Some of the last few regions that have not started their college golf seasons will finally get a chance to play this weekend. Weather has prevented many of the northern regions from playing earlier, but they will finally be able to get out onto the course. Two more regionals will be concluding their Regional play as this will be their second tournament of the spring.
The Front Nine
Great Lakes #1
Great Lakes has undergone big changes this offseason. Purdue won both regionals in the Fall but they are now in the Indiana Region along with Notre Dame. Purdue and ND have traditionally dominated the Great Lakes. With the Indiana teams in another region, the door is open for new teams to step up and make a name for themselves.
The teams competing this weekend are Northwestern University, University of Illinois, University of Chicago, Bradley University, and Illinois State University A&B. Weibring Golf Club is hosting the tournament and is familiar with running prime-time tournaments as they host the IHSA State tournament every year.
The Metro Region is one of the newest regions in the NCCGA. It was founded in the spring of 2013 when the Northeast Region split and more teams in the New Jersey, New York and Delaware area joined the NCCGA. It currently consists of 8 schools. Of the 8, Lafayette College, Montclair State University, and Rutgers A&B will be competing for the team title. Individuals from Ramapo College of New Jersey, Seton Hall University will also be teeing it up. This regional will be played at Beaver Creek CC in Annandale, NJ.
Regional Coordinator Baylor Comstock is more than ready for their season to start. “I am looking forward to a competitive bout, and excited to have the University of Oregon and Oregon State University participate in their inaugural tournament with the NCCGA.” Says Comstock
In this tournament the competing teams will be University of Idaho, Central Washington University, Eastern Washington University, and the University of Oregon. They will tee it up on the 36 holes at the Golf Club at Hawkes Prairie. Idaho will attempt to defend their regional title with only 5 players competing this weekend.
There will be 7 teams competing this weekend in the North Region. Those teams are UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee, Michigan Tech University, UW-Whitewater, UW-Platteville, UW-Oshkosh, and UW-Steven's Point. Wisconsin-Madison has dominated this region for the past 5 years.
Regional Coordinator Bobby Puchner claims Madison is once again favorite to win. He had this to say about the course, “Glen Erin will certainly be challenging this weekend. Known for having high winds, the players will need to adapt to the conditions, and proper club selection could be the deciding factor for players down the stretch.”
The Back Nine
Regional play will conclude for the following two regions after this weekend.
This weekend will finish up Regional play in the Pacific Region. The competing teams this weekend will be Stanford and University of California A&B. Unfortunately this region will not count as an automatic qualifier for nationals. However, both schools have the potential to win a wild card. They will be playing at the Lone Tree Golf Course in Antioch, CA. Cal is hoping to bounce back after a 6 stroke loss to Stanford in their first regional.
The Southeast teams fighting for bids to Nationals are UGA, Clemson A&B, USC, Professional Golf Career College-Hilton Head, College of Charleston, and Golf Academy of America-Myrtle.
This is an exciting time for the Southeast Region. Two teams will be headed to Nationals following this weekend: Clemson, thanks to an automatic bid from winning nationals, and the team with most points from the regional tournaments. Georgia and GAA-Myrtle have the advantage after taking 2nd and 3rd respectively in the first tournament. This weekend is anyone’s tournament.
As the weeks go on, the script for the #Battle4Bryan is becoming solidified. With only two more weeks of Regional play, college golf players are sharpening their games in hopes of playing for a National Championship come April 25th-26th. For those not playing this weekend, enjoy your time with friends and family celebrating Easter. Get ready for an exciting few weeks with a heavy dose of Regional play, the Masters, and Nationals at Bryan Park, NC!
**Jack Stephens is the Director of Communications. Follow him on twitter @BlogNCCGA (he tries to be funny)