May 8, 2006
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
The Florida State men’s golf team was selected to play in the NCAA East Regional Championship and will begin postseason play for the first time since 1996 on May 18 at the Lake Nona Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The Seminoles will make their first postseason appearance since playing in the NCAA East Regional Championship in 1998.
Florida State is one of 81 teams and 18 individuals selected to play in three different regional championships which run from May 18-20. 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 Crosswater Golf Club at Sunriver Resort in Sunriver, Ore. The regional championships will be contested in the East (Orlando, Fla.), Central (Cleveland, Ohio) and West (Tucson, Az.), regions of the country.
Florida State is ranked 45th in the latest national rankings by GolfStat – the main ranking service utilized by the NCAA men’s golf selection committee. The Seminoles finished sixth at the 2006 ACC Championship and earned three top five team finishes this spring. Florida State finished second at the Lexus/Naples Invitational, third at the Gator Invitational and tied for fourth at the General Jim Hackler Invitational.
“Returning to the regionals is a testament to our players not losing sight of where we want to be at the end of the year, said Head Coach Trey Jones. All collegiate golf teams have ups and downs and this team has shown me that they believe in themselves, their teammates and they are resilient,” said Jones. “We have players on our team who came here with the intent of not only competing with the best teams in the country but becoming one of the best teams in the country. We hope this is just the beginning step in our quest to become one of the best golf programs in college golf.”
Florida State is led by Jonas Blixt (Hammaro, Sweden) who averaged a career-best 72.89 strokes in six tournaments this spring. He finished tied for seventh in the individual standings at the Lexus/Naples Invitational and tied for 10th at the United States Collegiate Championship. Blixt carded a season’s-best and near-career low 69 in the first round of the Hootie at Bulls Bay Invitational on March 26.
Junior Torstein Nevestad (Olso, Norway) has also proven to be one of the ACC’s top golfers and averaged a career-best 73.88 strokes per round in seven tournaments this spring. He, too, earned a pair of top-10 finishes this spring as he finished sixth in the Gator Invitational and tied for sixth at the Lexus/Naples Invitational. Nevestad shot a career-best 65 in the first round of the Lexus/Naples event – the best score by a Florida State golfer since 1993.
The Seminoles competed in the NCAA Championship four times during the decade of the 1990’s and have finished in the top-10 at the national tournament three times since 1985. The Seminoles finished in a program-best seventh place at the 1987 and 1995 NCAA Championships. Florida State’s seventh place finish in 1995 saw the Seminoles finish only six strokes behind sixth-place Arkansas. In finishing seventh at the 1987 NCAA Championship, the Seminoles were led by future PGA standout Nolan Henke who finished tied for second in the individual standings. Henke is still the only Seminole men’s golfer in school history to earn All-America honors three times during his collegiate career.
Jones, now in his third season at Florida State, is taking his fifth team in the last eight years to the NCAA Regionals. As the coach at Georgia State (1996-2003) he led the Panthers to a fifth place finish at the NCAA Regional and into the NCAA Championship in 2000 for the first time in school history. Under his direction, Georgia State played in the East Regional in 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2003.