BELMONT, N.C. � For the first time in Newberry College men�s golf history, the Indians are heading to the NCAA Division II national tournament. Newberry qualified at the 2008 Southeast Regional tournament after the third and final round was completed at The Point Lake Golf Club in Belmont, N.C. on Wednesday afternoon.
With the first two rounds in the books, Newberry stood at 597 (293-304) through 36 holes and in fourth place heading into today�s play. The Indians had a strong third round with a stroke total of 294 to ensure a spot in Houston, Texas and a chance at a national championship.
The full tournament stroke total for Newberry was 891 and placed the Indians in third place in the Southeast Regional. To qualify for a spot at the national tournament, the Indians needed to either win the Southeast Regional or have one of the top three scores in the Southeast/Atlantic Super Regional.
The Indians� 891 beat out all but two teams in the field and pushed Newberry men�s golf into new and exciting territory. Also qualifying for the national tournament was Southeast Regional champion Georgia College and State University, Atlantic Regional champion Belmont Abbey College, the University of South Carolina-Aiken and Clayton State University.
All three teams that were not regional champions came from the Southeast Regional field. Newberry�s 27-over par team performance was fourth-best amongst the qualifying teams.
�This is the first time that Newberry men�s golf has ever made it to the national tournament,� said head coach and South Atlantic Conference Coach of the Year Brian McCants, �It is very exciting.�
In a season that was highlighted by a SAC championship and qualifying for the regional tournament, Newberry golf is breaking new ground. �Winning conference and coming to regionals was phenomenal already,� said McCants, �But this is incredible.�
Individually, the Indians placed two golfers in the top ten. Freshmen Ben Lown (North Augusta, S.C.) finished with a three-day total of 219. After a first day round of 75 (+3), Lown churned out back-to-back even-par performances on Tuesday and Wednesday to complete play tied for sixth place. Lown overcame some early troubles on Wednesday with five birdies and finished with 11 birdies in three rounds at The Point Lake Golf Club.
Fellow freshman Daniel Stanley (Inman, S.C.) placed in a tie for 10th following a two-over par third round. Stanley started the tournament strong with a three-under par 69 on Monday on the strength of a pair of aces and a pair of birdies, but struggled to find his form in the second day. Daniel shot six-over par on Tuesday.
Stanley regained his stroke on Wednesday needing just 74 strokes in the final 18 holes. Finishing with a 74, Stanley�s three day total put him at 221.
John Allen Meetze (Chapin, S.C.) was also impressive during the regional tournament. The freshman completed Wednesday�s third round with an even-par performance and tied for 16th. Meetze shot 223 (73-78-72) for the tournament.
Freshman Stephen Holmes (Chapin, S.C.) tied for 27th and shot 231 (76-79-76) over three days. Sophomore Brandon Burnside (North Augusta, S.C.) shot a 238 (80-76-82) and finished in 37th.
�These boys deserve it,� said McCants, �They have worked hard, hung in, and battled each and every time out on the course. Through the final hole today that was evident.�
The Indians continue their season as the highest level of Division II golf is played at the Memorial Park Golf Club in Houston, Texas. Newberry will be leaving Sunday, May 10, in preparation for a pair of practice rounds on Monday and Tuesday. The Indians begin play Wednesday, May 13, in the four round, four-day national tournament.
2008 NCAA Southeast Regional Tournament
The Point Lake Golf Club Belmont, N.C.
1. Georgia College and State University 285 295 292 872
2. University of South Carolina-Aiken 297 287 301 885
3. Newberry College 293 304 294 891
4. Clayton State University 296 304 301 901
5. Lander University 294 302 306 902
6. Carson-Newman College 300 302 308 910
7. Columbus State University 305 300 307 912
8. Armstrong Atlantic State University 310 309 299 928
2008 NCAA Atlantic Regional Tournament
The Point Lake Golf Club Belmont, N.C.
1. Belmont Abbey College 294 293 302 889
2. Barton College 307 292 305 904
3. Anderson University (S.C.) 303 307 299 909
4. Mount Olive College 311 296 310 917
5. Coker College 306 302 310 918
6. Fayetteville State University 311 300 319 930
7. Pfeiffer University 313 322 303 938
8. Virginia State University 321 325 318 964
Italics denotes qualifier for national tournament.
Newberry Individual Finishers
T6. Ben Lown 75 72 72 219 +3
T10. Daniel Stanley 69 78 74 221 +5
T16. John Allen Meetze 73 78 72 223 +7
T27. Stephen Holmes 76 79 76 231 +15
37. Brandon Burnside 80 76 82 238 +22