SAN DIEGO, Calif. (May 13, 2015) – After making its cross-country flight to California earlier in the week, the ETSU men’s golf team opens play at the NCAA Regional on Thursday at The Farms Golf Club in San Diego.
ABOUT THE BUCS
ETSU, who is making its 24th NCAA postseason appearance and the 20th under head coach Fred Warren, earned the automatic bid after winning its record 18th Southern Conference championship in a sudden-death playoff over UNC Greensboro on April 21 at Pinehurst No. 9.
The win marked the 23rd conference championship in program history for the Blue and Gold, and the first conference crown since winning the Atlantic Sun title in 2010. The Bucs, who won the SoCon championship in their last year in the conference in 2005, captured the win in their first year back this season.
ETSU is looking for its 18th trip to the NCAA Championship and first since 2008.
Junior Adrian Meronk (Wroclaw, Poland) was named SoCon Golfer of the Year, marking the 20th time the Bucs have received conference player of the year honors. Meronk’s 70.3 scoring average is the second-lowest single-season mark in program history behind former All-American Rhys Davies. The Buccaneer leader won a pair of medalist honors, while he tied for the individual title at the conference championship but fell in a sudden-death playoff.
In addition to his Golfer of the Year honor, Meronk was named SoCon Golfer of the Month for April, while he and fellow junior Chris Hickman (Centreville, Md.) received all-conference honors this season. Cayman Ratliff (Kingsport, Tenn.) was selected to the SoCon All-Freshman team.
Gudmundur Kristjansson won his first collegiate tournament at the Seminole Intercollegiate (March 13-15). The Buccaneer junior fired a 17-under-par 199 (63-67-69) and helped guide ETSU to runner-up honors. Kristjansson tied ETSU’s single-round scoring record with a 9-under 63 in the opening round, while it also marked a new course record at Southwood Golf Course. Kristjansson also became the third ETSU golfer to score under 200 – Rhys Davies (199) and Seamus Power (198) – and his 17-under-par 199 marked a program record for a 54-hole score.
As a team, Golfstat has ranked ETSU as high as No. 24 in the collegiate rankings this season, while the Bucs enter the regional ranked 39th. Individually, Meronk has been ranked as high as No. 14 this year and enters the regional ranked No. 16. Meronk has also cracked the top-50 of the world amateur golf rankings at No. 49 -- the highest ranking for a Polish amateur.
ABOUT THE REGIONAL
The three-day tournament will be held at The Farms Golf Club, which is a par-72, 6,947-yard layout.
Eighteen holes will be played each day starting Thursday and ending Saturday.
ETSU tees off at 11:55 a.m. (EDT) and will be paired with host San Diego and Mississippi. Teams and indviduals will be regrouped according to scores following first and second round play.
The Bucs are one of 13 teams in the regional and the top five teams advance to the NCAA Championship. In addition, 10 individual golfers make up the tournament field. The top individual player not to be a member of one of the top five teams will also earn a spot in the championship.
Host: University of San Diego – The Farms Golf Club
() indicates Golfweek/Sagarin or Golfstat Ranking
1 Arizona State (3)
2 Georgia Tech – ACC Conference Champion (10)
3 Oklahoma (14)
4 New Mexico (22)
5 Virginia (25)
6 Georgia (29)
7 ETSU – Southern Conference Champion (39)
8 Mississippi (47)
9 San Diego (55)
10 Idaho – Big Sky Conference Champion (57)
11 St. Mary’s, California (65)
12. Wichita State – Missouri Valley Conference Champion (87)
13. Eastern Kentucky – Ohio Valley Conference Champion (150)
1. Cody Blick, San Jose State
2. Petter Mikalsen, University of Denver
3. George Cunningham, Arizona
4. Antoine Rozner, University of Missouri-Kansas City
5. Chad Merzbacher, Tennessee
6. David Kocher, Maryland
7. Matt Green, Kansas State
8. Conner Campbell, Loyola Marymount
9. Hayden Shieh, Santa Clara
10. Justin De Los Stanos, Cal Poly
Joining Meronk, Hickman and Kristjansson in ETSU’s lineup is senior Rhys Pugh (Pontypridd, Wales) and sophomore Mateusz Gradecki (Oborniki Slaskie, Poland).
This same group made their NCAA Regional debut last season in Eugene, Ore., where ETSU tied for eighth and were led by Pugh as he tied for 16th.
The lineup features one senior, three juniors and one sophomore.
Live scoring from the NCAA regionals will be available on Golfstat.com, and ETSUBucs.com will provide complete coverage following each round.
Twitter updates will be available by following @ETSUAthletics as well using the hash tag #ETSUMGolf.
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For more information on Buccaneer men’s golf, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s golf page.