Big Ten co-Champs Michigan State and Minnesota and UW's Woltman Advance to NCAAs
May 29, 2007
Big Ten co-Champions Michigan State and Minnesota, along with NCAA Central Regional medalist Dan Woltman of Wisconsin, will represent the Big Ten Conference this week at the 2007 NCAA Men's Golf Championships. The event will be held May 30-June 2, on the Gold Course at Golden Horseshoe Golf Club (Par 71, 6,817 Yards) in Williamsburg, Va. The 72-hole event is being hosted by Virginia Commonwealth.
After an eighth-place finish at the NCAA Central Regional, Michigan State earned its first trip to the NCAA Championships under Big Ten Coach of the Year Mark Hankins. In the program's history, the Spartans have made 15 overall appearances, but this will mark their ninth since joining the Big Ten in 1950. The last time the team went to the Championships was in 1993, when the Green and White tied for 27th. MSU is led by unanimous Big Ten Player of the Year and first-team All-Conference selection Matt Harmon as well as second-team honoree Ryan Brehm.
Following a 10th-place finish and a two-team playoff win over Texas A&M, Minnesota advanced to the NCAA Championships for the 28th time in the program's history. The Golden Gophers have reached the NCAA Finals in seven of the last nine years. Minnesota, whose 28 NCAA appearances are second in the Big Ten to Ohio State's 43 trips, won the NCAA title in 2002 and finished in a tie for third in 2006. Leading the way for the Gophers are first-team All-Big Ten linksters Bronson La'Cassie and Niall Turner.
With the win at the NCAA Central Regional, Wisconsin's Woltman took home his second victory of the season as he also captured the title at the VCU/Mattaponi Springs Shootout back in September. One of only two players to finish under par at regionals, Woltman responded after a first round 73 with two consecutive totals of 1-under par 71 to earn an automatic trip to the NCAA Championships. For the tournament, Woltman shot a 1-under 215 (73-71-71), marking his second-best 54-hole score of the spring season.