May 13, 2008 - by
Seminole Men’s Golf Team Opens Play At NCAA West Regional Championship Thursday

May 13, 2008

  • Florida State Men’s Golf Travels To NCAA Championship
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    The Florida State University men’s golf team, which won the 2008 ACC Championship on April 20, will play in the NCAA West Regional Championship May 15-17 at the Gold Mountain Golf Club in Bremerton, Washington. The Seminoles are making their third consecutive NCAA regional championship under fifth-year head coach Trey Jones. Florida State won the chance to play in the NCAA Championship as the automatic qualifier from the ACC after winning the first ever ACC golf championship in school history. The Seminoles are playing in their third consecutive NCAA regional for the first time since the 1994, 1995 and 1996 seasons. Florida State finished 14th at the 2006 NCAA East Regional championship and fifth in the 2007 NCAA East Regional championship. The Seminoles qualified for the NCAA Championship finals from the East Regional in 2007 and finished in a tie for 13th in the final standings in the championship round.

    No. 10 Florida State is joined by No. 3 Southern California, No. 4 UCLA, No. 7 Stanford, No. 15 UNLV, No. 18 Clemson, No. 19 Arizona State, No. 24 Texas Tech, No. 29 UCF, No. 30 North Carolina, No. 33 Texas, No. 35 Pepperdine, No. 37 San Diego State, No. 41 LSU, No. 44 Oregon State, Oregon, California, St. Mary’s (Cal.), Kentucky, Wisconsin, Washington, Oklahoma, Kansas State, San Diego, Denver, Navy and Columbia in the 2008 NCAA West Regional Championship. The event will be played on the Par 72, Olympic Course at the Gold Mountain Golf Club in Bremerton, Washington.

    The Florida State University Men’s Golf Team, led by All-America teammates Jonas Blixt and Matt Savage, won its first ever Atlantic Coast Conference championship on April 20 as it defeated Duke by three strokes at the 55th Annual ACC Championship at the Old North State Club at Uwharrie Point. The Seminoles defeated the Blue Devils by four stokes in the third round as they rallied from a one stroke deficit after two rounds to claim the school’s first ever ACC championship in the sport of golf. Each of the five team members contributed to the victory as the Seminoles closed the 54-hole tournament with four players under par and only one at over par. Blixt (Hammaro, Sweden) and Savage (Louisville, Ky.) led the way with eight-under par 208 scores as they both finished in a tie for third in the individual standings. Freshman Drew Kittleson (Scottsdale, Ariz.) finished in a tied for sixth place with a six-under par score of 210. Sophomore Seath Lauer (Huntington, Ind.) finished in a tie for 13th place with a two-under par score of 212 and sophomore Cameron Knight (Wesley Chapel, Fla.) finished in a tie for 42nd with a score of 223.

    The Florida State men’s golf team 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 played their best round of the regional and counted four under par individual scores to finish with a seven-under par 281 team score in the third and final round of the event. Florida State shot 281 as a team with three individual scores of 70 by junior Jonas Blixt, sophomore Matt Savage and freshman Seath Lauer. The Seminoles also counted a 71 by senior Torstein Nevestad toward the team score. The only score not counted in the team score was a two-over par 73 by freshman Cameron Knight. The Seminoles’ 281 team score was their fourth best of the season.

    Name              Tourn.  Rds.   Par    -75    Low    Strokes   Avg
    Jonas Blixt       10      30     16     27     67     2,143     71.43
    Matt Savage       9       27     15     22     66     1,952     72.30
    Drew Kittleson    10      28     9      19     68     2,057     73.46
    Seath Lauer       9       27     10     20     67     1,986     73.56
    Nicholas Smith    1       3      0      2      72     222       74.00
    Cameron Knight    6       18     3      8      71     1,347     74.83
    Song Jeon         3       9      1      5      72     676       75.11
    Tommy Rymer       4       12     1      4      70     909       75.75

    With its team victory at the ACC Championship, the Seminoles have now won three events this season – 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.

    With six top-five team finishes in its six events, the Florida State men’s golf team has proven to be one of the most consistent teams in Division I golf this spring. The Seminoles have finished in the top five in eight of their 10 tournaments during the fall 2007 and spring 2008 seasons. In the last two seasons, the Seminoles have finished in the top-five in the team standings in 15 of the last 22 events in the last two seasons.

