May 15, 2007 - by
Seminole Men’s Golf Team Begins Play In NCAA East Regional Thursday

May 15, 2007

The Florida State men’s golf team will play in the NCAA East Regional Championship at the Country Club of Georgia on May 17-19. The Seminoles selection to participate in the regional championship this year, 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.

Florida State is joined by Georgia, Clemson, Florida, Coastal Carolina, Georgia Tech, Georgia State, Charlotte, North Carolina, 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, Hartford, Boston College in the 2007 NCAA East Regional Championship. The event is being played at the Lakeside Course at the Golf Club of Georgia – a beautiful 7,017-yard, par 72 course designed by Arthur Hill and considered to be on of the top venues in the country.

Florida State will make its 20th appearance in the NCAA Men’s Golf Championship as it plays in the 2007 NCAA East Regional May 17-19 at the Country Club of Georgia in Alpharetta, Ga. The Seminoles first appeared in the NCAA Championship in 1956 and most recently made an NCAA appearance in 2006. The best finish by a Seminole men’s golf team came in 1957 when they placed fourth in the nation. Most recently, the Seminoles placed third at the 1996 East Regional Championship at Kiamesha Lake, N.Y., 12th at the NCAA East Regional Championship at Daufuskie Island, S.C. in 1998 and 14th at the Lake Nona Country Club in Orlando in 2006.

Matt Savage carded a career-best seven-under par 65 in the final round of the 2006 NCAA East Regional Men’s Golf Championship to finish tied for 44th in the individual standings. The Seminoles played their best team round of the tournament in the third round and finished in 14th in the team standings as they played in their first regional championship since 1998. Savage and the Seminoles played their best rounds of the three-round event in the final round. They began the day in 19th place and moved themselves up five positions to finish in 14th place. They finished third of the four ACC teams who played in the regional at the Lake Nona Golf and Country Club. Wake Forest won the regional team championship while Kevin Chappell of UCLA won the regional individual championship.

Florida State’s Jonas Blixt and Matt Savage were named to the All-Atlantic Coast Conference men’s golf team, as selected by a vote of the league’s 11 head coaches. It marked the first time since the 1994 season that two Seminole men’s golfers have earned All-ACC honors in the same season and the first time since 1998 that a Seminole has earned All-ACC honors. Florida State was one of only four ACC teams to earn multiple selections with the Seminoles, Clemson, Georgia Tech and Wake Forest all placing two players on the all-conference team. Since joining the ACC and competing in golf since 1992, a total of five Seminoles had earned All-ACC honors. Christian Raynor, who earned All-ACC honors in 1994 and 1995 is the only two-time honoree in school history. George McNeil, who is currently playing on the PGA Tour, was the last Seminole to earn All-ACC honors in 1998. Blixt (Hammaro, Sweden) was an automatic member of the All-ACC team as the individual medalist at the ACC Championship in April. He is averaging a career-best 72.53 strokes in 30 rounds during nine tournaments this spring. Savage (Louisville, Ky.) is ranked sixth in the ACC in the latest individual head-to-head rankings by GolfStat. Savage earned his career-best finish of third place at the Shoal Creek Intercollegiate during the fall 2006 season and has finished three of his nine events under par. He is averaging 73.33 strokes in 10 events this year.

Florida State’s line-up at the NCAA East Regional includes three players who played for the Seminoles in last year’s regional – Jonas Blixt, Matt Savage and Torstein Nevestad — and two players – Seath Lauer and Cameron Knight – who are in their first years at Florida State and did not play in the regional a year ago. Savage played the best golf for Florida State with a 74.33 stroke average in the 2006 NCAA East Regional Championship. His score included a 65 in the third round of the event.

Seminoles' Lineup For The NCAA East Regional
Player                LRS    LTS    BF     SA
Jonas Blixt           75     227    T74    75.67
Matt Savage           65     223    T44    74.33
Seath Lauer           First Regional Championship Appearance
Cameron Knight        First Regional Championship Appearance
Torstein Nevestad     73     232    T103   77.33
LRS=low round score; LTS=low tournament score; BF=best finish; SA=stroke average

Florida State freshman Seath Lauer (Huntington, Ind.) played the best tournament of his collegiate career in finishing in a tie for fourth place in the individual standings to lead the Seminoles to a third place finish in the Linger Longer Invitational at the Oconee Course at the Reynolds Plantation May 13-14. The Seminoles had three of their five players finish under par for the 54-hole tournament that is serving as a tune-up for the teams’ second consecutive appearance in the NCAA East Regional Championship beginning Thursday at the Country Club of Georgia in Alpharetta. No. 1 ranked Georgia carded the two best team rounds of the tournament including a 12-under par 276 in the third round to win the event by 19 strokes over second place Georgia State and 21 over the third place Seminoles. Georgia’s Chris Kirk finished with a 10-under par 206, including a 65 in the first round, to claim medalist honors. Nine of the 15 teams who participated in the Linger Longer will play in one of the three NCAA Regional championships including Georgia, Florida State, Chattanooga, Georgia State and Charlotte – the top five finishing teams in the tournament.

