May 7, 2012
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The University of Alabama men's golf team garnered its eighth straight invitation to NCAA postseason competition on Monday when selected to compete in the 2012 NCAA Athens (Ga.) Regional on May 17-19 at University of Georgia Golf Course in Athens, Ga.
The second-ranked Crimson Tide (Golfweek) is the regions' No. 1 seed and features four of the top individuals in the nation in Justin Thomas (No. 4), Cory Whitsett (No. 21), Bobby Wyatt (No. 23) and Hunter Hamrick (No. 53). The University of Georgia Golf Club is a par-71, 7,240-yard Robert Trent Jones layout that was redesigned by Love Golf Design in 2006.
“We are excited to get a No. 1 seed and stay relatively close to home in the Athens Regional,” Alabama head coach Jay Seawell said. “Now that we know where we will be playing, it is time to begin preparations for a challenging test of golf on the home course of one of our SEC rivals. Our team has lofty goals, and we have to get ready for the task that lies ahead.”
It is the third time in the last five years the Crimson Tide has garnered a No. 1 seed at a NCAA Regional. The Tide was also a No. 1seed in 2008 and 2011, advancing to the NCAA Championships in both seasons. UA was a No. 2 seed in 2009 when it won the NCAA Galloway (N.J.) Regional.
Since Seawell's arrival in Tuscaloosa prior to the 2002-03 season, the Crimson Tide has qualified for eight straight NCAA postseasons and nine overall, including five NCAA Championship appearances (2005, 2007-09, 2011). The 2012 selection is the 21st overall NCAA appearance in school history.
The NCAA men's golf tournament is in the fourth year of a new format adopted for the 2009 season. The old 30-team, three-regional was replaced by a six-regional schedule. Three of the regionals will have fields of 13 teams and 10 individuals, with the other three consisting of 14 teams and five individuals each for a total of 75 players at each site. The NCAA Athens Regional will consist of 13 teams and 10 individuals.
The top five teams and the top individual not on an advancing team will qualify from each regional site for the NCAA Division I Men's Championship at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif. The NCAA Championship begins on May 29 and concludes on June 3. The finals will consist of 30 teams and will be cut to the top eight teams after 54 holes of stroke play. Those eight teams will then face off in three rounds of match play to determine the national champion. The individual winner is crowned after the end of stroke play (54 holes).
Joining Alabama in the NCAA Athens (Ga.) Regional is No. 2-seed North Florida, No. 3 New Mexico, No. 4 Georgia, No. 5 Iowa, No. 6 East Carolina, No. 7 Long Beach State, No. 8 Augusta State, No. 9 Wake Forest, No. 10 Houston, No. 11 Texas-Arlington, No. 12 North Carolina-Wilmington and No. 13 Loyola (Md.)
Individuals selected to participate in the regional include Joe David, Mississippi; Jacobo Pastor, Charleston Southern; Trey Valentine, South Florida; Chad Ramey, Mississippi State; Sebastian Soderberg, Coastal Carolina; Brandon Pena, Florida Gulf Coast; James Beale, Mercer; David Denlinger, Charleston Southern; Kamito Hirai, Winthrop; Clay Myers, Jackson State.
Last season Alabama finished third in the NCAA Indiana Regional. The Crimson Tide won the 2009 NCAA Galloway (N.J.) Regional.
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NCAA Athens Regional
University of Georgia Golf Course – Athens, Ga.
Hosted by the University of Georgia
2. North Florida
3. New Mexico
6. East Carolina
7. Long Beach State
8. Augusta State
9. Wake Forest
12. North Carolina-Wilmington
13. Loyola (Md.)
Teams (seeded in the following order):
1. Joe David, Mississippi
2. Jacobo Pastor, Charleston Southern
3. Trey Valentine, South Florida
4. Chad Ramey, Mississippi State
5. Sebastian Soderberg, Coastal Carolina
6. Brandon Pena, Florida Gulf Coast
7. James Beale, Mercer
8. David Denlinger, Charleston Southern
9. Kamito Hirai, Winthrop
10. Clay Myers, Jackson State