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NCAA Albuquerque Regional Course Preview

May 15, 2016  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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NCAA Albuquerque Regional Course Preview

No. 11 seed Liberty will tee it up tomorrow at the Championship Course at the University of New Mexico for the first round of the 2016 NCAA Albuquerque Regional.

Prior to play getting underway at the home course of the New Mexico Lobos, the 14-team field was granted a practice round today. LibertyFlames.com was the course with the Flames, providing today's hole-by-hole breakdown.

The Championship Course at the University of New Mexico is a par-72 course that will play at a length of 7,562 yards, the longest course Liberty has faced this season. The course also plays at an elevation of 5,300 feet above sea level, causing the ball to fly significantly further.

The course opened to play in 1967 and has been considered one of the top 25 public golf courses in the country during nearly a half century of existence.

The course served as the host site of the 1967, 1992 and 1998 NCAA Men's Golf Championship and has hosted NCAA Regional play in 1991, 1995, 2002 and 2016.

Today's hole-by-hole preview begins with play from No. 10 (par 4, 550 yards), which will be No. 11 seed Liberty's first hole of play tomorrow.

No. 11 seed Liberty will be sent off the No. 10 tee, starting at 9:15 a.m. (MST), along with golfers from No. 10 seed Iowa and No. 12 seed Army.

Hole-by-hole live scoring will be available throughout the event via Golfstat. @LUGameDay (Liberty's Game Day Twitter account) will be on the course providing more in-depth coverage of Liberty's golfers as they seek to advance to the NCAA Men's Golf Championship.

Championship Course at the University of New Mexico
Hole-By-Hole Preview & Photo Gallery (gallery shows tee marker, tee shot, approach shot and green view from each hole, in order how Liberty will play on Monday). 

No. 10 (par 4, 550 yards)
The tee shot is elevated and plays over a lengthy valley to the top of a hill. A long, left-to-right ball flight will allow players to cut off some distance to the green, as the green is well below the midway point of the fairway. The larger green slopes from back to front and has multiple tiers, a staple for greens at this course.

No. 11 (par 3, 220 yards)
The first par-3 Liberty faces on Monday is one of two par-3 holes at the course with multiple tee boxes, giving the regional committee several options throughout the three-day event. The right-hand tee plays completely over "Mick's pond", while the left tee box is more uphill and golfers only need to carry the water if the pin is on the right side of the green.

No. 12 (par 4, 406 yards)
No. 12 is a straightaway hole and should the wind gusts blow as forecasted, the longer players in the field will nearly be able to drive the green. The fairway slopes considerable from right to left, but that should not be a problem for the longer collegiate players as all will be hitting irons into one of the flatter greens on the course.

No. 13 (par 4, 504 yards)
Players will need to be straight off the tee. The championship tees will bring some trees on the left and right side of the tee into play. The two-tiered green slopes from back to front and is guarded by large bunkers on either side of the hole, below the putting surface and could leave some challenging bunker shots.

No. 14 (par 5, 595 yards)
After playing three holes with helping winds, Liberty's first par-5 on Monday will likely play back into the wind to add length to the hole. The fairway on the dogleg right narrows on the landing area off the tee. An uphill approach shot awaits the players to a green that is protected by two large bunkers front right and slopes back to front.

No. 15 (par 4, 364 yards)
No. 15 is the shortest par-4 hole on the course and will most likely play downwind during the Regional. The front edge of the green plays roughly 335 yards off the tee, allowing the longer hitters to give it a go. However, thick rough surrounds a small green that is also protected by three greenside bunkers for those who do not find the putting surface.

No. 16 (par 3, 196 yards)
The second par-3 on the back nine has a narrow opening on the front, while the back right and left sides of the green are guarded by bunkers. A total of five bunkers surround the entire green that slopes from back to front. At least two of the three pin placements are likely to be over the bunkers on either side of the green.

No. 17 (par 4, 377 yards)
A straightway tee shot bends slightly to the right as you approach the uphill par-4, No. 17 hole. With the hole likely to be playing downwind most of the regional, players will have short pitch shots into a two-tier green guarded by two large bunkers which run off the back end of the deep green.

No. 18 (par 5, 560 yards)
The home hole on the Lobos course plays uphill and doglegs to the left. Approach shots into the elevated green are deceiving with bunkers insight from the fairway. However, the pair of bunkers are 40 yards short of a hidden three tiered green that is surrounded by three greenside bunkers.

No. 1 (par 5, 544 yards)
The second of two par-5 holes in a row for Liberty on Monday should play easier than the first. The downhill approach shot to the green has a picturesque look into the Albuquerque downtown skyline. The green, which significantly slopes from back to front, is smaller and guarded by three bunkers.

No. 2 (par 4, 454 yards)
An elevated tee shot plays to a fairway that is well below the tee box by almost 60 feet. The end of the fairway doglegs to the left near the green, leaving trouble if you miss the short grass. The deep green has a valley in the middle of it and the entire putting surface slopes severely from right to left.

No. 3 (par 3, 163 yards)
The second par-3 has multiple tee box options with both shots playing uphill. The right-hand tee shot is more open, while the left tee box has a narrower gap with overhanging trees to the left of the tee box. The green is significantly sloped and divided by a large ridge with shorter approaches rolling off the front and longer shots rolling off the back right edge.

No. 4 (par 4, 376 yards)
This par-4 plays much like the par-4, No. 12, but is 40 yards shorter. Should the winds remain as forecasted, the players will have short pitch shots into the mostly flat putting surface on the course. Two large bunkers guard both sides of the hole, but should not be a problems for the players with wedge approach shots.

No. 5 (par 4, 492 yards)
The tee shot plays to a fairway that runs off to the right. The uphill approach to the green will play longer if the forecasted winds continue throughout the regional. The two-tiered green is narrow, but the back portion of the green will allow for some makeable puts as it is the flatter part of the putting surface.

No. 6 (par 4, 428 yards)
The tee box is elevated and plays to a fairway surface that slopes from right to left. The approach shot plays to an uphill green which is guarded by large bunkers if shots are long. Players with short approach shots will find it hard to hold the green, while longer approach shots to the right will roll off the edge of the putting surface.

No. 7 (par 4, 520 yards)
The par-4 begins a tough closing stretch of holes for the Flames. Each will be long and play mostly into the forecasted winds. The green is elevated and guarded by a front slope that will roll well down the fairway if the green is not reached. However, if golfers judge the wind right, they could score on this hole because of its flat putting surface.

No. 8 (par 3, 267 yards)
Players will need good control of their hybrid clubs, as this long par-3 will play uphill and longer because of the winds. Short approaches will once again roll back to the fairway-like area. The green is divided into to two parts and the back portion of the green will run away from the players without proper control.

No. 9 (par 5, 606 yards)
Liberty's final hole on Monday will be its longest, playing at 606 yards. The tee shot is blind. The hole doglegs right roughly 300 yards from the green. Players will need to watch the five bunkers that guard the green on their short third shots, which plays to a green that severely slopes from back to front.