LA JOLLA, Calif. - For the third consecutive year, UC San Diego has qualified for NCAA Division II Golf Championships regional play. The 80 teams and 32 individuals selected for the postseason were announced Friday by the NCAA.
UCSD will compete along with 19 other squads at the NCAA South Central/West Regional, which will be played May 5-7 at Grey Rock Golf Club in Austin, Texas. St. Edward's University will serve as the host institution.
"We are excited about earning a spot in the NCAA regional field and having the opportunity to compete for a national championship," said first-year UCSD head coach Jim Ragan.
The Tritons will be the seventh seed from the West Region. The top four seeds also hail from the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) as Cal State Monterey Bay is No.1, followed by Chico State, Cal State Stanislaus and Sonoma State. Simon Fraser is fifth, Western Washington is sixth, Hawaii Hilo is eighth, Dixie State is ninth and California Baptist is 10th.
Cal State Stanislaus (CCAA) and Hawaii Hilo (Pacific West Conference) each earned automatic bids by winning their respective conference championships.
The ten teams from the South Central Region, in order of seeding, are Western New Mexico, St. Edward's, Dallas Baptist, Colorado School of Mines, Cameron, Midwestern State, St. Mary's, Colorado State-Pueblo, Colorado Christian and Colorado-Colorado Springs.
Western New Mexico (Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) and St. Edward's (Heartland Conference) won their league tournaments and an automatic berth in the regional.
Six of the 20 teams at the South Central/West Regional are ranked among the nation's top 25 in the most recent GolfWorld/Nike Coaches' Poll, including Cal State Monterey Bay (4th), Chico State (5th), Western New Mexico (8th), Cal State Stanislaus (13th), St. Edward's (t-17th) and Sonoma State (23rd). UC San Diego, Colorado School of Mines, Cameron, Hawaii Hilo, Western Washington, Dallas Baptist, Colorado Christian, Dixie State and California Baptist are all receiving votes in the poll.
Three other sites will host regional competition with the following pairings: Atlantic/East, Central/Midwest and South/Southeast.
Last season, UCSD placed 18th of 20 teams at the NCAA South Central/West Regional, played at The Home Course in DuPont, Wash. Clayton Yamaguchi was the Tritons' top finisher, tying for 54th place in the 108-man field.
UC San Diego is coming off an impressive showing at the CCAA Championship this past Tuesday and Wednesday, equaling its best-ever league finish with a third-place showing. Three Tritons placed in the top-10 individually as Lewis Simon tied for eighth, while Jay Lim and Daniel Yang tied for 10th.
UCSD has finished among the top-10 in eight of nine tournaments it has competed in this season.
"I am happy with the progress the team has been making this season," said Ragan. "This spring, we have gotten better tournament by tournament and round by round."
Following regional play, the NCAA Championship will take place May 19-23 at The Meadows Golf Course in Allendale, Mich. At a minimum, the top three teams, as well as the top two individuals not competing with a team, from each regional will advance to Michigan. The remaining eight team berths will be allocated based on the regions represented in the prior year's medal-match portion of the championships, with the maximum number of teams from a given region capped at seven.