May 11, 2010

By Adam Geigerman
Special to NCAA.com


The Bucs Sail to Victory in South/Southeast

The No. 1 ranked school in the nation held on to its superior standing by out stroking their Sunshine State Conference rival, No. 7 Lynn by one.

The men from Barry have maintained their top-spot ranking throughout the spring through their outstanding golf games, especially when the stakes were the highest. The Buccaneers victory in Wilson, N.C. was their first-ever Super-Regional title. The Bucs are trying to regain their 2007 form that brought them a National Championship.

They shot a 7-under par team total of 845, guided by the stoic swingmanship of Carlos Velez. Velez finished the tournament tied for second with a 208 (-5), followed by Chris Carlin's tie for fifth and Guillermo Pumarol's tie for 20 rounded out the top three Bucs. Barry did have its scares throughout the Super-Regional Tournament though, as they sat in a dead tie with Lynn after round two at 4-under par.
"It really feels good," Barry coach Jimmy Stobs said. "The guys fought really hard. They feel good and they should. They worked really hard to achieve this," added Stobs about the difficulty of outplaying a field with such nationally ranked depth.

The South/Southeast Region Tournament featured 11 of the nations top-25, as chosen by the Golf World/NIKE DII Coaches Poll. Of those 11 in the South/Southeast field, 9 were ranked 12th or higher, including the top four schools: No. 1 Barry, No. 2 GCSU, No. 3 Florida Southern and No. 4 North Alabama. The stacked field just bludgeoned each other in and out of contention, as only the top-5 finishers at the Super-Regional could move on to compete for the National Title.

The Buccaneers will be leading the way from Wilson, N.C. to Noblesville, Ind., for the championship followed by regional runner up No. 7 Lynn, third place winner and No. 3 Florida Southern, fourth place finisher and No. 10 ranked Nova, and finally the fifth place qualifier Queens College from North Carolina.
The competition in the South/Southeast Regional was more drama-drenched than a season of As the World Turns, and by the looks of the five teams that survived, the battle for the National Championship will be stifling.

How the West was Won

The California desert hosted a battle of beautiful golf swings between West Coast collegiate titans, including the nations No. 5, 6, 16, 20, 21 and 22 ranked schools. No. 5 Chico State and No. 6 Stanislaus represented the power of the California State University web of college golf power as they projected their top-10 national rankings onto the 20-team field at the Classic Club in Palm Desert, Calif.

Stanislaus and Chico both earned trips to Nationals by claiming the third and fourth finishing positions, respectively at the NCAA Central/West Super-Regional. The outright winners of the Central/West region were the gents from No. 16 Sonoma State.

The Seawolves were the image of consistency throughout the regional tournament as all of their golfers blasted final round scores below 75. All five Seawolves, including individual medalist Janssen Todd (-2), Ryan Carter(E), Jeremy Wendelken and Patrick Bauer (+5), and Alex Marry (+7) finished within the top-30 scorers.

Besides the Seawolves, Stanislaus and Chico State, the teams from Western New Mexico and Monterey Bay - another Cal State extension - sustained the intense competition of the Central/West region to continue on to nationals.

There's Nothing Mid About the Midwest Region

The Midwest/South Central Super-Regional tournament took its toll on the 20 best schools from that area of the country, crowning the No. 11 ranked school in the country, Central Missouri (+40), with the victory and a punched ticket to the National Championship in Noblesville, Ind.

The field of the Midwest/South Central region was loaded with metaphorical landmines, in the form of high-powered competition, specifically the six teams that were nationally ranked inside the top-25. The field featured some of the nations high-ranking squads like region champions Central Missouri, No.'s 13 and No. 14 Abilene Christian and St. Edward's, No.'s 18 and 19 Dallas Baptist and Indianapolis, and No. 23 Midwestern St.

Out of those top-25 teams, only one - Central Missouri - made it out alive. Only the regions top-5 finishers are to advance to the National Championship Tournament. Those teams are Wayne State (+41), Ferris State (+44), Bellarmine (+45) and Cameron State (+46), who finished second through fifth, respectively. The three-day regional tournament gave the Golf World/NIKE DII Coaches Polls reason to doubt their ranking system as only one of the ranked, favorites won their way into the competition for the national championship.

The Beasts of the East Don't Need National Rankings

The East/Atlantic Regional Tournament took place in Daniels, W.V. and didn't need a single ranked competitor, according to the Golf World/NIKE DII Coaches Poll, to add explosiveness to the National Championship.

None of the 20 teams representing the East/Atlantic region were ranked nationally by the coache's poll, but that didn't stop the guys from Concord University's golf team from waxing the opposition by 11 strokes. That's just what they did, as the next closed team, runner-up Indiana University of Pennsylvania finished with a 40-over par, as opposed to Concord's 29-over par.

St. Thomas Aquinas took home a distant third place as they stroked a 53-over par. They jockeyed for the only tightly-contested position with fourth place finishers Ohio Valley University (+54). The fifth and final slot for nationals was filled by Clarion University (+60).

The representatives from the East/Atlantic region will surely be the underdogs against the victory-tradition laden programs from the other three regions. One thing the East has shown though, is their relentless fight and willingness to take on anyone through the battle against par on 18 holes of championship golf.

The winning fomula

The best 80 men's golf programs in the NCAA's Division II microcosm of athletics came together in four separate regional tournaments on May 3-5. There were schools that won their way in by a mile, and those that made it by the skin of their teeth; some were forced to win their respective conferences for the opportunity to play another day, while others sat so high on their regional totem poll that at-large bids were never in doubt.

The format of the NCAA DII men's golf championship is a simple one. Qualify for the Super-Regional tournament by developing a ranking high enough to land in the top-20 in your specific region, or simply win your conference title. Those are the only two ways to earn entry into the NCAA Super-Regionals. Once a program qualified for the Super-Regionals, then they must finish in within the top-5 of that tournament in order to survive into the National Championship Tournament in Noblesville, Ind., to begin with practice rounds on May 17.

The National Championship Tournament is free for the public to enjoy at the Sagamore Golf Club, one of The Golden Bear's crown jewels. The Jack Nicklaus signature golf course stretches 7,173 yards across the greenest fairways Indiana has to offer.

The field has been selected through competition and the Sagamore G.C. is ready to host the best athletes that men's DII golf has to offer.

For a complete list of the field, please visit:
http://www.ncaa.com/sports/m-golf/spec-rel/050610aaa.html.