Jags Open Up Regional In Seventh

ATHENS, Ga. – Augusta State battled back from a sluggish start to post a 1-under 283 Thursday in the opening round of the NCAA Athens Regional at University of Georgia Golf Course.

Sparked by senior Taylor Floyd's 4-under 67, the Jaguars are in seventh place in the 13-team regional. The top five teams from each of the NCAA's six regionals, as well as the low individual not a member of those teams, will advance to the NCAA Championships, slated for May 29-June 3 at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif., near Los Angeles.

Playing alongside Long Beach State and Wake Forest, the Jags stood at 5-over-par as a team just three holes into their round. After making the turn to the back nine in a combined 3-over, ASU combined for 10 birdies on its inward nine, good for 4-under.

ASU senior Brendan Gillins carded a 1-under 70 and is tied for 17th, while sophomore Alex Wennstam and freshman Robin Petersson are tied for 43rd after a pair of 2-over 73's. Junior Derek Chang had the day's non-counting score (81) and is tied for 73rd in the 75-player field.

The 1-under 283 marked the Jags' 11th round of par or better in their last 16 regional rounds dating back to the 2007 West Regional in Tempe, Ariz. Floyd's 67 matched his career-best round in postseason play, equaling his 4-under 67 he posted as a freshman in the final round of the 2009 Southeast Regional at Red Tail Golf Club in Sorrento, Fla.

"We didn't get off to the greatest start but we finished strong which was really encouraging," said first-year ASU head coach Kevin McPherson. "Our seniors were rock solid again and Taylor showed again what kind of player he is. We hung in there pretty well today and we still have a lot to prove."

Fourth-ranked Alabama blitzed the University course for a 15-under 269 and moved out to a two-stroke lead over No. 10 North Florida. East Carolina, ranked 33rd in the nation, is third after an 8-under 276 and No. 24 Georgia is fourth at 4-under 280. Houston and UNC Wilmington are tied for fifth at 2-under 282, one shot in front of ASU.

North Florida's Kevin Aylwin shot a 6-under 65 to grab the individual lead. UNF's MJ Maguire, Curtis Reed of Houston and Alabama's Bobby Wyatt carded 5-under 66's while ASU's Floyd leads a pack of five in a tie for fifth place.

In Friday's second round, the Jags will be paired with No. 3 seed New Mexico and No. 9 seed Wake Forest. Chang will lead off for ASU off the 10th tee at 8:00 a.m., followed by Petersson at 8:10, Wennstam at 8:20 and Gillins at 8:30, with Floyd anchoring the lineup at 8:40 a.m.

The Jags entered the postseason ranked No. 44 in the country by Golfweek magazine and 45th by Golfstat and are the No. 8 seed in the three-day, 54-hole regional. The tournament, hosted by the University of Georgia, runs through Saturday, May 19.

The Jaguars earned a postseason bid on Monday, May 7 when the Jaguars received an at-large selection by the NCAA Men's Golf Committee in Indianapolis, Ind. ASU is making its 14th regional appearance in the last 15 years, and its 17th in the last 20 years. ASU will be looking to advance to the NCAA Championships for the 13th time in 17 NCAA Regional appearances.

For the fourth straight year, the NCAA's modified format for the postseason features six regionals around the nation. 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.

Originally designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr., the University of Georgia Golf Course (www.golfcourse.uga.edu) opened in 1968. In May 2006, the greens and the greens complex were completely renovated by Love Golf Design. In 2009, the golf course was named one of the top-10 public courses in Georgia by Golfweek magazine as well as one of the best 25 best university courses in the nation by LINKS magazine.

Live scoring of each of the six NCAA regionals will be available at http://www.golfstat.com/. To view the ASU Men's Golf postseason media guide, visit the following link: http://jaguarsroar.com/sports/mgolf/2011-12/files/NCAA-Regional-Media-Supplement.pdf.

The official NCAA Championships program is available at www.ncaa.com/DIMensGolf. For complete coverage of all six NCAA Men's Golf Regionals, visit the following link: http://www.ncaa.com/sports/golf-men/d1.

Augusta State became the first team since the University of Houston in 1984 and 1985 to claim back-to-back National Championships when the Jaguars defeated Georgia Tech, Oklahoma State and Georgia on three consecutive days last June in Stillwater, Okla., at Karsten Creek Golf Club.

