INDIANAPOLIS – Newberry has been selected to compete in the 2017 NCAA Men’s Golf Championship, earning the No. 2 seed in the Southeast Region and an at-large selection to the NCAA South/Southeast Regional in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.
“Our team has been working hard since August. We’ve played really well since that time to be recognized for an at-large bid in this tournament,” said head coach Howard Vroon. “It’s something we haven’t achieved in several years and we’re really honored.”
Twenty teams, 10 from the South Region and 10 more from the Southeast, along with eight individuals will converge on the Fighting Joe Golf Course to contend for seven available slots in the finals.
Newberry has been ranked among the national leaders in both the Golfstat rankings and Bushnell Golfweek Division II Coaches Poll for most of the season and has spent the entire spring ranked inside the top 10. The Wolves have two tournament wins and have finished in the top five-eighths of every event this season, including a Division I tournament.
“This definitely feels like redemption after last year,” said Vroon, one year after the Wolves were the first team out of the tournament field. “The goal of the entire season was to play well from the start. Last year we didn’t play well enough in the fall and were playing catch-up in the spring. We got as high as 10th in the region but it wasn’t a safe position to be in.
“Our goal this year was to secure a great ranking in the fall, and we knew if we did it would put us in a good position to be selected.”
The Wolves enter the national tournament coming off a third-place finish at the 2017 South Atlantic Conference Men’s Golf Championship. Newberry was one stroke from forcing a three-team playoff in the rain-shortened, 27-hole event and saw Carlos Leandro and Ben Thompson tie for second at even par.
Newberry will now turn its attention to The Shoals Golf Club, home of the Fighting Joe Golf Course and part of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. Vroon is confident that the long yardages typical of Robert Trent Jones courses will benefit the Wolves.
“We’ve prepared all year to play on a course that’s long enough to challenge us. It will probably be set up at at least 7,000 yards. This will give the best teams a chance to separate themselves. We’re planning to show how good we can be on any distance at any golf course.”
Lander earned the Southeast Region's top seed. Lincoln Memorial was the No. 3 seed, with seventh-seeded Coker and No. 10 seed Carson-Newman giving the SAC four representatives in the field.
Additionally, Mars Hill's Adam Lumley, the SAC Player of the Year, earned an at-large selection as an individual. He joins players from Belmont Abbey, North Georgia, and Clayton State from the Southeast Region.
Tournament play begins on Monday, May 8 at 8:30 a.m. ET. The teams will play 54 holes, with the top seven in the standings advancing to the NCAA Finals May 22-26 in Kissimmee, Florida.
Seeds are summarized below. Teams with their conference listed in parenthesis earned their league's automatic bid.
|Seed||Southeast Region||South Region|
|1||Lander||West Florida (Gulf Coast)|
|3||Lincoln Memorial||Barry (Sunshine State)|
|4||USC Aiken (Peach Belt)||Nova Southeastern|
|5||Young Harris||Florida Tech|
|6||Limestone (Conference Carolinas)||Florida Southern|
|10||Carson-Newman (South Atlantic)||Albany State (Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference)|