NCAA Golf News

CU Golf Feature: 1968 A Magical Year For Colorado Golf

CU Golf Feature: 1968 A Magical Year For Colorado Golf

            The second in our new monthly series on the Colorado Men’s Golf Program.  Features will be varied, from alumni interviews to topics of the day, etc.  With the Buffaloes in Scottsdale to participate in the NCAA Championship Finals starting Friday, we’ll take a look back at the ’68 team that to this date has the best finish – 8th – in the 15 previous times the Buffaloes reached the finals.


1968: Magical Year for Colorado Golf


            It’s the 55th anniversary of CU’s last conference title in men’s golf (Big Eight) and of its best-ever finish in the NCAA Championship Finals, which were held on New Mexico State University’s home course in Las Cruces, some 650 miles to the south.  The team drive there on 11-year old Interstate 25, about a 13- hour trip back in the day.


            “We drove everywhere, usually in CU’s Geology Field bus,” said Jim English, a sophomore on that Big Eight title team who had tied for third individually in the Big Eight meet.  “On occasion, those with some family money would fly back while the rest of us drove back.”


            Prior to the NCAA’s, the Buffaloes ended a decade-long reign by Oklahoma State in the Big Eight.  The Cowboys had joined the conference in 1958 that made it the Big Eight, and proceeded to reel off 10 straight titles in men’s golf.  The Cowboys usually rolled to those victories; the Buffs did finish second twice, and in 1966, were just 10 strokes back.  In ’67, OSU won a weather-shortened title, with its star, Grier Jones and CU’s Hale Irwin tying for medalist honors.  


            A senior, Irwin went on to win the NCAA title the next month; Jones returned for his senior year in Stillwater and would claim the Big Eight title after losing to Irwin in ’66 before tying the Buff icon a year later.  He shot an even-par 210 for three rounds at Lake Valley Golf Club, defeating CU junior Bill Musselman by two strokes to win that ’68 individual crown (Jones rallied after being down one heading into the final 18).


            Despite winning the Big Eight, coach Les Fowler’s Colorado team arrived in Las Cruces as a huge underdog no one expected to make the 36-hole cut to 15…


Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at University of Colorado Athletics…