Seven Big Ten Men's Golf Squads Set to Compete in NCAA Regionals
May 12, 2008
Seven Big Ten men's golf teams and two individuals were selected on May 5 to compete in NCAA Regional competition. Big Ten Champion Michigan State, the No. 8 seed, was the only conference squad invited to the East Regional. Competing in the Central Regional will be No. 8 seed Indiana, No. 13 seed Penn State, No. 15 seed Michigan, No. 18 seed Illinois, No. 19 seed Ohio State, and Gopher student-athletes Victor Almstrom and Clayton Rask. Wisconsin is the No. 20 seed, playing in the West Regional.
The three regionals, which consist of 27 teams each, are scheduled for May 15-17, and the top 10 teams and two individuals in each region will advance to the NCAA Championships, May 28-May 31, held on the Kampen Course at Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex in West Lafayette, Ind. The 72-hole event is being hosted by Purdue University.
The East Regional will be played at the Council Fire Golf Club in Chattanooga, Tenn. Michigan State received the Big Ten's automatic bid to NCAA Regional competition after winning its third conference title in four years. The Spartans, led by Big Ten Coach of the Year Sam Puryear, will be looking to earn their 11th NCAA Championship bid.
The Central Regional will commence at the Scarlet Golf Course in Columbus, Ohio. Five of the seven Big Ten teams will be playing in this event. Piloting the Hoosiers will be Big Ten Player of the Year Jorge Campillo. The junior guided his team to a fourth-place finish at the Conference Championships, while earning top individual honors, shooting a 278 (-10) which ranks as the seventh-lowest score in championships history.
Despite a last-place finish at the Big Ten Championships, Penn State earns the conference's third-highest seed at No. 13. The Nittany Lions are led by All-Big Ten second-team honoree Robert Rohanna. Combined with sophomores Kevin Foley and T.J. Howe, Penn State has a great chance for its 1st NCAA Championships bid since 2004.
Much like PSU, Michigan has a wealth of talent to be showcased. Senior captain Tim Schaetzel earned All-Big Ten first team honors this season, making him the first Wolverine to do so since Andrew Matthews in 2002. Look for Bill Rankin to be an important factor in the NCAA's as the junior had a phenomenal Big Ten Championships outing, finishing third with a 285 (-3). Freshman Lion Kim has had a promising first year, earning Michigan's lone Golfer of the Week accolade on March 5th.
Illinois is coming off a third-place finish at the conference championships and will be led into regional competition by Big Ten Freshman of the Year Scott Langley. Langley along with underclassmen Chris Deforest and Matt Hoffman, all placed in the top 10 in this year's Championships. Hoffman and Langley each racked up Golfer of the Week awards this season, making them two of the three freshmen who have done so.
Just behind Illinois at the No. 19 seed is Ohio State. The Buckeyes garnered two All-Big Ten second-team honorees in senior Kyle Coconis and freshman Bo Hoag. These two along with Vaughn Snyder placed in the top 13 at the Big Ten Championships.
Although Minnesota will not be competing as a team, the Gophers will send junior Almstrom and senior Rask as individuals. The duo earned All-Big Ten first team honors and rallied their squad to a second-place team finish at the Big Ten Championships.