Johnson City, Tenn. -- The East Tennessee State men's golf team begin competition in the NCAA East Regional on Thursday morning from the Golden Horseshoe Golf Club in Williamsburg, Va., hosted by Virginia Commonwealth University.
The East Regional will consist of both team and individual competition conducted concurrently. All participants will compete throughout the entire 54 holes of competition. In the team competition, the low four scores for each team will count in each day .s total score. The top ten teams and top two individuals not on those teams will advance to the NCAA Championships at the Duke University Golf Club in Durham, N.C., May 30-June 2.
The 14th-ranked Bucs are making their eighth consecutive appearance in the NCAA field, all under head coach Fred Warren. Last year, the Bucs advanced to the NCAA Championship after finishing fourth at the East Regional in Moosic, PA. ETSU has competed in 14 NCAA tournaments and finished 3rd in 1996 at the Honors Course in Chattanooga, TN. Two-time All-American Chris Wisler finished tied for 24th last year.
The field for the East Regionals will consist of some of the finest collegiate golfers in the United States. Seven top 25 teams will compete in the regional, including the top three. Fellow Southern Conference member Georgia Southern will compete in the East, while the third SoCon NCAA participant, College of Charleston, will compete in the Central Regional in Stillwater, Okla.
Seven of the top eight individual players will also be in action in the East Regional, including Wisler who is ranked seventh.
As a team, the Bucs have won two tournaments in a row and three out of their last five. They were victorious in the Cavalier Classic on Monday, defeating the host University of Virginia squad by five strokes.
Individually, the Bucs are led by seventh-ranked Wisler, who has finished in the top-five in each of his last four tournaments and carries a 71.3 stroke average. Senior Pat Beste and sophomore James Johnson also come into the regionals on a high note, both having finished in the top-10 in their last tournaments.