EMU Earns At-Large Bid to NCAA Regional in Washington

Updated 5/11/2010
Courtesy of Eastern Michigan Sports Information

YPSILANTI, Mich. (EMUEagles.com) - The Eastern Michigan University men's golf team is headed to Gold Mountain Golf Club for its fourth NCAA team appearance. The Eagles earned the 11th seed in the NCAA Regional which will take place May 20-22. The 54-hole event is hosted by the University of Washington on a par 72, 7,104-yard venue in Bremerton, Wash.

The selection is the fourth NCAA berth in program history and the first as an at-large, as EMU also made NCAA Regional appearances in 1947, 2007 and 2008.

The Green and White's spot among the nation's top 81 teams came during the Men's Golf Selection Committee's Conference Call. The Eagles will be in a field that includes No. 4 ranked Washington, No. 10 ranked USC, No. 11 ranked Illinois and 25th ranked Oregon State.

There will be a total of six regional sites playing Thursday through Saturday, May 20-22, with 18 holes each day of the 54-hole event. There will be three regional sites with 13 teams and 10 individuals and three regional sites with 14 teams and five individuals. The top five teams and low individual not on a qualifying team from each regional will advance to the NCAA Championship, held Wednesday through Sunday, June 1-6, at The Honors Course in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Head coach Bruce Cunningham is accustomed to the NCAA experience, as the 15th-year mentor has either placed a team or an individual in the last six NCAA Tournaments, dating back to the 2005 campaign. Just last season, Christopher Ross earned an at-large to the NCAA South Central Regional Championships in Stillwater, Okla. In 2008, the Eagles placed 14th at the NCAA Central Regional after a 15th place showing at the 2007 NCAA East Regional, which was EMU's first team appearance in more than 60 years. Additionally, former EMU great Korey Mahoney qualified as an individual in both the 2005 and 2006 championships.

Prior to the current streak of NCAA appearances, Bob McNiff qualified for the championships in 1985 and Marc Dingman made back-to-back appearances in 1981 and 1982. Eastern Michigan made its first NCAA Championship appearance in 1947, when the then-Hurons finished 37th.

The regional teams in order of seeding include No. 1 Washington, No. 2 Southern California, No. 3 Illinois, No. 4 Oregon State and No. 5 San Diego. Colorado State, Middle Tennessee, SMU, New Mexico, Fresno State completed the top 10 slots. EMU, VCU and Loyola (Md.) rounded out the field.

The ten individuals include Espen Kofstad (Devner), Austin Graham (UC Davis), Brandon Crick (Nebraska), Gabe Maier (Wyoming), Rodolfo Cazaubon (North Texas), Kyle Peterman (Western Illinois), Ben Blundell (Oklahoma), Kevin Tucker (Washington State), Nathan Sutherland (Miami-Ohio) and Carlos Ortiz (North Texas).

Listed below are the teams selected to participate in the championships. Teams winning automatic qualification are designated by their conferences in parentheses.

Gold Mountain Golf Club - Bremerton, Washington
Hosted by the University of Washington

1. Washington (Pacific-10 Conference)
2. Southern California
3. Illinois (Big Ten Conference)
4. Oregon State
5. San Diego
6. Colorado State (Mountain West Conference)
7. Middle Tennessee
8. SMU
9. New Mexico
10. Fresno State
11. Eastern Michigan
12. VCU
13. Loyola (Maryland) (Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference)