Gamecocks Earn No. 3 Seed in NCAA East Regional
May 10, 2010
COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina's men's golf team will participate in the postseason for the 14th consecutive year and the 19th time overall as the Gamecocks received their bid to the NCAA Championship on Monday afternoon. The Gamecocks will be the No. 3 seed in the NCAA East Regional, which runs May 20-22 in New Haven, Conn.
The Gamecocks will compete at The Course at Yale, which has been the site of two other NCAA Regionals in which South Carolina competed. Those came in 1991, when current PGA Tour pro Brett Quigley led the Gamecocks to a 11th place finish and an NCAA Championship berth, and in 2004, when the Gamecocks finished 17th in a 30-team field.
"I've never seen the course, but I have heard some stories about it," South Carolina head coach Bill McDonald said. "It's a very old-school, tricky golf course. I'm sure we'll be dependent on (director of golf) Puggy (Blackmon) to give us some of his knowledge on having been there before. I've heard it usually has small, firm, fast greens and high rough. And that could be good for us; our guys like the old-school golf courses."
South Carolina will join 13 other teams in competing for one of five spots in next month's NCAA Championship, which runs June 1-5 in Chattanooga, Tenn. UCLA and Texas are the top two seeds, with the Gamecocks, Virginia and SEC foe Alabama rounding out the top five. Fellow SEC member Vanderbilt will also compete in New Haven as the No. 10 seed. Other entrants in the regional include East Tennessee State, Southeastern Louisiana, Charlotte, Kent State, Penn State, UNC-Wilmington, Columbia and Lafayette.
"UCLA and Texas, we haven't seen them a lot, but they've had a really good year," McDonald said. "I looked at Texas as probably a No. 1 seed, so to have a No. 1 as a No. 2 in our regional, that fact, to me, makes it pretty hard. And there are some teams like us, Virginia and Alabama that have shown both flashes of brilliance and also inconsistency. UNC-Wilmington isn't a bad team at all, Vanderbilt's been a little down by their standards, but they've had a decent year. It sounds like it's a pretty solid group of teams, which is good.
"I guess the one advantage for us is that Yale's not in it. It's a true neutral site. The way they do regionals now, if you go play at someone's home course, you feel like you're playing for four spots instead of five. But I've heard about that golf course for years, and it sounds like it should be an interesting place to play."
Ten of the 12 SEC schools received bids to the NCAA Championship. Arkansas and Ole Miss will play in the Southeast Regional in Alpharetta, Ga., Florida and LSU will compete in the Central Regional at Notre Dame, Ind., Georgia and Auburn are set to compete in the South Central Regional in College Station, Texas, and Tennessee gets sent out to the West Regional in San Diego.
The full list of competing institutions and individuals can be found at NCAA.com.
NCAA EAST REGIONAL - COMPETING TEAMS