken driver during his Tuesday evening match against Vanderbilt's Harrison Ott.

So McMakin drove to his home on Blessings course and brought back the very club Tuleubayev needed.

"The first hole I pushed my driver a little to the right," Tuleubayev said. "I thought it sounded funny. Coach [Conrad Ray] said, 'Did the club crack?' Sure enough, it was cracked right across the top of the face."

However, Tuleubayev said, an NCAA rules official told him a cracked club head did not constitute a damaged club, which is the standard needed to allow a replacement club.

"So we thought this is kind of janky, but let's try to hit it a couple more times because that driver still felt all right," he said. "The next one I hit on the next hole, I blasted it right down the middle, but it sounded like a shotgun went off. I looked down and the club head started caving in. It took me four more shots to just completely destroy it before they let me replace it."

Tuleubayev said various people offered him four different drivers, but "I was a little picky and didn't want to swap in."

Then McMakin tracked him down on the 13th hole.

"Finally the Arkansas coach drove up with the exact same club head I had and we got to replace it, and it was just in time because I needed it for 14, 15, 16, and I hit great drives on them," Tuleubayev said.

Weather alert

Texas Coach John Fields and Longhorns golfers Steven Chervony and Cole Hammer were wrapping up their post-match news conference when a tornado siren went off and phone alerts went out for many people in the media tent.

Moments later, an Arkansas media official announced the media enclosure would have to be evacuated immediately. The Texas contingent hustled to the clubhouse at Blessings, while media members moved next door to the indoor chipping and putting facility.

Unbeaten

Three players completed match play with 3-0 records. The unbeaten crew was an all-senior group: Stanford's Brandon Wu and Isaiah Salinda, and Texas' Steven Chervony.

Texas freshmen Cole Hammer and Parker Coody each went 2-1 in match play.

Frosh vs. Frosh

Stanford freshman Daulet Tuleubayev, whose 24-footer for birdie on No. 18 late on Tuesday sent the Cardinal into the championship match, could not recapture the magic in his finals matchup against Texas freshman Parker Coody.

The Longhorns freshman won the opening hole and No. 3 with pars, built a three-shot lead with a birdie on the par-3 8th and never let Tuleubayev back in the match.

Sports on 05/30/2019

Print Headline: Another Blessings bid likely

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