May 8, 2012
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The University of Notre Dame men's golf team has been tabbed to play in the Ann Arbor Regional of the 2012 NCAA Men's Golf Championship, it was announced by the NCAA Division I Men's Golf Committee Monday. The Irish earned the automatic qualifying berth from the BIG EAST after winning the conference tournament for the eighth time in program history.
"We're fired up to be playing close to home," said Irish head coach Jim Kubinski. "It's a solid, traditional type of golf course, which is similar to ours. It should suit our team well, given ball striking is important and we're obviously comfortable with the grasses."
The University of Michigan will serve as host of the 13-team regional, which will take place at the University of Michigan Golf Course in Ann Arbor, Mich.
The regional format is made up of six 54-hole regional tournaments being conducted May 17-19. Thirteen teams and ten individuals not on those teams will compete at each of three regionals while the other three regionals will have 14 teams and five individuals not on those teams. The low five teams and the low individual not on those teams from each regional will advance to the NCAA Championship.
The Championship will be conducted May 29-June 3, at The Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif. Southern California will serve as the host institution for this year's championship.
This marks the 35th time that the Irish have qualified for postseason competition with the team winning the title once back in 1944. Additionally, the Irish finished runner-up in 1937 and third place in 1931, '33, '36 and '51 while finishing in the top 10 on 19 other occasions.
The Irish, on the heels of a 60-57-2 record including claiming back-to-back victories at the Battle at the Warren and the 2012 BIG EAST Championship to end their season, earned the second consecutive berth into the NCAA Regionals. Last season, Notre Dame finished ninth at the Florida Regional, posting a 54-hole score of 865 (+1).
Senior Max Scodro (Chicago, Ill.), coming into the tournament after winning the BIG EAST individual title for the second consecutive season, will look to anchor the Notre Dame lineup heading into regional play. His final campaign has been a historic one as he currently holds the lowest single-season stroke average (71.45) and has moved into first on career stroke average (73.34) after putting together a year that has seen him record six top-10 finishes.
Joining the Irish, who rank 63rd according to Golfstat, at the Ann Arbor Regional will be (Golfstat ranking in parenthesis): Southern California (4), Oregon (6), Kent State (18), Virginia (19), Baylor (30), Oklahoma State (29), Kennesaw State (41), TCU (45), Purdue (54), North Carolina State (55), Ohio State (70) and Navy (198).
Notre Dame is no stranger to its regional field, having faced seven of the 13 teams in the Ann Arbor Regional at some point during the '11-12 season, posting a combined record of 3-5 against Kent State (1-0), Virginia (0-1), Baylor (0-2), Oklahoma State (0-1), Kennesaw State (0-1), North Carolina State (1-0) and Ohio State (1-0).
Scodro, who checks in as the 57th ranked individual in the collegiate ranks, will represent one of a talented list of golfers in the Ann Arbor Regional. This group is highlighted by the Oregon twosome of Eugene Wong and Daniel Miernicki who check in at second and ninth, respectively, in the rankings. Also joining the teams at the Ann Arbor Regional will be Peter Williamson (Dartmouth), Matt Thompson (Michigan), Sebastian MacLean (Xavier), Erik Van Rooyen (Minnesota), Dan Ellis (Michigan State), Tyler Merkel (Ball State), Charlie Bull (Akron), Chad Ebert (Green Bay), William Park (Army) and Greg Matthias (Delaware). This group has been chosen the individual qualifiers into the NCAA Regional field.
For a complete listing of the six regionals and its participants please visit www.ncaa.com.
University of Michigan Golf Course - Ann Arbor, Mich.
1. Southern California
3. Kent State [Mid-American Conference]
6. Oklahoma State
7. Kennesaw State
10. North Carolina State
11. Notre Dame [Big East Conference]
12. Ohio State
13. Navy [Patriot League]
1. Peter Williamson, Dartmouth
2. Matt Thompson, Michigan
3. Sebastian MacLean, Xavier
4. Erik Van Rooyen, Minnesota
5. Dan Ellis, Michigan State
6. Tyler Merkel, Ball State
7. Charlie Bull, Akron
8. Chad Ebert, Green Bay
9. William Park, Army
10. Greg Matthias, Delaware