FAYETTEVILLE – The 2021-22 collegiate golf season is just around the corner, and it is being marked by the release of two preseason polls. The Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) has the University of Arkansas ranked 19th in its Bushnell/Golfweek preseason poll, released today, and the GOLF Channel’s Brentley Romine has the Razorbacks ranked 15th.
The 16th season of the Brad McMakin tenure opens the season at the Carmel Cup, played Sept. 3-5 at Pebble Beach and annually considered one of the toughest fields in the nation. The eight-team field includes six of the nation’s top 25, including #2 Oklahoma State, #6 Vanderbilt, #7 Oklahoma, #9 Texas Tech, #14 Georgia and #19 Arkansas. Also in the field is Mississippi State and 2021 NCAA Championship participant TCU.
Headlining the list of returning Razorbacks are All-American and 2021 Arnold Palmer Cup participant Julian Perico and 2021 SEC champion Segundo Oliva Pinto. Perico owns two of the school’s top three single-season scoring records and currently holds the school record for career scoring. Oliva Pinto has won both of his conference tournaments played in his career, also winning the 2019 Colonial Athletic Conference championship while at UNC Wilmington.
Manuel Lozada, who was named to the SEC All-Freshman team this past season, will be sidelined for the fall due to an injury.
A solid group of returners, who have been waiting in the wings behind William Buhl, Mason Overstreet and Tyson Reeder, include Wil Gibson, William McDonald and Denver Davis – each of whom has dotted the lineup over the past two years – as well as redshirts Damin Strydom and Juan Camilo Vesga.
A pair of high-caliber transfers (Mateo Fernandez de Oliveira and Luke Long) have been added as well as two freshmen (John Daly II and Matthew Griggs).
Fernandez de Oliveira comes to Arkansas after two years playing mostly #1 at TCU. He is ranked 63rd in the World Amateur Golf Rankings as he has played in three Latin America Amateur Championships and each of the last two U.S. Amateurs. He helped TCU reach the 2021 NCAA Championship and was named All-Big 12 Tournament.
Long, a Fayetteville native and two-time Arkansas Amateur Champion, played two seasons at Houston, earning All-Region, and has been named all-conference at both Chattanooga and SIU-Edwardsville.
Arkansas currently has five of the top 17-ranked amateur players in South America, including #1 Fernandez de Oliveira, #3 Perico, #5 Oliva Pinto, #16 Lozada and #17 Vesga.