    Seminoles' Top 2007-08 Finishes
    Event                            Team Finish
    Inverness Intercollegiate        1/16
    Fighting Illini Invitational     4/12
    Gator Invitational               2/13
    Seminole Intercollegiate         1/12
    General Jim Hackler              2/15
    U.S. Collegiate                  5/15
    River Landing Intercollegiate    5/15
    ACC Championship                 1/11

    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 second consecutive season that both Blixt and Savage had earned All-ACC honors and marked the first time in school history two players from Florida State had earned All-ACC honors in men’s golf in consecutive years. Blixt and Savage are the second and third players in school history to earn All-ACC honors multiple times during their Seminoles careers. Christian Raynor, who earned All-ACC honors in 1994 and 1995 was the first two-time honoree in school history.

    Florida State Head Coach Trey Jones was named the ACC Coach of the Year as selected by a vote of his peers – the league’s head coaches. It marks the first time the men’s golf coach at Florida State has been named the ACC Coach of the Year. For Jones it marks the fourth time in his career that he has earned Coach of the Year honors; he was named the Trans America Athletic Conference (now known as the Atlantic Sun) Coach of the Year in 1998, 2000 and 2001.

    Led by seven top 10 finishes by senior All-American Jonas Blixt, a total of four different Seminoles have earned a total of 15 top 10 individual finishes during the fall 2007 and spring 2008 seasons. Blixt has earned a career-high seven top-10 finishes and has finished as the Seminoles top golfer in seven of the 10 events the team has played in this years.

    Pre>Seminoles’ Top Individual Finishes in 2007-08
    Event Individual Finish

    Inverness Intercollegiate Jonas Blixt, T1st
    PING/GolfWeek Preview Jonas Blixt, 5th
    Fighting Illini Invitational Blixt, 4th/Savage, 5th
    UCF Invitational Jonas Blixt, 33rd
    Gator Invitational Blixt, T6th/Savage, T6th
    Seminole Intercollegiate Blixt, T6th/Lauer, T 9th
    General Jim Hackler Matt Savage, T6th
    U.S. Collegiate Championship Knight/Savage/Blixt, T 13th
    River Landing Intercollegiate Jonas Blixt, 3rd
    ACC Championship Blixt, T3rd/Savage, T3rd

    Florida State University All-America golfer Jonas Blixt is one of 20 men’s golfers who has been named to the Jack Nicklaus Award Watch list as the nation’s top Division I golfer by the Golf Coaches’ Association of America. The Nicklaus Award is presented to the Player of the Year in NCAA Divisions I, II and III, as well as the NAIA. The recipients will be named immediately following the final round of each respective national championship. All four Nicklaus Award honorees will be invited to Muirfield Village for the final round of the Memorial Tournament presented by Morgan Stanley at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, just outside Nicklaus’ hometown of Columbus to receive their trophies from Mr. Nicklaus. Additionally, a 20-player All-Nicklaus Team – which will include outstanding players from NCAA Divisions I, II and III and the NAIA – will be named June 10.

    Entering the NCAA West Regional at the Gold Mountain Golf Club in Bremerton, Wash., three of the players in the Seminoles’ starting lineup have 2007-08 averages lower than their career averages entering the season. All-America Jonas Blixt leads the way as he has lowered his average by more than 1.5 strokes per round as a senior as compared to his first three seasons of his career.

    Seminoles Going Low
    Player            07-08 Avg.   Career Avg.   Difference
    Jonas Blixt       71.43        73.11         -1.68
    Matt Savage       72.30        73.31         -1.01
    Seath Lauer       73.56        74.45         -0.89
    Cameron Knight    74.83        74.65         +0.18

    Florida State’s line-up at the NCAA West Regional includes four players who played for the Seminoles in last year’s regional – Jonas Blixt, Matt Savage, Seath Lauer and Cameron Knight. Drew Kittleson – a freshman – will play make his regional championship debut. Blixt and Savage are making their third consecutive regional appearances for the Seminoles.

    Seminoles' Lineup For The NCAA West Regional
    Player            LRS   LTS    BF    SA
    Jonas Blixt       70    215    T8    71.67
    Matt Savage       65    220    T23   73.33
    Seath Lauer       70    222    T32   74.00
    Cameron Knight    73    222    T32   74.00
    Drew Kittleson	First Regional Championship Appearance
    LRS=low round score; LTS=low tournament score; BF=best finish; SA=stroke average

    Senior All-America Jonas Blixt is a cumulative total of one stroke under par for his ENTIRE senior season. He has finished his last two events (River Landing Intercollegiate, -5, ACC Championship, -7) at a total of 12 strokes under par. Blixt has finished five of his 10 events at under par with his lowest score of eight under par at the ACC Championship (he finished in a tie for third place) and finished with his highest score of eight over pat at the General Jim Hackler Intercollegiate (he finished in a tie for 12th place).

    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
    2007-08     30     2,143     67     7         71.47
    Totals      125    9,103     65     15        72.82

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