ASU captured the 2010 National Championship at The Honors Course in Ooltewah, Tenn., in an epic final match with Oklahoma State. The Jaguars defeated the top three seeds in match play on consecutive days, dispatching Georgia Tech (3-2), Florida State (4-1) and OSU (3-1-1). ASU's Mitch Krywulycz rallied for a 4-down deficit to stun the Cowboys' Kevin Tway in 19 holes and win the clinching point for the Jags. Henrik Norlander and Patrick Reed accounted for ASU's other points in the championship match and earned the Jags their first national title in any varsity sport.

NOTES ... ASU has had 26 rounds in the 60's and 89 rounds of par or better carded in NCAA Regional play ... Of ASU's current lineup, only senior Taylor Floyd has NCAA Regional experience ... Senior Brendan Gillins, junior Derek Chang, sophomore Alex Wennstam and freshman Robin Petersson will all be making their postseason debut for the Jags … In seven rounds of the NCAA Regional, Floyd has a 71.7 stroke average … ... Floyd was in the ASU lineup for regionals in both 2009 and 2010 as a freshman and sophomore, respectively … He owns a 72.5 stroke average over those six rounds, including a 4-under 67 in the final round of the 2009 Southeast Regional at Red Tail Golf Club in Sorrento, Fla. ... In 10 postseason rounds, he has notched a career stroke average of 72.3, including the 2009 and 2010 regionals and 2010 NCAA Championships at The Honors Course in Ooltewah, Tenn. … In 16 previous trips to the NCAA Regionals, ASU has advanced to the NCAA Championships in all but four years (2000, 2004, 2007, 2009) ... Should the Jags qualify for the NCAA Championships, it would mark their 13th trip to the NCAA Championships in the last 20 years ... ASU's best round in NCAA Regional play took place in 2011 in the second round with a 13-under 275 at Golden Ocala Golf Club in Ocala, Fla. … The previous low round in regional play was an 11-under 273 on May 15, 2008, in the first round of the 2008 NCAA East Regional at Council Fire Golf Club in Chattanooga, Tenn. … During that same round, Henrik Norlander turned in the best round in school history in NCAA Regional play in 2008, firing a 6-under 65 ... Previously, the best round carded by an ASU golfer in regional play was a 3-under 67 by Kalle Edberg in the final round of the 2005 Central Regional and a 5-under 67 posted by Major Manning in the 2007 West Regional ... ASU's best individual finish was Edberg's medalist effort in the 2005 Central Regional, which Patrick Reed matched with his tie for first at the 2012 Ocala Regional ... Reed fired a 10-under 206 at Golden Ocala Golf Club, including back-to-back 5-under 67's in the second and third rounds ... Norlander owned the previous mark for the lowest three-round total with a 11-under 202. 

NCAA Athens Regional
University of Georgia Golf Course
Athens, Ga.
Par 71 -- 7,253 yards
May 17-19, 2012 

Team Results

1. Alabama........................................... 269..... -15
2. North Florida...................................... 271..... -13
3. East Carolina...................................... 276...... -8
4. Georgia............................................ 280...... -4
5. Houston............................................ 282...... -2
UNC Wilmington................................. 282...... -2
7. AUGUSTA STATE................................ 283...... -1
8. Wake Forest....................................... 284....... E
9. New Mexico....................................... 285..... +1
Texas-Arlington................................... 285..... +1
11. Iowa................................................ 288..... +4
12. Long Beach State................................. 297... +13
13. Loyola (Maryland)................................ 301... +17

Augusta State Individual Results

t5. Taylor Floyd...................................... 67...... -4
t17. Brendan Gillins.................................. 70...... -1
t43. Alex Wennstam.................................. 73..... +2
t43. Robin Petersson.................................. 73..... +2
t73. Derek Chang..................................... 81... +10

 

Top 10 Individual Results

1. Kevin Aylwin, North Florida................... 65...... -6
2. MJ Maguire, North Florida..................... 66...... -5
Bobby Wyatt, Alabama......................... 66...... -5
Curtis Reed, Houston........................... 66...... -5
5. TAYLOR FLOYD, AUGUSTA STATE.......... 67...... -4
Ryan Eibner, East Carolina..................... 67...... -4
James Erkenbeck, New Mexico................ 67...... -4
Justin Thomas, Alabama........................ 67...... -4
Harold Varner, East Carolina.................. 67...... -4

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