news-category: Athletics

Gardner-Webb Men’s Golfer Zack Byers Honored with NCAA Selection Show Watch Party on May 4

Zack Byers, left, is presented the trophy from Big South Commissioner

Senior from Shelby, N.C., is the First GW Golfer to Qualify for an NCAA Regional

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—In the 1970s, Gardner-Webb University earned national recognition for the men’s golf program under legendary head coach Garland Allen. Next week, Gardner-Webb will once again be in the national spotlight as men’s golfer Zack Byers waits to hear where he will play in the NCAA Regionals. Byers, a Shelby (N.C.) High School graduate, is the first Gardner-Webb golfer to qualify for an NCAA Regional, doing so on the strength of his recent Big South Conference individual title—and accompanying automatic bid.

The University is hosting a NCAA Selection Show watch party for Byers on Wednesday, May 4, at 4 p.m. in Stewart Hall of Tucker Student Center. Admission is free, and refreshments will be available. The selection show will air live on The Golf Channel and online at GolfChannel.com.

“I’m really excited for Zack as he prepares to represent GWU in the NCAA Regional,” said Gardner-Webb President Dr. William Downs. “Runnin’ Bulldog fans hung on every update as Zack outdueled Campbell’s golfer to win a sudden death playoff and secure the individual conference title on April 23, and you can bet we’ll be supporting him as he moves forward. Gardner-Webb golf legend…hero…royalty. Call him any of those, because Zack Byers has the heart of a true champion.”

Byers remarked that the whole journey has been a memorable one that started when golf head coach Tee Burton gave him a spot on the team. “Coming in, I didn’t have one of the most impressive junior resumes, but Tee Burton took a chance on me, developed me and helped me grow into a captain, a leader and a great player,” he asserted. “I have to give all thanks to him and Chuck Burch, the athletic director, and all the staff. Dr. Downs called me into his office and it was exciting to hear his enthusiasm and what he wanted to do to get the watch party going. It’s a big thanks to everybody.”

Additionally, being from nearby Shelby gives him a fan base. “A lot of people are extremely supportive of the things that I do,” he reflected. “They are here to always give me the support that I need. One piece of history has been made. There’s a lot more history that can take place by going out there and doing something special. Having the community backing me is something I cherish. I plan to invite a lot of people from Shelby to come out to the watch party.”

This year’s NCAA Regionals will be played at seven sites: the Traditions Club in College Station, Texas, PGA National Resort (Champions Course) in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., The Course At Yale in New Haven, Conn., The Reserve at Spanos Park in Stockton, Calif., Ol’ Colony Golf Complex in Tuscaloosa, Ala. and OSU Golf Club in Columbus, Ohio.

“Zack has had a special year and has worked very hard to do exactly what he’s done this year, get to the NCAA Regional Championship,” Burton praised. “He’s done many impressive things but to shoot 66 and make 9 birdies to come back and win the Big South Individual Championship was really fun to watch and be a part of.”

Each regional will be held May 15-18. The NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship will be played at the Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz., from May 27 through June 1.

Byers recent triumph at The Patriot Golf Club at Grand Harbor in Ninety Six, S.C., brought him a Big South title, but it is far from his only accomplishment in 2022. He earned first-team All-Big South Conference honors for his regular season efforts, which included three top-10 finishes, a scoring average of 71.43 and a pair of tournament titles.

Byers won the ECU Intercollegiate in Greenville, N.C., and followed with a title at the 2022 Golfweek Any Given Tuesday Intercollegiate in Myrtle Beach, S.C. He was named Big South Golfer of the Week twice during the spring season.

Auxiliary aids will be made available to persons with disabilities upon request 10 working days prior to the event.  Please call 704-406-4270 or email [email protected] with your request.

Gardner-Webb University is North Carolina’s recognized leader in private, Christian higher education. A Carnegie-Classified Doctoral/Professional University, GWU is home to six professional schools, 14 academic departments, more than 80 undergraduate and graduate majors, and a world-class faculty. Located on a beautiful 225-acre campus in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb prepares graduates to impact their chosen professions, equips them with the skills to advance the frontiers of knowledge, and inspires them to make a positive and lasting difference in the lives of others. Ignite your future at Gardner-Webb.edu.

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