@GT_Golf to Play in Rancho Santa Fe Regional
No. 10 Jackets are the No. 2 seed May 14-16 at The Farms Golf Club
THE FLATS - Georgia Tech's 10th-ranked golf team, which earned an automatic qualification to the NCAA Championship by winning the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship two weeks ago, has been placed in the NCAA Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., Regional, to be played May 14-16 at The Farms Golf Club.
REGIONAL INFORMATION - The Yellow Jackets are playing in an NCAA regional for the 18th straight year and for the 25th time in the 27 years the NCAA has used a regional qualifying format for its championship. They are part of a regional field that includes 13 teams and 10 individuals.
The NCAA announced on Monday all 81 teams and 45 individuals who will competing for spots in the NCAA Division I Men's Golf Championship, which will be conducted May 29-June 3 at Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Fla. Of the 81 teams, 31 were automatic qualifiers by winning their conference championships, and the other 50 earned at-large bids.
The top five finishers at each of the six regional sites, all of which take place May 14-16, will advance to the championship site. The other sites are Bremerton, Wash. (Gold Mountain Golf Club); Chapel Hill, N.C. (UNC Finley Golf Course); Lubbock, Texas (The Rawls Course); New Haven, Conn. (The Course at Yale) and Noblesville, Ind. (The Sagamore Club).
The Rancho Santa Fe Regional will play host to eight teams listed among the nation's top 50 of the Golfstat rankings, including, in order of seed, No. 3 Arizona State, No. 10 Georgia Tech (ACC champion), No. 14 Oklahoma, No. 22 New Mexico, No. 27 Virginia, No. 34 Georgia, No. 39 East Tennessee State (Southern Conference champion), and No. 47 Mississippi. The rest of the rest of the field includes host San Diego, Idaho, St. Mary's, Wichita State (Missouri Valley Conference champion) and Eastern Kentucky (Ohio Valley Conference champion).
Ten teams from the ACC earned bids to NCAA regionals, most in conference history and most of any conference in the nation this year.
Each regional is a 54-hole, stroke-play event with 13 teams and 10 individuals, or 14 teams and five individuals, competing. The top five teams after 54 holes and one individual not on those teams in each regional advance to the NCAA Championship finals, which has a field of 30 teams and six individuals.
TEAM UPDATE - Georgia Tech is No. 10 in this week's Golfstat ranking and No. 10 in the Golfweek/Sagarin ratings. The Yellow Jackets won last week's Atlantic Coast Conference Championship, their second consecutive victory this spring, coming against a field that included nine teams in the nation's top 50. Tech also won the Robert Kepler Intercollegiate at Columbus, Ohio by 16 strokes over No. 28 SMU, and tied No. 25 Alabama for second place the week before at the Mason Rudolph Championship in Nashville, Tenn. This spring, Tech has two runs, two runner-up finishes, one fourth-place and one 10th-place showing. Six of Tech's seven spring tournaments have featured at least eight teams which were ranked among the top 50 in the nation, against whom the Jackets have a 59-26-3 record this year. Tech's schedule is ranked the eighth-most difficult in the nation according to the Golfweek/Sagarin Index.
TECH NCAA REGIONAL HISTORY - Georgia Tech has failed to advance through an NCAA regional only twice in 24 tries, and only once since the NCAA went to a six-regional qualifying format in 2009. Heppler's teams have won five regional tournaments outright, most recently in 2014, and tied for one other.
The NCAA began using regional qualifying tournaments in 1989, first with the 81 teams split among three sites (27 teams each), then with six sites with either 13 or 14 teams each beginning in 2009. Since the NCAA went to six regional sites in 2009, Tech has finished third (Bowling Green, Ky.), third (Milton, Ga.), tied for third (Radford, Va.), sixth/did not advance (Norman, Okla.), fourth (Tallahassee, Fla.) and first (Raleigh, N.C.).
Tech's first four victories all occurred in 27-team regionals in 1991 (New Haven, Conn.), 1998 (Daufuskie Island, S.C.), 1999 (Providence, R.I.) and 2002 (Roswell, Ga., tied with Clemson). Only the 2014 win occurred in a 13-team field.
Georgia Tech has never played in an NCAA regional further West than Norman, Okla. (2012), though the Yellow Jackets have played in five NCAA finals on the West coast.
HEAD COACH Bruce Heppler SAYS - "We're looking forward to playing in the NCAA Championship again. I've heard nothing but great things about the golf course. The face is all the regionals are a challenge, and you have to play well to advance. The guys are excited to see a different part of the country, and we should have a great week of practice."
ABOUT GEORGIA TECH GOLF
Georgia Tech's golf team is in its 20th year under head coach Bruce Heppler. The Yellow Jackets have won 16 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships, made 28 appearances in the NCAA Championship and been the national runner-up four times. Connect with Georgia Tech Golf on social media by liking their Facebook page, or following on Twitter (@GT_Golf). For more information on Tech golf, visit Ramblinwreck.com.