* University of Wyoming press release

LARAMIE -- A very successful 2022-23 Wyoming Cowboy golf season is not over yet, as the Cowboys have been invited to play in the Inaugural GOLFWEEK National Golf Invitational (NGI) to be played May 18-21 at Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club in Maricopa, Ariz.

Wyoming will be one of 13 collegiate golf programs participating in this first-of-its-kind postseason college golf tournament.

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The NGI Championship will be structured like a traditional college team event. Each team will consist of a five-man lineup with the top four scores each round being counted toward each team’s score. Coaches will be allowed substitutions in between rounds, similar to how the NCAA Tournament is structured.

The event will begin with a practice round on Thursday, May 18. The three rounds of the tournament will be played on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, May 19-21. A team and an individual champion will be crowned at the conclusion of the 54-hole event.

Teams were selected based on their season-long performance, overall Golfweek/Golfstat rankings and head-to-head record against other NCAA Division I teams.

The 13 teams, representing 11 different conferences, that will be competing in the 2023 GOLFWEEK NGI will be: Arkansas State (Sun Belt), Ball State (MAC), George Washington (Atlantic 10), Oral Roberts (Summit), Penn State (Big Ten), Santa Clara (West Coast), Stetson (ASUN), Texas State (Sun Belt), Troy (Sun Belt), Utah Valley (WAC), Valparaiso (Missouri Valley), Washington State (Pac-12) and Wyoming (Mountain West).

“We are thrilled and grateful to be part of this special postseason event,” said Joe Jensen, University of Wyoming Head Coach. “With Golfweek and the Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club coordinating this tournament, I know that it will be a first-class event and our players will have a great experience.

“This tournament is similar to what the NIT event is for basketball. It is an honor for our program to be invited. There were strict selection criteria followed in determining the field of teams. The strength of this field is everybody was required to have a .500 winning percentage for the season and Golfweek and Golfstat national rankings were also  incorporated into the selections. It will be a very competitive tournament. Like selection to a bowl game or any other postseason event, it allows our players to continue practicing and playing. It is also a reward for their hard work and performance this season and helps build a winning culture around our program. I want to thank our administration and the people who support our program in helping us get to a postseason event. Without the resources they provide, we couldn’t have had the successful season we did.

“The winner of the NGI this year will get an exception into a prestigious college tournament next year, so there is an additional benefit to perform well.”

The last time Wyoming had a team or individual compete in postseason competition was the 2017 season when former Cowboy Ryan Wallen qualified for the NCAA Regionals.

Wyoming is coming off a 2022-23 season filled with accomplishments. Among the highlights for the Cowboys this season were:

• The Cowboys captured two team titles at the Mark Simpson Colorado Invitational and the Wyoming Desert Intercollegiate.

• UW finished among the Top 5 teams in six of 12 stroke-play events during the season.  Four of those Top 5 finishes came in Wyoming’s seven spring tournaments.

• The Cowboys posted their best-ever finish at the Mountain West Championship, placing fifth in the 11-team field.

• Eight different Pokes combined for 32 Top 25 individual finishes during the 2022-23 season.

• Sophomore Patrick Azevedo led the way with nine Top 25 finishes this season in 12 stroke-play events.

• Four other Cowboys had four Top 25 finishes, including seniors Kirby Coe-Kirkham and Tyler Severin, junior Jimmy Dales and sophomore Jaren Calkins.

“We had a good year, winning two tournaments, finishing well in the conference tournament and that earned us our NGI bid,” added Jensen. “To our players, I can’t say enough about the way they’ve competed this season and helped build our program for the future. We ask a lot of our players during the year. Due to the travel required for our sport, it takes a commitment to compete at a high level, while at the same time achieving at a high level academically.

"This year could be one of our best years academically in addition to our competitive success this season.”

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