April 5th/6th; Savoy, IL – This weekend’s first NCCGA Great Lakes Regional looks to be an exciting tournament played by talented veteran teams and excited newcomers alike.
Hosted by the University of Illinois’ Blue and Orange Courses, the tournament features two teams hoping to return to the National Championship and some teams trying to break through after coming so close last season.
Scott Meschnig’s Purdue University squad spent all of last season in the top 5 of the NCCGA national rankings, and although their trip to Myrtle Beach didn’t end in victory, they can definitely use their success as a springboard to bigger and better things. Sean Flanagan’s Notre Dame team has similar aspirations: after finishing strong by winning the second regional in the fall, they went to Myrtle Beach ranked 18th in the country. They finished 18th, and that disappointment is driving them to get back and prove what they can do. Mason Wicks’ Illinois State group believes it can step in as the Dark Horse team this year, as they return Championship level individuals – led by Alec Sanderson – and a team hungry to show that they are among the nation’s best.
Fresh faces abound in the Great Lakes Region, and the three other schools are all searching for a win in their first ever NCCGA tournament. Nick Karzmer and Northwestern, Judson Bro and Bradley, and Rodney Burton of Indiana-Purdue Columbus (IUPUC) are all attempting to lead their new teams to the top. Part of the beauty of the NCCGA is that experience doesn’t matter – if you are the best team it will show whether it is your first tournament or your fiftieth. We’re excited to get started, and even more excited to show that the Great Lakes Region doesn’t need good weather to make noise on the National stage.
***Sean Flanagan is the NCCGA Great Lakes Regional Coordinator. Connect with him on Twitter @NCCGAGreatLakes.