UConn Athletic Communications / May 4, 2022
INDIANAPOLIS – UConn sophomore Caleb Manuel will not have to travel very far to compete in the regional round of 2022 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship.
Manuel (Topsham, Me.), who earned a berth in the NCAA tournament by winning the co-championship of last week’s BIG EAST Conference Championship, will play at the Yale Golf Course in New Haven, one of six NCAA regional sites across the country. The 54-hole tournament is scheduled for May 16-18.
The teams and individuals that made the tourney were announced Wednesday afternoon on the NCAA Golf Selection Show, broadcast on The Golf Channel. Manuel watched the show at home with family and a few friends.
“We had to wait 55 minutes,” Manuel said with a laugh, as his selection was announced in the final few minutes of the hour-long show, “but it was pretty awesome to see my name there.”
Manuel is one of five individual golfers, along with 14 teams, who will be at the regional at Yale. The five top finishing teams, as well as the low individual not on any of those five teams, will advance to the NCAA Championship finals, scheduled for May 27-June 1 at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz. The same preliminary tourney will occur at each of the other five regional sites.
“I have never played the Yale course,” said Manuel, who will be able to play a practice round on the course on May 15, “but a few of the other guys on the team (UConn) have, so I’ll be talking to them about it. I know that it’s a beautiful course and tough.”
UConn coach Dave Pezzino is very familiar with Yale.
“Yes, it’s tough,” he said, “but it’s a course that rewards cerebral play, and Caleb certainly has that. I know he’ll be calm, he’ll be patient, and he’ll think things through. I expect him to play well.”
The proximity may allow Manuel to have some extra UConn support.
“Sure, it’s nice that he’ll be in New Haven,” Pezzino said, “but really, I wasn’t too concerned about which regional Caleb would be in. He has the capability to compete with any college players in the country. I’m very excited for him.”
Manuel might see some familiar faces at the tournament as the Seton Hall team, which won the BIG EAST team championship, will also be at Yale, seeded No. 12. Yale is seeded No. 13 and Sacred Heart is No. 14. North Carolina is the No. 1 seed at the regional, followed by Texas Tech (2), Wake Forest (3), Illinois (4), North Carolina State (5), Charlotte (6), North Florida (7), Georgia Southern (8), Mississippi State (9), Virginia (10) and UCF (11).
Manuel is seeded No. 3 among the individuals, which also includes Roberto Nieves of Delaware (1), Eddy Lai of UCLA (2), Adrian Vagberg of VCU (4) and Ryan Tall of Lafayette (5).
“I guess the regional has a little New England flair,” Manuel said. “And I know the guys from Seton Hall. Maybe I can get a practice round with them.”
Manuel has been UConn’s leading scorer for the last two years and his career scoring average of 71.7 per round is the best since records have been kept. This season, he has two tournament wins, eight Top 10 finishes, 19 rounds of par-or-better, and 14 sub-70 rounds.