AUSTIN, Texas - For the third consecutive year, the UC San Diego men's golf team is ready to tee it up for NCAA postseason play this week, competing in the South Central/West Regional May 5-7 at Grey Rock Golf Club in Austin, Texas.
UCSD will be competing alongside 19 other NCAA Division II squads, with 10 hailing from the West Region and 10 from the South Central Region. The teams will play 18 holes each day.
"We are looking forward to the opening round Monday," said UCSD head coach Jim Ragan. "Playing 18 holes each day is a lot more enjoyable than our normal 36-hole marathon on the first day of our regular season tournaments. It should be an exciting regional and we are excited to compete."
The Tritons are the seventh seed from the West. 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.
Seven of the South Central/West Regional teams are ranked among the nation's top-25, including Cal State Monterey Bay (No. 3), Chico State (No. 5), Western New Mexico (No. 9), Cal State Stanislaus (No. 12), St. Edward's (No. 18), Hawaii Hilo (No. 22) and Sonoma State (No. 23).
Along with UC San Diego, Colorado School of Mines, Cameron, Simon Fraser, Dallas Baptist and Western Washington are receiving votes in the most recent GolfWorld/Nike Coaches' Poll.
"We had a good practice round Sunday," said Ragan. "The course is playing very hard and fast, which means that length is not much of an issue. The firm conditions will require precise shot-making skills. There are a lot of birdie holes out there, but the pin locations can become very difficult depending on how they decide to set up the course."
The same lineup led UC San Diego to an impressive showing at the CCAA Championship in Stockton April 22-23, as it equaled its best-ever league finish with a third-place showing. Three Tritons placed in the top-10 individually as Simon tied for eighth, while Lim and Yang tied for 10th. Yamaguchi tied for 24th, while Roseth tied for 28th.
UCSD has finished among the top-10 in eight of nine tournaments it has competed in this season.
Last season, UCSD placed 18th of 20 teams at the NCAA South Central/West Regional, played at The Home Course in DuPont, Wash. Yamaguchi was the Tritons' top finisher, tying for 54th place in the 108-man field. Simon tied for 61st and Lim tied for 82nd.
Three other sites will host regional competition with the following pairings: Atlantic/East, Central/Midwest and South/Southeast.
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.
UCSD begins regional play with a 12 p.m. tee time on Monday, May 5. All three rounds will be covered by live stats.
"The weather forecast looks good and appears to be consistent across all three days," said Ragan. "I would expect the scores in the afternoon rounds to be a few strokes higher than those of the morning rounds with the tendency of the wind to pick up."