All-America candidate Jonas Blixt enters this week’s NCAA Regional with a career-best 72.53 stroke average in 10 events. He was worked as hard as any player in the nation to lower his scoring average during his career and the results are evident by taking a look at his career numbers. Blixt has dropped nearly two strokes from his average this season as compared to his freshman season. In addition, he has earned a career-high six top-10 finishes including first place finishes at the fall 2006 Shoal Creek Intercollegiate and the spring 2007 ACC Championship.

Blixt By The Numbers
Year       Rds.    Strokes    Low    Top 10     Stroke Avg.
2004-05    29      2,149      68     1          74.10
2005-06    36      2,635      69     1          73.19
2006-07    30      2,176      65     6          72.53
Totals     95      6,960      65     8          73.26

All-America candidate Jonas Blixt, who won individual medalist honors at the 2007 ACC Championship and earned ACC honors for the first time in his career has been selected to represent Europe in the 2007 Palmer Cup presented by Monster. The annual Ryder Cup-style competition between American collegiate golfers and their counterparts from Europe will be played at June 7-8 at Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, Md. Blixt, a junior, shot a career-best seven-under par 65 in the third round of the ACC Championship on April 22 and became the first Seminole to win the individual ACC men’s golf championship at the Old North State Club in New London, N.C. Blixt finished with a career-best eight-under par tournament score of 208 to defeat Georgia Tech’s Cameron Tringale by one stroke to claim individual championship. His outstanding performance led the Seminoles to a tie for fourth place finish in the team standings – the best for Florida State since finishing in fourth in the 1996 conference championship. Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech finished tied for the team championship

Sophomore Matt Savage (Louisville, Ky.) enjoyed an outstanding freshman season and showed he had all the tools to be successful as a collegiate golfer during his first season at Florida State. He averaged 73.76 strokes in 11 events as a freshman. He continues to utilize those tools this season as he is averaging a career-low 73.33 strokes in 10 events and earned All-ACC honors as a sophomore. Savage has finished at the top of the Seminoles’ leader board in four of the Seminoles’ six events during the spring of 2007 and once during the fall of 2006. He has finished as the team leader in five of events this year. In addition, he has finished with scores at 75 or bettering 23 of the Seminoles’ 30 rounds this year (fall and spring seasons).

Savage Bringing Down His Scoring Average
Year         Rds.   Strokes    Low    Top 10    Stroke Avg.
2005-06      33     2,434      65     1         73.76
2006-07      30     2,200      65     3         73.33
Totals       63     4,634      65     4         73.56

Sophomore Matt Savage has played in 21 events and finished in the top-25 of the individual standings an incredible 13 times during his career. He finished in the to-25 in four of 11 events as a freshman and in nine of 10 events as a sophomore. Entering the 2007 NCAA East Regional he has finished in the top-25 in 11 of his last 13 events. Savage finished in a career-best third place at the fall 2006 Shoal Creek Intercollegiate.

Freshman Seath Lauer enters the 2007 NCAA East Regional Championship ranked third on the team with a 74.13 stroke average in 24 rounds during eight events. He played the best golf of his collegiate career as he finished with a six-under par score of 210 and averaged 70.00 stokes in three rounds during the Linger Longer Invitational on May 13-14. For his score he earned a tied for fourth place finish – the best of h is career – and has now earned three top-20 finishes in the first eight events of his career.

Lauer By The Numbers
Season          Rds.    Strokes    Low    Top 10    Stroke Avg.
Fall 06         6       455        73     0         75.83
Spring 07       18      1,324      67     1         73.55
Improv.                           	            -2.28
Totals          24      1,779      67     1         74.13

Freshman Seath Lauer was the Seminoles’ standout at the Linger Longer Invitational as he set a near personal-best mark for single-round score (68 in the second round) and career-best records for 36-hole score (138), gross tournament score (21), tournament score vs. par (minus 6) and best finish (tied for fourth) in leading the Seminoles to their fourth top three team finish of the year. Lauer carded an even par 70 and only a bogie on his final hole of the tournament kept him from firing three-sub par rounds in the same tournament for the first time in his career. He had three birdies and was one-under par over the front nine and had one bogie and was one-over par on the back nine to finish with an even-par score of 72. Lauer played so well over the course of the 54-hole tournament that he was never over par at any point during the event.

Senior Torstein Nevestad (Oslo, Norway) will play in his second NCAA East Regional Championship at the Golf Club of Georgia this week. He earned his way into the lineup for the ACC Championship, the Linger Longer Invitational and the NCAA East Regional in qualifying after having played in only one event (the Florida State hosted Seminole Intercollegiate) this spring.

