Boise State golf photo

The Boise State men’s golf team earned an at-large bid to the regional round of the NCAA Championships Wednesday for the second time in program history.

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BOISE — There wasn’t a ton of suspense as the Boise State men’s golf team gathered together Wednesday afternoon to watch the selection show for the regional round of the NCAA Championships.

The Broncos, ranked No. 47 in the latest rankings, were confident they’d qualify for just the second time in program history. The question was where they’d be sent and who they’d be matched up against.

Their draw couldn’t have worked out any better.

Boise State was selected as the No. 8 seed in the Albuquerque (New Mexico) regional, where it’ll be matched with a familiar team in No. 5 seed New Mexico and at a course which suits many of the Broncos’ players well.

“This was the first step and our main goal of the year, to get to this point,” senior and Eagle High graduate Josh Gliege said. “You can’t go to nationals without getting to regionals, so it’s nice to get that first step out of the way. We thought we could, so it’s awesome to finally do it.”

The regional will run May 17-19 at Championship Golf Course in Albuquerque. No. 1 Oklahoma is the top team in the regional, followed by No. 12 Arizona State, No. 14 Texas A&M, No. 22 Texas Tech, No. 29 New Mexico, No. 31 Stanford, No. 41 Oregon State, Boise State, South Carolina, Nevada, San Diego, New Mexico State and Oakland Prairie View A&M.

“I think everyone is pretty happy,” Gliege said. “We want another crack at New Mexico, they just beat us in the Mountain West Tournament, and they will be one of the teams right there by us. I think everyone also is pretty happy to go to a course where we can play pretty well.”

Gliege, who played the Championship Golf Course previously prior to transferring from Texas A&M to Boise State, said the course is “just about perfect for our guys.”

It’s just the second time in program history the Broncos were selected as a team to the NCAA Championships. The only other time came in 1994.

“This is a big day for us,” coach Dan Potter said. “It’s exciting to see your name go up on the screen. We’ve had great players and been close to this for a few years now and to get over the hump feels awesome. Our guys have earned this and we’re going to celebrate it today.

“I’m excited about heading to Albuquerque. I’ve played the UNM course and it will suit our team well. We’ll get focused quickly and be ready to get out there and mix it up with some great teams.”

Boise State has finished in the top five in six of seven tournaments this spring. The Broncos won the UCSB Collegiate April 12-13 with junior Max Charles also capturing the medalist honors there.

Hugo Townsend, a redshirt sophomore, is ranked No. 17 in the NCAA by Golfstat. It’s the third-highest ranking in school history behind only Troy Merritt (No. 1, 2007-2008) and Graham DeLaet (No. 12 in 2005-06). Both went on to play on the PGA Tour.

Gliege, Townsend, Charles, Skyler Eubank and Joe Neuheisel — the likely five to participate for the Broncos — have combined on two wins, seven top-10 and 17 top-25 finishes this season. The group has an average score of 71.91, with Townsend leading the way at 69.81.

“We’ve got pretty much five or six guys who have the ability to go out and win,” Gliege said. “If one guy is playing bad the round is not shot because we have four other guys who will be right there. We’re deep and that’s what it takes to have a good team.

“I think it kind of shows you what we can do here at Boise State. It’s a step in the right direction, but I think this is just the start.”

B.J. Rains has covered Boise State athletics for the Idaho Press since 2013 and is a three-time winner of the NSMA Idaho Sportswriter of the Year Award. He appears on KTIK 93.1 FM The Ticket every Friday at 4 p.m. for the Blue Turf Sports report.

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