May 17, 2006 - by
Seminoles Begin Play In NCAA East Regional Men’s Golf Championship Thursday

May 17, 2006

The Florida State men’s golf will play in the NCAA East Regional Championship as it begins postseason play for the first time since 1998 on May 18-20 at the Lake Nona Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The Seminoles will make their first postseason appearance since finishing in 12th at the NCAA East Regional 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 be 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. May 31-June 3. 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 joined by No. 1 Georgia (SEC Champion), No. 5 UCLA (Pacific-10 Champion) No. 9 UNLV, No. 11 Georgia State (Colonial Athletic Association Champion), No. 12 North Carolina, No. 13 Texas Tech, No. 16 Wake Forest, No. 19 Southern California, Charlotte (Atlantic 10 Champion), No. 24 Coastal Carolina (Big South Champion), Auburn, Tennessee, South Carolina, Indiana, Notre Dame (Big East Champion), Georgia Southern (Southern Conference Champion), Maryland, Jacksonville (Atlantic Sun Champion), Western Illinois (Mid-Continent Conference Champion), Wichita State (Missouri Valley Conference Champion), Rhode Island, George Washington, Richmond, Liberty, Army and Binghamton in the 2006 NCAA East Regional Championship. The teams are listed by order of seed in the regional with the Seminoles ranked as the 14th seed in the region. The event will be played on the 7,215 yard Lake Nona Golf and Country Club Course in Orlando Fla. The course was designed by Tom Fazio and has been consistently ranked as one of the top 100 golf courses in the world.

Florida State will make its 19th appearance in the NCAA Men’s Golf Championship as it plays in the 2006 NCAA East Regional May 18-20 at the Lake Nona Golf and Country Club in Orlando. The Seminoles first appeared in the NCAA Championship in 1956 and most recently made an NCAA appearance in 1998. 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. and 12th at the NCAA East regional Championship at Daufuskie Island, S.C. in 1998.

Florida State is ranked 44th in the most recent GolfStat rankings and 46th in the most recent Golfweek/Sagarin poll. The Seminoles earned their highest ranking of the year — 24th — in the GolfWeek/Sagarin rankings of Oct. 5, 2005.

Florida State has earned three top five team finishes (tied for second at the Lexus/Naples Intercollegiate, third at the Gator Invitational, and tied for fourth at the General Jim Hackler Invitational), earned three top-10 individual finishes (Torstein Nevestad tied for sixth at the Gator Invitational and sixth at the Lexus/Naples Intercollegiate and Matt Savage tied for 10th at the Linger Longer) and has a cumulative stroke average of 73.11 in a total of 144 rounds.

Name                Tourn.   Rds.   Par   -75   Low    Strokes   Avg.
Jonas Blixt         11       33     16    26    69     2,408     72.97
Matt Savage         10       30     9     19    67     2,211     73.70
Torstein Nevestad   12       36     8     27    65     2,653     73.83
Nicholas Smith      11       33     9     20    68     2,460     74.55
Song Jeon           7        20     5     11    69     1,495     74.75
Tommy Rymer         7        21     3     14    67     1,571     74.81
Bradley Ruch        3        9      2     6     72     686       76.22

…Three Seminoles — Torstein Nevestad (at the Gator Invitational and the Lexus/Naples Intercollegiate), Jonas Blixt (at the Lexus/Naples Intercollegiate) and Matt Savage (at the Linger Longer Invitational) — have earned a total of four top-10 individual finishes in eight events this spring. That total ties Florida State’s total of top-10 individual finishes in six events during the spring of 2005. The Seminoles enter the 2006 NCAA East Regional with at least one chance to surpass the 2005 total of three top-10 finishes;
…Florida State has earned three top four team finishes this spring (third at the Gator Invitational, second at the Lexus/Naples Intercollegiate and tied for fourth at the General Jim Hackler). The Seminoles earned one top-four team finish (third at the Gator Invitational) during the spring of 2005;
Nicholas Smith shot a three under par 69 and Matt Savage shot a one under par 71 in the first round of the Linger Longer Invitational. It marked the 10th time during the spring season that a pair of Seminoles had shot par or better in the same round.
…A total of six different Seminole players have shot a total of nine rounds in the 60’s through the first six events of the spring season. Torstein Nevestad (a team-low 65 in the first round of the Lexus/Naples Intercollegiate and a 69 the first round of the Hootie at Bulls Bay Invitational), Matt Savage (a 67 in the first round of the ACC Championship and a 68 in the third round of the Lexus/Naples Intercollegiate) and Nicholas Smith (69 in the second round of the Lexus/Naples Intercollegiate and a 69 in the first round of the Linger Longer Invitational) have all carded multiple rounds with scores of 69 or better.
…Junior Torstein Nevestad has played in a team high 12 consecutive events. He has played in every event for the Seminoles since finishing in a tie for 12th in the spring 2005 Seminole Intercollegiate.

