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Eagles open play in NCAA regional

NCAA Golf Tournament
Briggs Ranch Golf Club -- San Antonio Regional
San Antonio, Texas

1. Georgia
2. UCF
4. Vanderbilt
5. South Florida
6. SMU
7. Georgia Southern
8. Georgia State
9. TCU
10. Northwestern
11. College of Charleston
12. VCU
13. Columbia

    Six 54-hole regional tournaments will be conducted May 15-17.  Thirteen teams and 10 individuals not on those teams will compete at each of three regionals while the other three
regionals will have 14 teams and five individuals not on those teams. The low five teams and the low individual not on those teams from each regional will advance to the finals.

    The national championship will be conducted May 23-28 at Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson, Kansas.

    The Georgia Southern golf team continues its postseason quest as the Eagle tee it up today in the NCAA regional at Briggs Ranch Golf Club in San Antonio, Texas.
    The Eagles posted a solid regular season and left no doubt to their inclusion in the regional field by winning the Southern Conference championship April 22 in Pinehurst, N.C.
    In order to advance to the NCAA championships, Georgia Southern will have to finish in the top-five of a 13-team field that is stacked with talent.
    The University of Georgia enters the regional as the top seed while Central Florida — which was defeated by GSU in the Eagles’ Schenkel Invitational victory — also joins the field as a school that has spent the majority of the season in the top-10 of national rankings.
    “There are a lot of good teams like you’d expect in any regional,” GSU coach Larry Mays said. “We know that we need to have three solid days from everyone if we want to move on.”
    As tough as the rest of the competitors will be, there is also the matter of the course.
    Weighing in at over 7,200 yards, the par-72 track at Briggs Ranch is sure to give everyone a solid test.
    The length and difficulty of the Tom Fazio layout is challenging enough, but the Eagles will face the additional task of tackling a course that is very different to what they normally see.
    From bentgrass (instead of Bermuda) greens, to short, thick trees and howling winds, Briggs Ranch is a far cry from the undulating fairways and towering pine trees at a course like the Eagles’ home at Forest Heights Country Club.
    “We played a great course yesterday that is similar to (Briggs Ranch) and we got a good look at the course today in our practice round,” Mays said. “It’s definitely a challenge any time you have a new course where you have to figure out the best strategy and the best way to flight the ball.
    “It’s also exciting. I know a lot of our guys were really excited to come out to Texas. And now that classes are over, they aren’t having to come back to the hotel and study every night. I think everyone is prepared for the task at hand.”
    The regional consists of three days of play.
    Each team will send out a five-man squad, with the lowest four rounds counting towards the team total.
    Teams will be reseeded and regrouped according to the standings on both Saturday and Sunday.
    The top five teams will advance to help form the 30-team field at the NCAA championships to be held in Hutchinson, Kansas, May 23-28.