No. 18 Kent State Headed To Michigan For NCAA Regional

Updated 5/8/2012
Courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments

KENT, Ohio —
No. 18 Kent State is headed to University of Michigan Golf Course for its 25th NCAA men’s golf appearance. The Golden Flashes earned the third seed in the Regional which consists of 54-holes over three days May 17-19 with the top five teams advancing to the NCAA Finals.

This is the fourth season for a six-site NCAA Regional format with either 13 or 14 teams at each location. The top five teams and top individual not on those teams will advance to the NCAA Championship at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades May 29-June 3.

No. 5 USC is the top seed in the regional followed by No. 6 Oregon.  Kent State is then followed by No. 19 Virginia and No. 30 Baylor which round out the top five seeds. The Golden Flashes earned the Mid-American Conference’s automatic bid after a 40-stroke victory in the Mid-American Conference Championship gave the program its fourth straight and 20th overall conference title.

Since the regional format began in 1989, Kent State has now qualified for NCAA post season play 21 times in the past 24 years.  The Golden Flashes have advanced to the NCAA Championship 15 times including each of the past two years.  By tying for 19th at the 2011 NCAA finals, Kent State is among an elite group of only 10 schools that have finished top 20 at the NCAA Championship each of the past two seasons (Oklahoma State, Georgia Tech, Augusta State, Arizona State, San Diego, Texas A&M, USC, UCLA and Illinois).  The 19th place finish was the fifth best showing in school history

The other five regionals consist of Grandover Resort (East Course) in Greensboro, N.C., University of Georgia Golf Cours in Athens, Ga., The Club at Olde Stone in Bowling Green, Ky., Jimmy Austin OU Golf Club in Norman, Okla. and Stanford Golf Course  in Stanford, Calif. 

Michigan Regional Field:
1. USC
2. Oregon
3. Kent State (Mid-America Conference) 
4. Virginia
5. Baylor
6. Oklahoma State
7. Kennesaw State
8. TCU
9. Purdue
10. N.C. State
11. Notre Dame (Big East Conference)
12. Ohio State
13. Navy (Patriot League)

(Akron's) Charlie Bull Selected to NCAA Regional Tournament
AKRON, Ohio – University of Akron sophomore golfer Charlie Bull was selected as one of 10 individuals participating in the Ann Arbor Regional as part of the NCAA Regional Tournament, the NCAA announced late Monday.

The Ann Arbor Regional will feature 13 teams and 10 individuals and will take place May 17-19 at the par-71, 6,723-yard U-M Golf Course in Ann Arbor, Mich. 
Bull will be one of a number of representatives from the Mid-American Conference in the regional, joined by MAC Champion Kent State ad Tyler Merkel of Ball State, also playing as an individual.

The top five teams and top individual not on an advancing team will move on the to the NCAA Championships, which will be held at the Rivera Country Club in Los Angeles from May 29 through June 3. 

Bull is the first Zips’ student-athlete to compete in the NCAA Regional tournament since Akron joined the Division I rankings (1980-81). The last postseason appearance by the Zips came in the Division II NCAA Championships in 1977.

Bull enters the event following a top-five finish at the MAC Championship last weekend. He carded a 1-over 217 to finish tied for fourth place. He earned First-Team All-MAC honors as well as earned a spot on the MAC All-Tournament team after finishing in the top five. He currently owns a 73.19 scoring average including seven top-25 finishes in 11 events, five of those coming inside the top-six.

(Ball State) Men's Golfer Headed to Regional
MUNCIE, Ind. - Tyler Merkel, a sophomore member of the Ball State men's golf team, has been selected to compete at the NCAA Regional in Ann Arbor, Mich., May 17-19.

The NCAA Regional will be played at the University of Michigan Golf Course and is one of six 54-hole regional tournaments. The low five teams and the low individual not on those teams from each regional will advance to the finals. The finals will be May 29-June 3 at The Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif.

The first round of the NCAA Regional at Michigan is set for May 17, while the second round is set for Fri., May 18 and the final 18 holes Sat., May 19. The course will play to 6,723 yards and to a par 71.

Merkel, a 2012 All-Mid-American Conference First Team selection, is the second individual to compete at the NCAA Regional for the Cardinals in the last two years. He follows Eric Steger, who competed at the Regional as a senior for Ball State in 2011. 

Merkel, who was a co-recipient of the 2011 MAC Freshman of the Year award, led the Cardinals with a 73.47 average in 2011-12. He has managed four top-10 finishes and was named the MAC Player of the Week three times this season. Merkel tied for first at the Northern Intercollegiate, marking the second time in his career he has won a tournament. He tied for second at the Golfweek Pinehurst Intercollegiate, tied for fourth at the Golfweek Conference Challenge, tied for seventh at the Ball State Earl Yestingsmeier Invitational and posted a 3-0-0 record at the Mid-American Match Play this spring.

He tied his career low with a 68 at the Northern Intercollegiate where he also tallied a season low 54-hole score of 212. Merkel managed four rounds in the 60s this season.