AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — The Augusta men’s golf team clinched a spot in its third straight NCAA Regional by winning the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) tournament by 36 strokes.
The Jaguars earned the nine seed in the West Lafayette regional, which begins Monday. The top five teams from the 13 participants advance to the national championship.
After finishing sixth in their regional last year and missing the national tournament by two strokes, the Jaguars are hoping that experience can help lead them back to the national tournament this year.
“We have three people back from that team last year,” junior Broc Everett said. “We’re all hungry to go out and get that spot this year. I think any experience you have in tournaments like that is really important. You can draw from it when you’re playing this year, so it’s really important for us to use that experience from playing a hard course last year and go to this next hard course and play well there too.”
“The golf course that we’ll play up at Purdue University is very difficult, as was the one in Stillwater, Okla. last year,” fourth year head coach Jack O’Keefe said. “I think the guys have a better feel coming down the stretch on what they need to do and how they need to be prepared for the difficult situations that come up on that last day.”
Augusta is trying to get back to the national championship tournament for the first time since they won the second of their back-to-back national titles in 2011.
The Jags tee off in the first round beginning at 8:55 a.m. on Monday.
Press Release from Augusta University Athletics:
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Augusta University men’s golf team will begin its quest for another national championship May 15-17 at the NCAA West Lafayette Regional hosted by Purdue, according to an announcement Thursday by the NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Committee via a live selection show on Golf Channel.
The regional selection is the 20th in program history and the third in a row for head coach Jack O’Keefe (1993, ’94, ’95, 98′, ’99, 00′, ’01, ’02, ’03, ’04, ’05, ’07, ’08, ’09, ’10, ’11, ’12, ’15, ’16, and ’17).
The Jaguars are seeded ninth in the West Lafayette Regional, which will be held at the Kampen Course. Augusta will send junior Broc Everett, seniors Emmanuel Kountakis, Jake Marriott, Viktor Edin, and freshman Gustav Andersson as the starting five.
“It’s a great golf course, very straightforward, but it’s a championship-style course. The best five teams will definitely advance due to the golf course,” O’Keefe said. “It’s that good, that demanding, and that challenging, but we’ve been playing well and we will change up our practice a little this next week and play some different courses to provide some new challenges for us so we will be ready. Broc, Gustav, and Emmanuel have not played there, but we’ve got the luxury that Jake and Viktor have and we will try to use that to our advantage.”
Six 54-hole regional tournaments will be conducted May 15-17. Thirteen teams and ten individuals not on those teams will compete at each of three regionals while the other three regionals will have 14 teams and five individuals not on those teams. The low five teams and the low individual not on those teams from each regional will advance to the finals.
Team and individual medalist titles will be decided May 26-31 at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Illinois. Northern Illinois University is the host institution for the 2017 championships.
Ranked No. 51 in the nation according to Golfweek.com and No. 52 on Golfstat.com, Augusta earned an automatic-qualifying bid to this year’s postseason after winning their third-straight Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Championship on April 28 in Savannah, Ga. The Jaguars shot 43-under par across three days at Crosswinds Golf Club and finished round three 21-under par to win the event by 36 strokes
NCAA West Lafayette Regional
Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex, Kampen Course – West Lafayette, Indiana
Hosted by Purdue University
- South Carolina
- New Mexico
- Saint Mary’s
- Cleveland State