Junior Torstein Nevestad (Oslo, Norway) carded a seven-under par score of 65 in the first round of the Lexus/Naples Intercollegiate. He finished in sixth place in the event with a five under par total of 216. Nevestad’s career-best score of 65 was the best single-round score by a Seminole since All-American Christian Raynor also shot a 65 in the first round of the Imperial Lakes Classic during the fall of 1993. Raynor was an All-American in 1995 and an All-ACC First-Team selection in 1994. Nevestad is one of five ACC golfers to card a score of 65 this year.

Sophomore Jonas Blixt enters the 2006 East Regional with a career-best 72.95 stroke average for the fall and spring seasons combined. His average, if he can keep it below 73.76, will be the lowest by a Seminole since George MacNeil finished with a 72.44 average during the 1998 season – the last time Florida State advanced to a regional championship.

Top Seminole Stroke Averages Since 1995
Year    Player	Stroke Average
2006    Jonas Blixt        72.95
2005    Jonas Blixt        74.03
2004    Rusty Mosley       74.16
2003    Rusty Mosley       73.76
2002    Peter Mitchell     73.75
2001    Mark Donaldson     74.20
2000    Mark Donaldson     74.48
1999    Craig Cochran      74.83
1998    George McNeil      72.44
1997    George McNeil      73.46
1996    Richard Fulford    74.00
        George McNeil      74.00
1995    Christian Raynor   71.61

Junior Torstein Nevestad enters his first career NCAA Regional as the Seminoles’ leader with 73.83 stroke average 12 events this year. He leads the team with 27 of 36 rounds with scores at 75 or less and has carded eight rounds at par or better. Nevestad has carded three times as many rounds at par or better during the spring (six) as compared to his fall 2005 total (two).

Sophomore Jonas Blixt enters the 2006 NCAA East Regional Championship averaging a career-best 72.97 strokes per round in 11 events during the fall and spring seasons combined. He is averaging more than one full stroke less this year than he did as a freshman (74.10). He has already carded more than twice as many rounds with scores of par or better this year (16) in 11 tournaments as compared to last year (six) in 10 events. Blixt carded a season-low 69 in the first round of the Hootie at Bulls Bay Invitational to come within one stroke of tying his career-best round of 68 which came during the third round of the spring 2005 Gator Invitational.

Blixt's Overall Improvement - From Year One to Year Two
Year      Events   SA       LRS    LTS
2005      10       74.10    68     209
2006      11       72.94    69     212
Improv.  +1        -1.16    +1     +3
SA=Stroke Average; LRS=Low Round Score; LTS=Low Tournament Score

Sophomore Song Jeon (Seoul, Korea) has begun to play well at the right time of the season for the Seminoles. Jeon carded his season-low of 70 while competing in the Seminole Intercollegiate as an individual.

Freshman Matt Savage (Louisville, Ky.) has earned the Seminoles’ top individual finish in the last two events – the ACC Championship and the Linger Longer Invitational. He finished tied for 12th at the ACC Championship and tied for 10th at the Linger Longer. Savage averaged 225 strokes and a 43rd place finish in his first three events of the spring (Gator Invitational, Lexus Naples Intercollegiate and Seminole Intercollegiate) and has averaged 218 strokes and a 17th place finish in his last three events (General Jim Hackler, ACC Championship and Linger Longer). Savage has shaved more than two strokes from his single-round averages in the last three events (72.67) as compared to his first three events (75.00).

Savage's Incredible Improvement
Events     SA       LTS     BF     Event
First 3    75.00    220     T26    Lexus/Naples
Last 3     72.67    212     T10    Linger Longer
Improv     -2.33    -8      +16    2 top-12 Finishes
SA=Stroke Average; LTS=Low Tournament Score; BF=Best Finish

Freshman Nicholas Smith (Ocala, Fla.) has played in 11 events this year including all eight during the spring season. Only Smith and junior Torstein Nevestad have played in all eight events this spring and only Nevestad (12 events) has played in more events this year. Smith has been very consistent throughout the entire year and ranks fourth overall on the team with a 74.55 stroke average in 33 rounds. He is tied for second on the team with nine rounds at par or better and is one of only three Seminoles with 20 or more rounds with scores at 75 or better.

Third-year Seminole head coach Trey Jones, who has guided Florida State into an NCAA Regional Championship for the firs time since 1998, is no stranger to regional championships. He guided Georgia State to five regional championship appearances in eight years including a fifth-place finish at the NCAA East Regional in 2000.

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