May 5, 2008
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
The ACC Champion Florida State Men’s Golf team has been selected to play in the NCAA West Regional Championship on May 15-17 at the Gold Mountain Golf Club in Bremerton, Washington. The Seminoles are making their third consecutive NCAA regional championship appearance under fifth-year Head Coach Trey Jones, who was named the 2008 ACC Coach of the Year.
“We were all sitting in my office and listening to the conference call and our guys were very happy to hear our name called,” Said Jones. “We are just excited to get going. When you look at each region they are all very well balanced. There are going to be upsets so we have to be ready to play 54 holes. Our objective is to go out and win two golf tournaments in a row.”
The Seminoles are ranked 10th and Seminole All-American and two-time All-ACC selection Jonas Blixt is ranked as the No. 7 individual in the nation in this week’s GolfWeek/Sagarin poll. The Seminoles are the second highest ranked ACC team while Blixt is the second highest ranked ACC player in the nation. Florida State won its first ever ACC Championship with a three stroke victory over Duke at the Old North State Club at Uwharrie Point, N.C. on April 20. The Seminoles finished the event with a season-best score of 26-under par. Duke, co-leader or leader for the first two rounds, finished second at 23-under par.
With its team victory at the ACC Championship, the Seminoles have now won three events this year – the Inverness Intercollegiate in the fall and the Seminole Intercollegiate and the ACC Championship in the spring. The Seminoles’ victory at the Inverness Intercollegiate was Florida State’s first team championship since the 1998 season. The three team wins for the Seminoles this year marks the first time since the 1994-95 fall and spring seasons that they have won at least three tournaments in a single year. Florida State won four tournaments in 1994-95 in their way to finishing sixth in the NCAA East Regional Championship and seventh at the NCAA National Championship during the spring of 1995.
Florida State finished in fifth place in the team standings at the 2007 NCAA East Regional Championship on the Lakeside Course at the Golf Club of Georgia and earned a spot in the NCAA Championship finals for the first time since 1996. The Seminoles finished in a tie for 13th place in the final team standings at the 2007 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship. The finish marked the highest for the Seminoles since finishing in seventh in 1995 and marked the 11th time in school history they have finished in the top 15 of the team standings in the NCAA Championship tournament.
Blixt, who has earned two consecutive top-three individual finishes at the ACC Championship, finished in a tie for third place with teammate Matt Savage (Louisville, Ky.) with an eight-under par score of 208 in leading the Seminoles to the 2008 title. Blixt (Hammaro, Sweden) finished the event with scores of 69-70-69 in leading the Seminoles to its 838 team total. He won the ACC individual championship in 2007. He is averaging a team-leading 71.47 stokes per round and leads the team with 16 rounds at par or better this year. He is a combined total of five strokes under par for the entire spring season (six tournaments and 18 rounds).
Savage, who has now earned two top-12 individual finishes in ACC play, is ranked 41st in the nation. He is also a tow-time All-ACC selection. He is averaging a career-best 72.22 strokes this year and ranks second on the team with 15 scores at par or better. Savage has a total of five strokes over par for the entire spring season and has earned four top-15 individual finishes this spring.
Along with All-Americans Blixt and Savage, the Seminoles’ line-up is stoked with NCAA Championship tournament experience. Blixt and Savage will play in their third NCAA Regional championship while sophomores Cameron Knight (Wesley Chapel, Fla.) and Seath Lauer (Huntington, Ind.) will make their second consecutive appearances in an NCAA Regional. Freshman Drew Kittleson (Scottsdale, Ariz.) is the only Seminole to be making his NCAA Regional Championship debut in 2008.
Knight ranks among the team leaders with a 75.20 stroke average in five events this spring. He earned his best career finish of tied for 14th at the Seminole Intercollegiate during the spring of 2008 and earned his season-low single-round score of 71 in the third round of the Seminole Intercollegiate. Lauer, who finished in a tie for 13th place at the 2008 ACC Championship, has earned three top-15 and two-top-10 finishes this year. He finished in a tie for sixth place at the spring 2008 Gator Invitational. Kittleson finished in a tie for sixth place in his first career ACC Championship in April and has finished in the top 20 of the individual standings in four of the Seminoles six tournaments this spring. He earned his career-low score for a single round (68) in the second round of the ACC Tournament.
Florida State is one of 81 teams and 18 individuals selected to play in three different regional championships which run from May 15-17. 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 Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex at Purdue University. The regional championships will be contested in the East (Chattanooga, Tenn.) Central (Columbus, Ohio.) and West (Bremerton, Wash.) regions of the country.
NCAA WEST REGIONAL PARTICIPANTS: Florida State, Southern California, UCLA, Stanford, Clemson, UNLV, North Carolina, Texas Tech, UCF, Arizona State, San Diego State, Texas, LSU, Oregon State, Pepperdine, Oregon, California, St. Mary’s (Cal), Kentucky, Wisconsin, Washington, Oklahoma, Kansas State, San Diego, Denver, Navy, Columbia