NCAA Men's Golf Regional Preview

Updated 5/16/2012
Courtesy of MAC Sports Information Department

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Tournament Central

NCAA Men's Golf

NCAA Regional Play Starts On Thursday For No. 18 Kent State
Already with five team titles under its belt this season, No. 18 Kent State now turns its focus to NCAA Regional play.  Seeded third in the Central Regional hosted by Michigan, the Golden Flashes are seeking to advance to the NCAA finals for the third consecutive year and 16th time in school history.  The Golden Flashes secured the Mid-American Conference automatic postseason bid by winning their fourth straight and 20th overall MAC title. Live scoring is available on www.golfstat.com

Golden Flashes Line-Up
Representing the Golden Flashes this week are senior Mackenzie Hughes (72.9) junior Kevin Miller (73.4), sophomores Taylor Pendrith (75.3), Corey Conners (72.0) & Kyle Kmiecik (74.3)
 
Quick Flashes
• Kent State has five team wins this season tying the team for the fourth most in the nation
• The Golden Flashes have won three of their last four team events
• The 40-shot victory at the MAC Championship by Kent State was the widest margin of victory by any conference champion in 2012
• Kent State’s line-up consists of three of the top six men’s amateur players in Canada according to the World Golf Amateur rankings (No. 2 Corey Conners, No. 5 Mackenzie Hughes, No. 6 Taylor Pendrith)
• Now in his 34th year, Head Coach Herb Page has led Kent State to 78 team titles
• Kent State men’s golf earned a 3.344 GPA for the spring semester marking the third highest semester team GPA in program history
• The third seed is the highest Kent State has been since the NCAA went to six regional sites in 2009.  The Golden Flashes were 7th in 2009 9th in 2010, & 6th in 2011

Format
Hosted by Michigan, the NCAA Central Regional consists of 54-holes over three days at the par 71, 6,723-yard University of Michigan Golf Course.  First round play for the Golden Flashes begins on Thursday, May 17 at 8:00 a.m.  The low five teams and the low individual not on those teams from each of the six regional sites will advance to the finals.      

The Forcast
Thursday: Times of sun and clouds. Highs in the upper 60s
Friday: Partly cloudy. Highs in the mid 70s  
Saturday: Mix of sun and clouds. Highs in the low 80s.

The Course
The University of Michigan Golf Course was designed in the late 1920s by Alister MacKenzie and officially opened in the spring of 1931.

Kent State has played in one other NCAA regional at the course in 1996 when the Golden Flashes finished 14th of 21 teams.  Kent State last played the course in spring of 1998 finishing second of 18 teams in the Wolverine Invitational.

Up Next
The NCAA Championship is hosted by USC at Riverera County Club May 29-June 3 in Pacific Palisades, Calif.. The low five teams and the low individual not on those teams from each of the six regional sites will advance.  Kent State finished T-19th at the NCAA Championship last year and is one of only 10 teams in the country to have finished top 20 at the NCAA Championship in each of the past 2 years.

The Golden Flashes are aiming for a third consecutive NCAA Championship appearance for the first time since qualifying for four straight from 1992-1995.   

Participating Teams
Kent State is seeded third in the 13-team region that includes No. 6 USC, No. 7 Oregon, No. 19 Virginia, Baylor and Oklahoma State.  Other teams include Kennesaw State, TCU, Purdue, NC State Notre Dame, Ohio State and Navy.  

Hey I Know Those Guys
Of the 12 other teams Kent State will be competing against this week, the Golden Flashes have faced nine of them compiling a 13-4 record.  Two of the four losses have come to No. 6 USC which is the top seed in the Central Regional.  Oregon, Kennesaw State & Navy are the only three teams Kent State has not gone up against this year.  

Kent State NCAA Regional History
The 2011 season marks the 24th time Kent State has qualified for NCAA play. The Golden Flashes have advanced out of regional play to the NCAA Championship, 15 times including a program best sixth place in 2008.

Kent State has won three NCAA Regional events with its most recent win coming at the 2010 East Regional at The Course at Yale.  The Golden Flashes have also finished first at Ohio State's Scarlet Course in 1993 and at the Karsten Creek Golf Club in Oklahoma in 2001. Additionally the program owns four other top four finishes (1990, 1994, 1995, 2000).

Individually, current PGA Tour member Jon Mills won the 2000 regional at Victoria County Club in Texas and finished fourth in 2001. Current Ohio State head coach, Donnie Darr was second in 1995 and in 1993 when he tied with teammate Kevin Kraft.  In 2010, then freshman Kevin Miller tied for fourth and gave Kent State a share of the team title with Texas when he chipped in for a birdie on No. 18.

Kent State Tied For the 4th Most Team Wins in 2011-12

Having been the Golden Flashes Head Coach for the past 33 years, Herb Page is tied for the second longest tenured coach at the 2011 NCAA Championship.  In addition Page's 13 appearances with Kent State are tied for the fifth most by any coach in the field with their current team.

Teams with the Most wins in 2012
1.   Texas              7 wins
      Oregon           7 wins
3.   Arkansas         6 wins
4.   Kent State       5 wins
      California         5 wins
      UNLV               5 wins
      North Florida    5 wins
      San Diego St    5 wins

Balanced Line-up For Kent State
Four different individuals have been the top finisher at least three times each for Kent State in 12 events this year

Top Finishers for Kent State in 2012
1. Taylor Pendrith         4 times
2. Mackenzie Hughes    3 times
    Corey Conners         3 times
    Kevin Miller             3 times


Young Team Still Has plenty of NCAA Experience
Despite having only one senior on the roster, the Golden Flashes line-up is still full of NCAA experience combining for 39 rounds of postseason play


(Akron) Charlie Bull Heads to Michigan for NCAA Regional Championship
AKRON, Ohio
– For the University of Akron golf program, Thursday will be history in the making. For sophomore golfer Charlie Bull, it will be just another tournament in a great season as he will play in the 2012 NCAA Central Regional at the par-71, 6,723-yard U-M Golf Course in Ann Arbor, Mich.


Bull was selected to participate in the Central Regional on May 7 as part of the NCAA Championship Tournament. The Central Regional features 13 teams and 10 individuals. He 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.


Tee times are set to begin on Thursday at 8 a.m. ET, with Bull's threesome set to tee off at 10:10 a.m. The regional event will consist of 54 holes, with 18 holes played each day (Thursday-Saturday). Fans can catch all of the action live via Golfstat Live Scoring.


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


Bull will be one of a number of representatives from the Mid-American Conference in the regional, joined by MAC Champion No. 18 Kent State and Tyler Merkel of Ball State, also playing as an individual.


Also playing at the Central Regional include squads from No. 29 Baylor, No. 42 Kennesaw State, Navy, No. 55 North Carolina State, No. 63 Notre Dame, No. 70 Ohio State, No. 31 Oklahoma State, No. 7 Oregon, No. 54 Purdue, No. 43 TCU, No. 6 USC and No. 19 Virginia.


Individuals joining Bull and Merkel at the event include Chad Ebert (Green Bay), Dan Ellis (Michigan State), Sebastian MacLean (Xavier), Greg Matthias (Delaware), William Park (Army), Erik Van Rooyen (Minnesota), Matt Thompson (Michigan) and Peter Williamson (Dartmouth).


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.