Eagles Land at NCAA Florida Regional
STATESBORO, Ga. - The Georgia Southern Golf team received its third consecutive NCAA Regional bid as announced by the NCAA Division I Men's Golf Committee Monday evening. The Eagles, automatic qualifiers as winners of the 2011 Southern Conference crown last month, are one of 81 teams contending for the national title in the 2011 NCAA Division I Men's Golf Championship.
"When you get to regionals, the field is going to be good," said Head Coach Larry Mays. "I was really proud of the guys for stepping up at the conference championship to get a ticket this year. Getting that tee time is what was important to us, and that's our goal every year."
Six sites play host to 54-hole tournaments May 19-21st. The low five teams in each region along, with the low individual not on the selected teams, advances to the 2011 NCAA Championship at Karsten Creek in Stillwater, Okla., on May 31st-June 5th.
Georgia Southern travels to Ocala, Fla., and plays at the Golden Ocala Golf Club in the Florida Regional. The Eagles are the 13th seed in a field that includes: Arkansas, Augusta State, Baylor, Central Florida, Florida, Jackson State, Jacksonville State, Kennesaw State, Missouri, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Oregon and Southeastern Louisiana.
The other five regional sites are: Pete Dye River Course, Blacksburg, Virginia, (Virginia Polytechnic and State University, host), Wolf Run Golf Club, Zionsville, Indiana, (Indiana University, host), Colorado National Golf Club, Erie, Colorado, (University of Colorado, host), The Farms Golf Club, Rancho Santa Fe, California, (University of San Diego, host), Omni Tucson National Resort, Tucson, Arizona, (University of Arizona, host).
Since taking over the golf program in 2001, Head Coach Larry Mays has guided the Eagles to nine postseason bids in his 11-year tenure. Under Mays' tutelage, Georgia Southern has advanced to the NCAA Championship four times (2001, 2002, 2005 and 2010). His 2001 squad became the first Georgia Southern team since 1989 to make a NCAA Championship appearance. The Eagles earn a regional bid as an automatic qualifier for only the third time, winning the SoCon title previously in 2003 and 2006.
Last year, Georgia Southern carded its lowest round of the tournament to finish tied for fourth place (288-293-282=863) in the Atlanta Regional. The top-five finish punched the Eagles' ticket to their 14th NCAA Championship appearance and first since 2005. Senior Logan Blondell (Lakeland, Fla.) fired a 2-under 208 at the par-70 7,137-yard Capital City Crabapple Golf Club in Atlanta, Ga., to finish second. Blondell finished two strokes behind Oklahoma State's Peter Uihlein, a 2011 Ben Hogan Award finalist and the 2010 U.S. Amateur Champion.
The Georgia Southern NCAA Regional team features the same five-man lineup that won the 2011 SoCon title and three players from the 2010 NCAA Championship run: Blondell, Lewis Gruber, Florian Sander, Matt Deal and Hayden Anderson. Blondell, who finished third at the SoCon Championships, makes his third straight NCAA postseason appearance. The senior holds the team's lowest stroke average at 73.43. Junior Lewis Gruber makes his first NCAA Regional appearance after joining the Eagles this season as a transfer. The Tallahassee, Fla., native shot an 8-under 208 at last month's SoCon Tournament to take runner-up honors. Gruber holds the team's third-lowest stroke average at 74.67.
Sander (Bregenz, Austria) and Deal (Statesboro, Ga.) join Blondell as returners from last year's postseason team. Sander, finishing in a 34th-place tie at last year's regional, has the second-lowest stroke average on the team with a 74.30. Concluding his first regional appearance with a tie for 58th place last season, Deal enters the 2011 NCAA postseason with a top-25 finish at the SoCon Championship.
Freshman Hayden Anderson rounds out the five-man lineup. Anderson used the final round of the SoCon Championship to make the biggest jump in the individual standings for the Eagles. The Knoxville, Tenn., native moved up 20 spots to a tie for 21st-place finish with a 5-over 221 (76-75-70).
"Anytime you play well you are going to build some confidence and that's what we had been missing most of the year," said Mays on the team's success at the SoCon Championship. "We had not had a lot of consistent play, so to play three good rounds at conference and come-from-behind to win was huge for the program and gives us a lot of confidence going into regionals."
Follow the Eagle Golf team on GeorgiaSouthernEagles.com/golf or get short updates on facebook.com/GSAthletics or twitter.com/GSAthletics.
Listed below are the teams selected to participate in each regional site.
Golden Ocala Golf Club - Ocala, Florida
University of Florida, host
- Augusta State
- North Carolina State
- Kennesaw State
- Notre Dame
- Southeastern Louisiana
- Jacksonville State
- Georgia Southern
- Jackson State
The Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech - Radford, Virginia
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, host
- Georgia Tech
- Kent State
- Virginia Tech
- Ole Miss
- East Carolina
- North Carolina-Wilmington
- Coastal Carolina
Wolf Run Golf Club - Zionsville, Indiana
Indiana University, Bloomington, host
- Wake Forest
- Florida State
- Wichita State
- Sacred Heart
Colorado National Golf Club - Erie, Colorado
University of Colorado, Boulder, host
- Oklahoma State
- Arizona State
- North Florida
- New Mexico State
- Colorado State
- San Jose State
Omni Tucson National Resort - Tucson, Arizona
University of Arizona, host
- Texas A&M
- San Diego State
- Texas Tech
- Oregon State
- UC Davis
- Loyola Maryland
The Farms Golf Club - San Diego, California
University of San Diego, host
- Southern California
- San Diego
- Ohio State
- North Texas
- Middle Tennessee
- San Francisco
- Cleveland State
- Category: Golf
- Published on Monday, 09 May 2011 21:02