May 7, 2007
TALLAHASSE, Fla. –
The Florida State men’s golf team has been selected to play in the NCAA East Regional Championship at the Country Club of Georgia on May 17-19. The selection, coupled with its’ appearance in the regional championship a year ago, marks the first time since the 1995 and 1996 seasons that the Seminole men’s golf team has participated in the NCAA Championship in back-to-back seasons.
Florida State’s string of consecutive appearances in the NCAA regional championships marks the first time since the 1994, 1995 and 1996 seasons that the Seminoles have appeared in a regional in multiple consecutive seasons. The Seminoles made five regional appearances during the decade of the 1990’s and most recently advanced to the championship round in 1996. The Seminoles have appeared in the championship finals 17 times with its highest finish of fourth place coming in 1957. More recently, the Seminoles finished in seventh place in the final national standings during the 1995 season.
The Seminoles are ranked 24th in the latest national rankings by GolfStat – the main ranking service utilized by the NCAA men’s golf selection committee. The Seminoles finished tied for fourth at the 2007 ACC Championship – tied for the second highest finish in school history. The Seminoles also finished second at the Gator Invitational and third at the Hootie at Bulls Bay Invitational during the spring season.
“We are looking forward to playing a golf course that we have already played this year and that we know well,” said Head Coach Trey Jones. “Our players will be more comfortable because three of them are competing in a regional for the second consecutive season which will be a bonus as we begin play. We have proven all year long that we have the ability to play with any team in the country and we have gotten better as the year has gone along. The key now is putting everything we have learned this year together for three rounds and playing forward from here.”
Florida State finished in 14th place at the 2006 NCAA East Regional Championship at the Lake Nona Golf and Country Club in Orlando, Fla. The Seminoles improved their standing steadily throughout the championship as they finished the first day in 19th place and moved up to 14th place by the end of the event. The Seminoles’ appearance in the 2006 regional championship was its first NCAA appearance since 1998.
Florida State is led by ACC individual champion Jonas Blixt (Hammaro, Sweden) who became the first Seminole golfer in school history to earn medalist honors at the ACC Championship in April. He enters the NCAA East Regional Championship averaging a career-best 72.40 strokes per round this spring and has earned two individual championships this year. He was the first place finisher at the fall 2006 Shoal Creek Intercollegiate and the spring 2007 ACC Championship. Blixt finished in a tied for 74th place in the individual standings at last years East Regional Championship.
Blixt is joined in the Seminoles’ lineup by senior Torstein Nevestad, sophomore Matt Savage and freshmen Cameron Knight and Seath Lauer. Both Nevestad (tied for 103rd place in the individual standings) and Savage (tied for 44th) played in the Seminoles’ line-up during the 2006 NCAA East Regional championship.
Nevestad (Olso, Norway) enters the regional on a role after finishing in a tie for 19th place in the individual standings at the 2007 ACC Championship. He is averaging 74.17 strokes in two events this spring and averaged 72.67 strokes in three rounds during the ACC Championship. Nevestad will play in his 36th career collegiate event at the Golf Club of Georgia.
Savage (Louisville, Ky.) played well in the 2006 East Regional Championship as he carded a career-low 65 in the final round of the event to earn a top-50 individual finish. He made the biggest move of the final day of the event on the individual scoreboard as he finished with a seven-under par score of 65 to move from 112th place after the first two rounds into a tie for 44th place in the individual standings. Savage is tied for the team lead with a 72.40 stroke average and is ranked by GolfStat as the fifth best golfer in the ACC.
Knight (Wesley Chapel, Fla.) and Lauer (Huntington, Ill.) are both making their first NCAA postseason appearances. Knight finished in a tie for 25th at the ACC Championship and is the only Seminole who has finished in the top -25 of the individual standings during each of the eight events he has played in this year. Lauer finished in a tie for 40th place at the ACC Championship and finished in a tie for 11th place at the Hootie at Bulls Bay Invitational during the spring of 2007.
The Seminoles have played on the course at the Country Club of Georgia twice in the last two seasons as participants in the inaugural and Second Annual U.S. Collegiate Championship tournaments. Blixt finished in a tie for 10th place in the individual standings in 2006 and Savage finished in a tie for 24th place this spring.
Florida State is one of 81 teams and 18 individuals selected to play in three different regional championships which run from May 17-19. Advancing from the three 54-hole regional tournaments will the top 10 teams and two individuals not on one of qualifying teams from each regional to play in the NCAA Championship tournament at the Golden Horseshoe Golf Course in Williamsburg, Va. The regional championships will be contested in the East (Alpharetta, Ga.) Central (Sugar Grove, Ill.) and West (Tempe, Az.), regions of the country.
EAST REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP TEAMS: Georgia, Clemson, Florida, Coastal Carolina, Georgia Tech, Georgia State, Charlotte, North Carolina, Florida State, Duke, Auburn, Ole Miss, Chattanooga, Ole Miss, UAB, UCF, Virginia Tech, Penn State, Old Dominion, Jacksonville State, Louisiana Lafayette, St, John’s Eastern Michigan, Maryland, Longwood, Rhode Island, Hartford, Boston College.