KENNESAW, Ga. – Kennesaw State, which captured the 2017 Atlantic Sun Conference championship and earned an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament, will compete at the College Grove Regional in College Grove, Tenn., following the unveiling of the 81-team field by the NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Committee on Thursday (May 4).
The Owls will be making their seventh straight NCAA postseason appearance and second under head coach Bryant Odom.
Vanderbilt earned the top seed in the 13-team regional while Kennesaw State received the No. 7 seed. The College Grove Regional will take place May 15-17 at The Grove.
The complete College Grove Regional includes (in order of seeding): Vanderbilt, Texas Tech, Clemson, Georgia, Missouri, Lipscomb, Kennesaw State, Central Florida, Middle Tennessee, TCU, Troy, East Tennessee State and Harvard.
The College Grove Regional will be one of six 54-hole regional tournaments conducted May 15-17. Other regionals will be held in Baton Rouge, La. (University Club), West Lafayette, Ind. (Kampen Course), Stanford, Calif. (Stanford Golf Course), Austin, Texas (UT Golf Club) and Auburn, Wash. (National Golf Club).
Thirteen teams and 10 individuals not on those teams will compete at each of three regionals while the other three regionals will have 14 teams and five individuals not on those teams. The low five teams and the low individual not on those teams will advance to the finals.
The finals are May 26-31 at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill. Northern Illinois is the host institution for this year’s championships.
“It’s an honor and privilege to get to go and compete at the NCAA Regionals, and from there we just have to play our hearts out,” Odom said. “It’s exciting to know that we’ve played the course before and had some success there in the fall, and it’s pretty close to home. We have seen many of the teams before, but anywhere we go we are going to have to play well, but to get to play with some teams we have played with before, and even beat, really gives us a sense of confidence.
“We need everyone on our team playing well and we have to have the depth throughout the lineup and rely on everyone every day,” Odom added. “We are going to need consistent scores, try to avoid the big numbers, and just have fun.”
The Owls will enter the regionals with all five players in the lineup scoring under 73.00. Sophomore Jake Fendt tops the team with a 72.16 stroke average. He has posted five top 20 finishes, including three top 10 showings, and captured individual medalist honors at the Southern Intercollegiate Championships.
Seniors Christopher Guglielmo (72.41) and Teremoana Beaucousin (72.84) are tied for the team lead with six top 20 finishes, while Guglielmo has recorded a team-best five top 10 showings. Freshman Connor Coffee has a 72.61 scoring and a victory at the Steelwood Collegiate Invitational, while sophomore Pablo Rodriguez-Tabernero Torres has recorded a 72.74 scoring average and five top five finishes.
Kennesaw State has put together a solid 2016-17 season in which it has recorded nine top five finishes, including three tournament wins. The Owls captured the Pinetree Intercollegiate, Steelwood Collegiate Invitational and ASUN Conference Championships.
Kennesaw State will be seeking its third finals appearance and first since 2014 where it finished 26th out of 30 teams at Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson, Kan. The Owls highest regional finish is a second-place showing at the 2014 Auburn Regional in Auburn, Ala.