The Sam Houston State men’s golf team will make its first ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament, as the Bearkats head to Auburn University Club in Auburn, Ala., May 15-17, for the NCAA Regional. Defending national champion Alabama is the top seed in the regional.
“Watching the selection show on Golf Channel was a really cool experience for our program and our kids,” head coach Brandt Kieschnick said. “That’s our standard now. I want to make sure we’re watching that show. That will make us work harder throughout the year and I don’t want to miss that feeling of watching the NCAA selection show.”
The low five teams and the low individual not on those teams from each regional will advance to the finals, May 23-25, at Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson, Kansas.
The remaining teams in the East Regional are Virginia Tech, Texas, Auburn, New Mexico, BYU, Kennesaw State, Colorado, Louisville, UNC-Greensboro, UC-Davis, St. John's and Alabama State.
The field will also include individuals Blake Morris (Ole Miss), JD Tomlinson (Florida), Jared Bettcher (Troy), Marco Iten (Austin Peay) and Theodore Lederhausen (Harvard).
“This year I really wanted to upgrade the schedule and we played against some big schools,” Brandt added. “We haven’t played our best yet this season. We won’t be shocked and we know what we’ve got to do. When we saw those big teams we were still maturing and I think we’ve matured now. We are a different team than we were in October.”
First-team All-Southland golfers Zach Cabra and Albert Miner will lead the Kats into the tournament. Cabra led the league with three individual wins this season, including at the Southland Championship. Miner, the lone senior on the team, was second in the conference with seven top-10 finishes.
Kieschnick claimed coach of the year honors after just his second season at the helm. He led the Bearkats to three team titles on the year, including at Kansas State and the Southland Championship.
Hosted by Wichita State, the 2014 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championships will feature the top collegiate golfers in America and the game’s future stars. Featuring a new tournament format, 30 teams and six student-athletes – who advanced from NCAA Regional qualifying – will compete in an individual stroke-play format in 54 holes (May 23-25).
Auburn University Club – Auburn, Ala.
Hosted by Auburn
2. Virginia Tech
5. New Mexico
7. Kennesaw State
10. North Carolina
12. Sam Houston State
13. St. John’s
14. Alabama State
1. Blake Morris, Ole Miss
2. JD Tomlinson, Florida
3. Jared Bettcher, Troy
4. Marco Iten, Austin Peay
5. Theodore Lederhausen, Harvard