Round 1: Monday, May 14 (7:30 a.m. Double Tee)
Round 2: Tuesday, May 15 (7:30 a.m., Double Tee)
Round 3: Wednesday, May 16 (7:30 a.m., Double Tee)
COLUMBUS, OH. – For the second straight year and just the third time in program history, the Jacksonville University men's golf team is preparing to take the course at an NCAA Regional. After earning an at-large bid to the 2018 Tournament, the No. 10 seeded Dolphins trek to Columbus, Ohio to attempt to advance to the championship round for the second consecutive season.
First opening in 1940, the Scarlet Golf Course at Ohio State is a world-renowned facility that has played host to numerous marquee events, including the WEB.com Nationwide Children's Hospital Championship and 10 NCAA Championships, most recently in 2002. Designed by famed architect Perry Maxwell, the course underwent major renovations from 2005-06, which, overseen by Jack Nicklaus, lengthened play to more than 7,400 yards and changed the par to 71.
The Tournament will begin Monday morning at 7:30 a.m. with a double tee start from holes 1 and 10. Rounds two and three will tee off on Tuesday and Wednesday, with the same start time and format. Live stats are available for all three rounds of tournament play on GolfStat. The top five teams from each of the six regionals will advance to the 2018 NCAA Championship in Stillwater, OK.
"At the Scarlet Course, par is a premium, which is perfectly acceptable in championship golf," Head coach Mike Blackburn said. " We are excited to be competing in such a deep field, which features some of the nation's top competition. Every tournament we play in is important to our program, and this is no different. It's just another chance to perform well and stand out."
Ranked at No. 60 in the latest GolfStat Rankings released on May 2, Jacksonville heads north following a third-place finish (four-over 284) at the 2018 ASUN Championships in Braselton, Ga. April 22-24. Held at the Par-70, 6577 yard Legends Golf Course at Chateau Elan, and shortened to 36 holes due to inclement weather, the tournament saw a pair of Dolphin golfers finish in the top 5 for the first time since 2006. ASUN Freshman of the Year Michael Sakane and No. 38 Raul Pereda tied for fifth in the affair (even, 142), qualifying for the ASUN All-Tournament team for the first time in each of their careers.
The pair, who hold stroke averages of 70.20 and 73.27 respectively, will be joined by sophomore Eduardo Carrete, junior Sam Uhland and freshman Aaeri Krishnan as part of the five-man squad that will compete for the Dolphins. Uhland and Pereda enter with experience in last year's tournament, and all five players received some form of postseason honor this season. Pereda was tabbed to the ASUN First-Team, Carrete made the ASUN Second-Team, Krishnan and Sakane were placed on the All-Freshman squad and Uhland earned a spot on the All-Academic Team.
Entering the field as the No. 7 seed in the 2017 NCAA Baton Rouge Regional, the team earned its first-ever at-large bid to the dance last season, appearing in national postseason action for the first time since claiming the ASUN Conference title in 2006. After trailing by five strokes entering the final round, the then-42nd ranked 'Phins finished with 883, trying No. 29 Northwestern for fifth place to force a sudden-death playoff for the final qualifying spot to the NCAA Championships. After a wildcat hit out of bounds in the second wave, Pereda shot par to allow the team to finish -1 on the day, sending them to Sugar Grove Ill. for their first-ever appearance in the final tournament. JU concluded its unprecedented run with a three-day total of 892, tying for 26th place.
Joining the River City competitors in Columbus will be a star-studded field of 12 other teams, including four currently ranked in the top-25, three conference champions and five squads that advanced to the 2017 NCAA Championship along with JU. Among the pack is No. 1 Oklahoma State, who is set to host the final competition in June and No. 12 Illinois and No. 24 UNLV, who each took the title in their respective conference tournaments after making the final cut at last year's championship.
The men's golf program is one of two teams at Jacksonville, along with baseball, who have ever received an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.
The Field (by order of seed, with GolfStat rankings released on May 2 in parentheses)
No. 1 Oklahoma State (#1)
No. 2 Illinois (Big 10 champions, #12)
No. 3 Texas Tech (#13)
No. 4 UNLV (Mountain West champions, #24)
No. 5 Wake Forest (#25)
No. 6 Northwestern (#35)
No. 7 Penn State (#37)
No. 8 Tennessee (#48)
No. 9 Louisville (#49)
No. 10 Jacksonville (#60)
No. 11 Michigan State (No. 61)
No. 12 Yale (Ivy League champions, #137)
No. 13 Cleveland State (Horizon League champions, #212)
1. Kyle Mueller, Michigan
2. Matthew Naumec, Boston College
3. Alex Schaake, Iowa
4. Patrick Flavin, Miami (Ohio)
5. David Kocher, Maryland
6. Daniel Wetterich, Ohio State
7. Peter Knade, Maryland
8. Jacob Poore, Northern Kentucky
9. Zach Schroeder, Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne
10. Nick Wilkins, Morehead State