May 5, 2008
ATLANTA – Georgia Tech’s golf team, ranked 8th in the nation, has been made the No. 3 seed in the NCAA Central Regional, which will be played May 15-17 at the Ohio State Scarlet Course in Columbus Ohio. Tech will be bidding to advance to the NCAA Championship for the 11th consecutive year and for the 22nd time in the last 26 years.
Top-ranked Alabama and No. 5 Oklahoma State are the top two seeds ahead of the Yellow Jackets, who have been moved out of their geographic region for the second time in three years. Tech was placed in the Central Regional in Chardon, Ohio, outside Cleveland, two years ago. This Central field includes 15 of the nation’s top 50 teams in the most recent Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index.
“It all starts right now. It’s great to be in for another year,” said head coach Bruce Heppler. “It’s a good field, and there’s no faking it. The best teams will get out of there.”
Other top-50 teams in the Central, in order of seed, include sixth-ranked Florida, No. 11 Tennessee, No. 27 Lamar, No. 22 Wake Forest, No. 23 Indiana, No. 17 Texas A&M, No. 25 Louisville, No. 26 Wichita State, No. 36 Kent State, No. 43 Penn State, No. 39 Arkansas and No. 46 Michigan.
TCU, Texas-Arlington, Illinois, host Ohio State, Baylor, Colorado, Eastern Kentucky, Marquette, Eastern Michigan, Cleveland State, Loyola of Maryland and Sacred Heart round out the 27-team field.
The other two regional tournaments will be held the same weekend at the Council Fire Golf Club in Chattanooga, Tenn. (East Regional) and Gold Mountain Golf Club in Bremerton, Wash. (West Regional). Each regional is a 54-hole stroke play event with 27 teams and six individuals competing. The top 10 finishers and two individuals not on those teams in each regional advance to the 111th NCAA Men’s Golf Championship, May 28-31 at the Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex in West Lafayette, Ind.
No. 2-ranked Georgia is the top seed in the East Regional and the overall No. 1 seed, while No. 3 Southern California is the top seed in the West. The fields for all three regional tournaments can be found at www.NCAA.com.
Tech has never failed to advance through an NCAA regional in 17 tries (the Yellow Jackets did not receive bids in 1995 and 1996). Heppler’s teams have won two regional tournaments and finished seventh or higher in all the rest, including a tie for second last year in the East Regional at The Golf Club of Georgia in Alpharetta. The Jackets have played in the NCAA Championship every year but two since 1985, finishing second four times.
2008 NCAA CENTRAL REGIONAL GOLF TOURNAMENT
Site: Ohio State Scarlett Course, Columbus, Ohio
Dates: May 15-17 (Thursday-Saturday), practice round on Wednesday, May 14
Host school: Ohio State
Teams competing (in order of seed): 1. Alabama (Southeastern Conference), 2. Oklahoma State (Big 12 Conference), 3. Georgia Tech, 4. Florida, 5. Tennessee, 6. Lamar (Southland Conference), 7. Wake Forest, 8. Indiana, 9. Texas A&M, 10. Louisville, 11. Wichita State (Missouri Valley Conference), 12. Kent State, 13. Penn State, 14. Arkansas, 15. Michigan, 16. TCU, 17. Texas-Arlington, 18. Illinois, 19. Ohio State, 20. Baylor, 21. Colorado, 22. Eastern Kentucky (Ohio Valley Conference), 23. Marquette (Big East Conference), 24. Eastern Michigan (Mid-American Conference), 25. Cleveland State (Horizon League), 26. Loyola-Maryland (Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference), 27. Sacred Heart (Northeast Conference)
*conference name in parentheses denotes automatic qualifier by winning conference championship
Individuals competing (in order of seed): 1. Chris Baker, Iowa State, 2. Clayton Rask, Minnesota, 3. Josh Sandman, Notre Dame, 4. Victor Almstrom, Minnesota, 5. Brent Long, Western Kentucky, 6. Jordan Weber, Northern Iowa
Format: 54 holes (18 each day). Each team has five players, with the low four individual scores each day counting toward the team total. The top 10 teams and two individuals not on those teams after 54 holes advance to the 111th NCAA Men’s Division I Championship May 28-31 at the Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex in West Lafayette, Ind.
TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE (all times local)
Wednesday, May 14 – practice rounds from 8 a.m. to 12:50 p.m. in order of seed, beginning with top seed
Thursday, May 15 – first round, play begins at 7 a.m. from both No. 1 and No. 10 tees – last group at 1:43 p.m. (Georgia Tech will tee off at 11:30 a.m. from the No. 1 tee)
Friday, May 16 – second round, play begins at 7 a.m. from both No. 1 and No. 10 tees – last group at 1:37 p.m. (Georgia Tech will tee off at 7 a.m. from the No. 10 tee)
Saturday, May 17 – third and final round, play begins at 7 a.m. from both No. 1 and No. 10 tees – last group at 1:37 p.m. (leaders tee off early, tee times based on 36-hole standing)