TEMPE, Ariz. (May 17, 2007) - Firing a first round team score of 10-under 278 Thursday on Arizona State's Karsten Golf Course, the ETSU men's golf team finished eighth on the team leaderboard and finds itself in good position at the NCAA West Regional. The Top 10 teams in regional play earn a spot in the NCAA Championships later this month.
The 13th-ranked Buccaneers were led by junior Cian McNamara (Limerick, Ireland) and Atlantic Sun Freshman of the Year Seamus Power (Waterford, Ireland), both of whom posted team-best rounds of 3-under 69 to finish tied for 21st on the individual leaderboard. Meanwhile, teammate Rhys Davies (Bridgend, Wales) - the nation's No. 2-ranked player - and junior Gareth Shaw (Lisburn, Northern Ireland) finished just one stroke back of their fellow Bucs, posting scores of 2-under 70 to finish tied for 39th overall.
ETSU is currently 10 strokes back of leader UCLA and just three strokes away from falling out of the Top 10. Individually, the Bruins' Erik Flores made it a sweep for UCLA on the first day, finishing atop the individual leaderboard at 8-under 64. Second and third round play will continue Friday and Saturday.
"We didn't start off particularly well on the front nine, but I was really proud of the way the guys played coming in on the back," said ETSU head coach Fred Warren, whose team will tee off at 9:48 a.m. EST on Friday. "We knew coming out here the scores were going to be low because the rough is not high and if you are driving well there are several birdie opportunities. The second day is really when things shake up and teams make their move, so hopefully it will be an advantage for us teeing off early and avoiding the wind."
ETSU has a strong history of NCAA success, having reached regional play in 15 of the last 19 years, and having reached the NCAA Championship 15 times in the history of the program. In fact, the Bucs enjoyed national finishes as high as sixth in 1975, third in 1996 and ninth in 2001. A year ago, the Bucs finished 21st in the NCAA Championships.
For more on ETSU men's golf and NCAA postseason play, visit ETSUBucs.com. Fans can watch live scoring of the event by visiting Golfstat.com.