Stanford Begins Quest for Ninth National Title on Tuesday

May 27, 2010

STANFORD, Calif. - Stanford's quest for its ninth national championship will begin on Tuesday when the Cardinal open play at the NCAA Championships at the Honors Course (par-72; 7,445 yards) in Ooltewah, Tenn., which is just outside of Chattanooga,

The Cardinal is seeded second in the 30-team field behind Oregon. Oklahoma State is seeded third, followed by Washington and Texas.

Rounding out the field are teams from (in order of seeding) Texas Tech, Texas A&M, USC, Augusta State, Florida State, Clemson, UCLA, Florida, Georgia Tech, UNLV, Kent State, TCU, San Diego, California, Arizona State, Oregon State, North Florida, Duke, Tennessee, Penn State, Virginia, Illinois, LSU, Baylor and Georgia Southern.

Teams will play 54 holes of stroke play over three days with the top eight teams advancing to the single-elimination, match play format that will be used to determine the national champion.

Stanford is expected to enter a lineup made up of senior Joseph Bramlett, juniors Steve Ziegler and Sihwan Kim, sophomore David Chung and freshman Andrew Yun.

Bramlett played a key role on the 2007 NCAA title-winning team as a freshman, turning in rounds of 68, 70 and 69 after an opening round 78, as Stanford claimed its eighth national championship in Williamsburg, Va.

The Cardinal is hoping to ride the momentum from its first place finish at the NCAA Central Regional into Chattanooga.

'Our team is confident and everyone is playing well,' said Knowles Family Director of Golf and head coach Conrad Ray. 'Every event presents new challenges and we know we'll have to work hard to win the championship.

'We are close to clicking on all cylinders,' Ray said. 'We have prepared well so now the biggest task is not to over think and just go out and play golf.'

This marks the second year the NCAA Championship has been decided in a match play format. Last season, Stanford failed to qualify for the match play portion of the event after finishing 20th in stroke play. In March, Stanford fell in the second round of the Callaway Collegiate Match Play Championships in Marana, Ariz.

Ray doesn't differentiate between the keys of success in stroke play, compared to match play.

'You have to hit quality shots and stick to your game plan, regardless of what format you're playing. You want to force your opponent to bet you, instead of the other way around.

'It will be exciting is we are lucky enough to make the top eight. Anything can happen.'

The last time the NCAA Championships were held at the Honors Course was in 1996. Stanford finished fourth while Tiger Woods claimed the individual title a three-under score of 285.

'The Honors Course is a championship test of golf,' said Ray. 'It was very high rough and challenging greens. We can't wait to get there.'

Stanford will depart for the NCAA Championships on Saturday and will see the course for the first time on Monday during its practice round. The Cardinal will tee-off from the 10th tee of the Honors Course on Tuesday at 12:12 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. from hole No. 1 on Wednesday. Stanford will be paired with Oregon and Oklahoma State over the first two rounds before the teams are repaired for the final 18 holes on Thursday.

The top eight teams will advance to the championship match play, which will get underway on Friday. Seedings will be determined by the order of finish in the stroke play competition.

Stanford is seeking its ninth national title, having last won the NCAA Championships in 2007 in Williamsburg, Va.

Live scoring will be available on Golfstat.com.

Division I Men's Golf Championships
First Round Pairings
Morning - Time 1st Tee Time 10th Tee
7:00 a.m. Kent State, TCU, San Diego 7:20 California, Arizona State, Oregon State
7:47 a.m. North Florida, Duke, Tennessee 8:07 Penn State, Virginia, Illinois
8:35 a.m. LSU, Baylor, Georgia Southern 8:55 Enoch, Fillmore, Bailey

Afternoon - Time 1st Tee Time 10th Tee
12:30 p.m. Washington, Texas, Texas Tech 12:12 Oregon, Stanford, Oklahoma State
1:17 p.m. Florida State, Clemson, UCLA 12:59 Texas A&M, USC, Augusta State
2:05 p.m. Kofstad, Henley, Delio 1:47 Florida, Georgia Tech, UNLV

Second Round Pairings
Morning - Time 1st Tee Time 10th Tee
7:00 a.m. Oregon, Stanford, Oklahoma State 7:20 Washington, Texas, Texas Tech
7:47 a.m. Texas A&M, USC, Augusta State 8:07 Florida State, Clemson, UCLA
8:44 a.m. Florida, Georgia Tech, UNLV
8:55 Kofstad, Henley, Delio

Afternoon - Time 1st Tee Time 10th Tee
12:30 p.m. California, Arizona State, Oregon State 12:12 Kent State, TCU, San Diego
1:17 p.m. Penn State, Virginia, Illinois 12:59 North Florida, Duke, Tennessee
2:05 p.m. Enoch, Fillmore, Bailey 1:47 LSU, Baylor, Georgia Southern

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