Nevestad In His Last Two Tournaments
Event               1-2-3       Par    Total     Finish
ACC Championship    74-72-72	+2     218       T19
Linger Longer       72-71-72    -1     215       T17
Totals/Avgs.	                +1     216.5     T18

…He is averaging 72.17 strokes in his last six rounds after playing in a total of six rounds in two events for the year prior to the ACC Championship and the Linger Longer Invitational. He averaged 76.83 strokes in six rounds during the fall 2007 Shoal Creek Intercollegiate and the spring 2007 Seminole Intercollegiate;
…He is a total of one stoke over par in his last two events. He finished two over par in the ACC Championship and was one-under par in the Linger Longer Invitational. He was a total of 29 strokes over par in the in the Shoal Creek and Seminole Intercollegiates;
…He has earned two top-20 finishes in his last two events after earning two top-50 finishes in his first two events of the year. He finished in a tied for 19th at the ACC Championship and in a tie for 17th at the Linger Longer after finishing in a tie for 62nd at Shoal Creek and a tie for 50th at the Seminole;
…He has carded five of seven rounds at par or better in the last two events as compared to zero rounds at par or better in his first two events of the year.

Comparing Nevestad's Numbers
Events       Rds.   Strokes   Low   Top 20    Stroke Avg.
First 34     98     7,246     65    12        73.94
Last 2       6      433       71    2         72.17
Improv.                                       -1.77

Senior Torstein Nevestad played some of the best golf of his Florida State career as he closed the Linger Longer Invitational with an even-par 72 in the final round. His 215 tournament total is tied for the second best of his Seminole career and was his best score since firing a 211 at the spring 2006 Lexus/Naples Intercollegiate. Nevestad finished in a tie for 17th place to earn his second consecutive and 14th top-20 placing of his collegiate career. He finished in a tie for 19th place in the recently played ACC Championship.

Freshman Cameron Knight (Wesley Chapel, Fla.) has enjoyed a very consistent freshman season and enters the 2007 NCAA East Regional Championship with a 75.11 stroke average. He is averaging 75.11 stokes in his first season and has the fifth lowest stroke average among the eight Seminoles who have earned playing time this year. Knight is averaging nearly three strokes less in 18 holes during six events this spring as compared to nine rounds in three events during the fall season.

Knight By The Numbers
Season        Rds.     Strokes    Low    Top 20    Stroke Avg.
Fall 06       9        692        74     0         76.89
Spring 07     18       1,336      70     0         74.22
Improv.                                            -2.67
Totals        27       2,028      70     0         75.11

Freshman Cameron Knight is a total of nine stokes over par in his last two events – the ACC Championship and the Linger Longer Invitational – and is averaging 73.50 strokes in his last six rounds as he begins play in the 2007 NCAA East Regional Championship. Knight has carded four rounds of his last six rounds at par or better and tied his career-best with a two-under par 70 in the third round of the ACC Championship.

Knight In His Last Two Tournaments
Event               1-2-3       Par     Total    Finish
ACC Championship    78-71-70    +3      219      T25
Linger Longer       71-72-79    +6      222      T44
Totals/Avgs.                    +4.5    220.5    T34.5

Trey Jones, now in his fourth season as Florida State’s head coach, has guided the Seminoles to the NCAA Regional championships in each of the last two years. It marks the first time since the 1995 and 1996 seasons that Florida State has played the NCAA’s in consecutive seasons. It marks the fifth time in the 12 seasons as a Division I head coach and the fifth time in the last nine seasons overall that he has guided one of his teams to an NCAA Regional appearance.

Jones In The NCAA Regionals
Season    School           National Ranking
1999      Georgia State    --
2000      Georgia State   20th
2001      Georgia State   20th
2003      Georgia State   23rd
2006      Florida State   42nd
2007      Florida State   24th

…Florida State is ranked 25th in the GolfWeek/Sagarin rankings and 24th in the head-to-head standings by GolfStat entering the NCAA East Regional Championship;
…Junior Jonas Blixt is ranked 25th in the individual rankings by GolfWeek/Sagarin and 42nd in the individual head-to-head rankings by GolfStat;
…Florida State has earned six top-five team finishes this year (third at Shoal Creek, fourth at Notre Dame, second at Gator, third at Hootie at Bulls Bay, tied for fourth at the ACC Championship and third at the Linger Longer) after earning four top four team finishes during in 2005-06;
…Led by five scores under 70 by junior Jonas Blixt during the spring of 2007, the Seminoles have a total of 11 scores under 70 as a team during the spring of 2007.
…Florida State finished in second place at the prestigious Gator Invitational this spring to mark the second consecutive season the Seminoles have finished in the top three in the team standings at the event in Gainesville, Fla.. The Seminoles finished in third place in the event in 2006.

Related Articles