May 7, 2012
ATLANTA – Georgia Tech’s golf team, ranked 9th in the nation in the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index and 12th in the Golfstat rankings, has been made the No. 2 seed in the NCAA Norman, Okla., Regional, which will be played May 17-19 at the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club, the NCAA Men’s Golf Selection Committee announced Monday.
The Yellow Jackets, who earned an automatic berth by winning the Atlantic Coast Conference championship last month, is playing in an NCAA regional for the 15th straight year and for the 21st time in the 23 years the NCAA has used a regional qualifying format for its championship. They are part of a regional field that includes 14 teams and five individuals.
The full Norman, Okla., Regional field, in order of seed, includes the nation’s top-ranked team in Texas, the Yellow Jackets, 13th-ranked Washington, No. 23 Florida State, No. 31 Oklahoma, (host), No. 36 Saint Mary’s, Calif. (West Coast Conference champion), No. 35 Illinois (Big Ten Conference Champion), No. 48 Middle Tennessee State, No. 49 South Carolina, San Diego, Arizona, Sacramento State (America Sky Men’s Golf Conference champion), IUPUI (Summit League champion) and Loyola-Chicago (Horizon League champion).
“We’ve got the No. 1 team in the country and a very good host team, and Illinois has had a great year, so it will certainly going to be good competition, absolutely,” said Tech coach Bruce Heppler. “It’s not a surprise that we’re in Oklahoma. The committee stuck to the S-curve concept pretty closely, so it makes sense we’d be placed with Texas.
“I’ve heard it’s a great golf course, you can’t fake it there. We’ve got a lot of guys who hit the ball well, so let’s go out and see what we can do. It’ll be a real challenge.”
The Yellow Jackets head into the post-season having won twice this year, including the Brickyard Collegiate in the fall and the ACC Championship last month. All five Tech players are ranked among the nation’s top 150 players by the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index – James White (19), Anders Albertson (26), Bo Andrews (99), Richard Werenski (104) and Ollie Schniederjans (146).
In all, 81 teams and 45 individuals are completing for spots in the NCAA Men’s Golf Championship, which will take place May 29-June 3 at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif. The other five regional sites (with top seed in parentheses) are the University of Michigan Golf Course in Ann Arbor, Mich. (Southern California), the University of Georgia Golf Course in Athens, Ga. (Alabama), The Club at Olde Stone in Bowling Green, Ky. (UCLA), Grandover Resort East Course in Greensboro, N.C. (Auburn), and the Stanford Golf Course in Stanford, Calif. (California).
Other ACC teams in the field include Wake Forest (9th seed in Athens, Duke (4th seed in Greensboro), Virginia (4th seed in Ann Arbor), NC State (10th seed in Ann Arbor), Clemson (4th seed in Bowling Green), Virginia Tech (8th seed in Bowling Green),
Each regional is a 54-hole, stroke-play event with 13 teams and 10 individials, or 14 teams and five individuals, competing. The top five teams after 54 holes and one individual not on those teams in each regional advance to the NCAA finals. The fields for all six regional tournaments can be found at http://www.ncaa.com/sports/golf-men/d1.
Tech has failed to advance through an NCAA regional only once in 21 tries (the Yellow Jackets did not receive bids in 1996 and 1997). Heppler’s teams have won two regional tournaments outright, in 1998 in Daufuskie Island, S.C., and 1999 in Providence, R.I., and shared the 2002 title with Clemson in Roswell, Ga.
2012 NCAA NORMAN, OKLA., REGIONAL GOLF TOURNAMENT
Site: Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club, Norman, Okla. (host – University of Oklahoma) Dates: May 17-19, 2010 (Thursday-Saturday), practice round on Wednesday, May 17
Teams competing (in order of seed): Texas, Georgia Tech (Atlantic Coast Conference champion), Washington, Florida State, Oklahoma, Saint Mary’s, Calif. (West Coast Conference champion), Illinois (Big Ten Conference Champion), Middle Tennessee State, South Carolina, San Diego, Arizona, Sacramento State (America Sky Men’s Golf Conference champion), IUPUI (Summit League champion) and Loyola-Chicago (Horizon League champion)
Individuals competing (in order of seed): Martin Simonson of UTEP, Kevin Lucas of Nevada, Mitchel McLeroy of Stephen F. Austin, Scott Willman of Nebraska and Alfred Kerstis of Arkansas-Little Rock
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 5 teams and the top individual not on those teams after 54 holes advance to the NCAA Championship May 29-June 3 at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif.