FRANKLIN, Tenn. (May 18, 2005) - The East Tennessee State University men's golf team will open play in the NCAA East Regional at the Golf Club of Tennessee on Thursday. The event will begin with first round play, followed by the second and third rounds on Friday and Saturday.
The Buccaneers will be looking to finish in the Top 10 in the 27-team field, which would give them their 10th trip to the NCAA Championships in 19 seasons under head coach Fred Warren. The Bucs' best recent finishes in the NCAA Championships came with a third-place showing in 1996 and ninth in 2001.
Looking back at ETSU's 2004-05 season, two words come to mind almost immediately - Rhys Davies. A sophomore from Bridgend, Wales, Davies is currently putting together arguably the greatest individual season in Buccaneer golf history, winning a school record five individual championships, posting a program-best single-round score of 63, leading the team with a stroke average of 70.69, recording eight Top 3 finishes in 10 events, and finishing the season ranked in the Top 3 nationally. Those efforts by Davies, the SoCon Player of the Year and a semifinalist for the Ben Hogan Award, helped to lead the Bucs to a record 17th Southern Conference Championship and an automatic bid into the NCAA East Regionals.
Sporting a lineup that features Davies, veteran senior Cennydd Mills (Cardiff, Wales), junior Noel Kavanagh (Westport, Ireland), and a pair of talented young Irish players in Cian McNamara (Limerick, Ireland) and Gareth Shaw (Lisburn, Northern Ireland), the Bucs hope to return to the NCAA Championships for the first time in four seasons.
The Buccaneers have a history of success in the NCAAs, finishing third in the country in 1996, while also picking up a ninth-place showing in 2001. ETSU also enjoyed Top 7 finishes in 1975 (6th) and 1976 (T-7th).
For live stats from the event, fans can visit Golfstat.com or simply checkout ETSUBucs.com.