Finishing the season ranked among the top-25 teams in the country, members of the Georgia Southern golf team knew they going to make the NCAA Regionals the only question was where would they go. Wednesday afternoon the Eagle found out as they gathered at the Bennett Ramsey golf center to watch the selection show on the Golf Channel where it was announced they earned the No. 5 seed and will play in the Salem S.C. Regional just outside Clemson S.C.
“This time of year, all you want is a tee time and an opportunity and I think these guys have earned that,” said coach Carter Collins. “Through their outstanding play this year we have earned an at-large berth into the NCAA Regionals and that is something we don’t take for granted. We would have been happy to go anywhere, but the Salem site is even more special since that means a lot of family and friends will be able to make the drive there to support us.”
The Eagle seniors have made four-straight NCAA Regionals and this will only be the second time where the regional site is close enough where their families will be able to drive and attend.
“In two of our three previous appearances my family wasn’t able to attend regionals,” said Sun Belt player of the year Ben Carr. “It will be nice having everyone there to pull us on. It’s the last post season for all of us seniors and it has been an awesome ride and hopefully it doesn’t end in South Carolina. We are all excited for the chance to get back to Greyhawk and get out west to compete for a national championship.”
The Eagles are coming off a runner up finish in the Sun Belt tournament, although the did win the stroke play competition. Team members feel like they have been able to put that behind them as they prepare for the even bigger prize of a possible national championship.
“Honestly we are pretty hungry,” said Sun Belt first team all-conference selection Mason Williams. “It was unfortunate that we couldn’t get it done in match play in the Sun Belt tournament, but sometimes that is the way match play goes. We have bigger fish to fry out there and we are excited about getting regionals underway with our ultimate goal of getting to Scottsdale AZ and to compete for a national championship.”
The Eagles will be joined in the Salem regional along with North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Texas A&M, San Diego State, Arkansas, Purdue, New Mexico, Clemson, Furman, Middle Tennessee, Northern Illinois, Long Island and Longwood. The Eagles also saw the post season accolades start rolling in as Ben Carr was named Sun Belt Conference golfer of the year and Carter Collins was named coach of the year. Mason Williams and Wilson Andress were both named to the first team all-conference while freshman Parker Claxton was named to the second team.
“I think winning coach of the year is much less a reflection on me and more of a reflection of the team and the outstanding people I have surrounded myself with in the program,” Collins said. “I am proud of the accolades for the players. Three of them on the first team and Parker Claxton on the second team as a freshman. I am extremely excited for what they were able to accomplish.”
The Eagles will get thing underway May 15 in the Salem S.C. Regional with play going May 15-17.