BRASELTON, Ga. (April 17, 2011) - The ETSU men's golf team, the defending Atlantic Sun Conference champions, will look to win back to back titles as the Bucs tee it off in the opening round of the 2011 A-Sun Championship from the Chateau Course at Chateau Elan beginning Monday morning.
ETSU, a perennial national force, enters the A-Sun Championship filled with confidence after taking its last tournament, the Coca-Cola Wofford Invitational, in come from behind fashion. The win represented the Buccaneers' first team title of the spring, but the team has come on strong as of late. A Buccaneer has won the medalist honor at each of the last four A-Sun Championships (Seamus Power (Waterford, Ireland) in 2007 and 2010, Michael Stewart (Troon, Scotland) in 2009 along with Gareth Shaw in 2008). The Bucs broke the A-Sun record for most consecutive individual championships last year when Power won the individual title.
The Bucs won their second ever A-Sun title last season after finishing the event at 5-under par, four shots ahead of Florida Gulf Coast and eight in front of North Florida. ETSU also won the team title in 2007 at Sanctuary Cove in Georgia.
In both the latest GolfStat.com and GolfWeek.com rankings, a pair of A-Sun schools rank inside the top 50. UNF, winner of the 2008 A-Sun Championship, ranks 44th in the GolfWeek.com ratings while Kennesaw State sits in 49th. According to GolfStat.com, the Owls own the top ranking, placing 45th with the Ospreys in 47th.
Kennesaw State's Jeff Karlsson and Matt Nagy rank as the highest A-Sun golfers in the chase for the Golfstat Cup. Karlsson a two-time winner of the A-Sun Golfer of the Week award, ranks 11th in the latest standings. This season, he owns wins at the Sam Hall Intercollegiate in September and the Seminole Intercollegiate in March. Nagy ranks 33rd in the GolfStat Cup standings. After red-shirting in 2009-10, he has returned to the Owls lineup with a flourish winning at the Rees Jones Intercollegiate and at the Barefoot at the Beach.
Off a second-place showing at the 2010 A-Sun Championship, FGCU has remained an upper echelon team within the conference. The Eagles own two team victories, claiming the Mizuno Savannah Intercollegiate and the Stetson/CFSC Invitational. Daniel Mazziotta won the individual crown at the Stetson/CFSC Invitational and tied for the top spot at the Rio Pinar Invitational in March. He joins Karlsson and Nagy inside the GolfStat Cup top 50, ranking 48th entering the Championship.
The Chateau Course that features contoured fairways, thick Bermuda roughs, and strategically placed lakes and ponds opened in July 1989. Built on 170 acres of the finest terrain, the 7,030 yard layout of the Chateau Elan Course, designed by Denis Griffiths, plays to a par 71. Winding along three lakes and two creeks, water comes into play on ten of the eighteen holes while 87 bunkers give definition and character to the course. Chateau Elan has served as the A-Sun Championship course twice before. The Woodlands Course played host in 2008 and last year, the teams competed at The Legends Course.
Play begins at 8 a.m. Monday with Jacksonville and Lipscomb opening play off the first tee. Fans can follow the action at Golfstat.com
For more information on ETSU men's golf please go to ETSUBucs.com and click on the men's golf link. Also, be sure to follow ETSU Athletics on Facebook and Twitter.