Charlottesville, VA – For the third straight year the Virginia men’s golf team has received a bid to the NCAA Championships. The Cavaliers will compete as the number four seed among 14 teams at the Regional Championship site at The Course at Yale in New Haven, Conn.
A total of 81 teams are competing at six regional sites May 20-22 with the top five teams advancing to the NCAA Championships on June 1-6 at The Honors Course near Chattanooga, Tenn.
The Cavaliers enter postseason play ranked No. 20 by Golfstat and Golfweek.
“I thought that Yale was the most likely spot and we ended up there,” said UVa coach Bowen Sargent, the 2010 ACC coach of the year. “It did not matter to the team. Wherever you go, you have to play well to advance. There are a lot of good teams at all of these sites and only five from each tournament will get to go play for the national championship.”
The regional berth marks the 14th time since 1990 the Cavaliers have advanced to postseason play. Virginia is looking to advance to the NCAA Championships for the 13th time in its history. Last year the Cavaliers placed fourth at a regional site and went on to a 27th-place finish at the NCAA Championships.
The field for the New Haven Regional includes (listed by seed): UCLA, Texas, South Carolina, Virginia, Alabama, East Tennessee State, Southeastern Louisiana, Charlotte, Kent State, Vanderbilt, Penn State, UNC Wilmington, Columbia and Lafayette.
Those teams will have the task of playing a course that has been ranked among the 100 most difficult in the world. Each hole has been named and those titles include the likes of The Pits, Blind, Carries, Valley, Alps and Nose. The par-3 ninth hole, dubbed Biarritz, is described on the course’s website as “Yale’s signature hole is world famous due to its unusual 65 yard-deep green with an eight foot depression separating the front and back.”
“It’s a hard course,” Sargent said. “I played there at a regional when I was in college and I coached a team there when I was an assistant at Tennessee. The last time they played a regional there, back in 2004, 43-over played off for the last spot. I think the only guys to break par are now doing pretty well on the PGA Tour.
“It is difficult because it is an older design and the architects, Charles Banks and Seth Raynor, are considered two of the greatest golf course designers in this country’s history. There is a lot of undulation in the greens. It is just not something you see every day. It is probably similar to a Scottish course in a lot of respects. You play the lay of the land. It was not sculpted a lot. It will remind our players of Birdwood (UVa’s home course) because of the elevation changes and it has Poa annua greens like Birdwood does, which should be to our advantage.”
Other 2010 NCAA Regional Sites
Site: Capital City Club (Crabapple), Alpharetta, Ga.
1. Oklahoma State, 2. Arizona State, 3. Georgia Tech, 4. Clemson, 5. Arkansas, 6. Wake Forest , 7. Mississippi , 8. Furman, 9. Brigham Young, 10. Georgia Southern, 11. Coastal Carolina, 12. South Alabama and 13. Towson.
Site: The Warren Golf Course, Notre Dame, Ind.
Host: Notre Dame
1. Stanford, 2. Florida, 3. Florida State, 4. Duke , 5. LSU, 6. North Carolina State, 7. Iowa , 8. Michigan, 9. Northwestern, 10. Indiana, 11. Virginia Tech, 12. Murray State , 13. Detroit and 14. St. Francis (Pa.).
Site: Traditions Club, College Station, Texas
Host: Texas A&M
1. Texas A&M, 2. Texas Tech, 3. Georgia, 4. North Florida, 5. TCU, 6. Pepperdine, 7. Auburn, 8. North Carolina, 9. Baylor, 10. Tulsa, 11. Rice , 12. Wichita State , 13. Georgetown and 14. Jackson State.
Site: Carlton Oaks Golf Club, San Diego, Calif.
Host: San Diego State
1. Oregon, 2. UNLV, 3. Augusta State, 4. Tennessee, 5. San Diego State, 6. California, 7. Chattanooga, 8. UCF, 9. Arizona, 10. UC Irvine, 11. Missouri, 12. New Mexico State and 13. Oral Roberts.
Site: Gold Mountain Golf Club, Bremerton, Wash.
1. Washington, 2. Southern California, 3. Illinois, 4. Oregon State, 5. San Diego, 6. Colorado State , 7. Middle Tennessee, 8. SMU, 9. New Mexico, 10. Fresno State, 11. Eastern Michigan, 12. VCU and 13. Loyola (Maryland).