NCAA Finals Will Be McCoy's Last Test As a Cyclone
AMES, Iowa - It's been 32 years since an Iowa State golfer made an appearance at the NCAA finals and that will all change this week.
Senior Nate McCoy, who hails from West Des Moines, Iowa, will continue his sensational season by competing at the 2012 NCAA Men's Golf Championships, May 29-31 in Pacific Palisades, Calif. He earned the bid as the low individual not among the top-five teams advancing at the NCAA Bowling Green Regional on May 19.
McCoy fired rounds of 73-68-71 at the regional, including a clutch birdie on the last hole to win the qualifying spot by one shot. He joins Clay Davis (1980), Dick Stuntz (1974) and John Benda (1969) as the only Cyclones to compete in the NCAA finals as individuals.
"This means a lot to me," McCoy said. "Ever since I was a junior in high school I set a goal to make it to the NCAA Championships. There were a couple of times in the last few years where I thought I wasn't going to make it. This is something I have worked for my whole career and it is an awesome feeling to get there."
This year's championship is held at one of the nation's most revered courses in The Riviera Country Club. The beautiful layout located near the Santa Monica mountain range in Los Angeles has hosted four major championships: 1948 U.S. Open (Ben Hogan), 1983 PGA Championship (Hal Sutton), 1995 PGA Championship (Steve Elkington) and the 1998 U.S. Senior Open (Hale Irwin). It is the primary host of the PGA Tour's Northern Trust Open.
Riviera, which will also host the 2017 U.S. Amateur, will play at 7,292 yards (par 71) for the NCAA Championships.
All 30 teams and six individuals will play 54 holes of stroke play from May 29-31. The low score after three rounds will determine the individual national champion and the top-15 finishers will receive official NCAA awards. The top eight teams in stroke play will advance to the match play portion of the tournament (June 1-3) to determine the team national champion.
It's been a Cinderella season for the Cyclone star. A staple in Iowa State's lineup in his first three seasons, posting six top-10 finishes, McCoy exploded in his senior year with eight top-10 showings and two tournament titles.
An All-Big 12 First-Team pick, McCoy is on pace to break the school record for stroke average in a season (71.60) while shooting 72 or lower in 26 of 40 rounds during the year.
A busy summer lies ahead for McCoy, who earned his degree in communication studies in May. He secured his playing privileges on the Canadian Tour by tying for fifth at qualifying school on May 11 and he plans on turning professional following the NCAA meet. He will also tie the knot with Ashley Costanzo, a former member of the Iowa State soccer team, in a June 16th wedding.
For now, McCoy is focused on his final collegiate tournament and the chance to carry his Iowa State bag for the last time.
"I feel very proud to represent Iowa State, my state and my town at the NCAA Championships," McCoy said. "This is something I will always remember."
2012 NCAA Men's Golf Championships
May 29-31, Pacific Palisades, Calif.
The Riviera Country Club - 7,292 yards - Par 71
May 29: McCoy's tee time is 4:20 p.m. CST
May 30: McCoy's tee time is 11 a.m. CST
May 31: McCoy's tee time is 4:20 p.m. CST
Live Scoring: NCAA
Twitter updates of McCoy's rounds: @CycloneMGolf
Streaming Video (Thursday only): NCAA