JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (May 17, 2006) - The 11th-ranked ETSU men's golf team begins its quest for a 15th trip to the NCAA Championships Thursday, as the Bucs enter first round play in the NCAA West Regional at the Omni Tucson National Golf Club in Tucson, Ariz.
The 27-team field will be battling to finish in the Top 10, which assures a trip to the NCAA national championship scheduled to be played in Sunriver, Ore., May 31-June 3. The Bucs will have the motivation of having just missed out on an NCAA Championship trip last season, when the team finished 13th in the east region after entering the final day of play in sixth. ETSU junior Rhys Davies (Bridgend, Wales), who is currently ranked fourth nationally, will lead a young ETSU squad into his second regional in as many years. Last season, Davies managed to qualify as an individual for the national tournament thanks to a second-place finish.
ETSU has a strong history of NCAA success, having reached regional play in 14 of the last 18 years, and having reached the NCAA Championship 14 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.
The teams selected for the west region include (by seed): 1. Florida, 2. Arizona State, 3. Brigham Young, 4. East Tennessee State, 5. Baylor, 6. Alabama, 7. Arizona; 8. San Diego State, 9. North Carolina State, 10. Washington, 11. New Mexico (Mountain West Conference), 12. Stanford, 13. Houston, 14. Pepperdine, 15. Louisville, 16. Denver, 17. Santa Clara, 18. New Mexico State (Western Athletic Conference), 19. Fresno State, 20. UC-Irvine, 21. Nevada, 22. San Diego, 23. Cal Poly (Big West Conference), 24. Western Kentucky (Sun Belt Conference), 25. Loyola Marymount (West Coast Conference), 26. Jackson State (Southwestern Athletic Conference), and 27. Bucknell (Patriot League). Individuals: Graham DeLaet, Boise State; Dustin Pimm, Utah; Chadd Coco, Saint Mary's; Ryan Witz, Washington State; Ryan Wood, Long Beach State; and Derrick Whiting, Colorado State.
For more on ETSU men's golf and NCAA postseason play, visit ETSUBucs.com.