Beavers to Make First NCAA Championships Appearance Since 2000-01
May 30, 2010
THE TOURNAMENT & COURSE
The Oregon State men's golf team is heading to The Honors Course in Ooltewah, Tenn. and hosted by Chattanooga to compete at the NCAA Division I Men's Golf Championships. The Honors Course in Ooltewah, Tenn. is a par-72 course that will play approximately 7,395 yards.
'It's a big day for the program to finally get back (to nationals),' head coach Brian Watts said. 'The guys have worked extremely hard. It's well deserved. We're looking forward to getting back there. The season is a long way from over, and we've got goals that we want to accomplish when we get there.'
The NCAA Championships are a six day event. The first three days consist of a 54-hole tournament with 18-hole rounds played each day, June 1-3. The top eight finishers will advance to match-play with teams pitted head-to-head in a single elimination tournament for the national championship.
'(The regional tournament at) Gold Mountain was great preparation for us, because other than the hills, the courses are relatively set up the same. There is quite a bit of rough, basically we'll need to keep it in the fairway ... and the greens are big enough to hit a lot of green, and if our putters are working, then I think we'll have a good shot.'
The field includes 30 teams:Arizona StateAugusta StateBaylorCaliforniaUCLAClemsonDukeFloridaFlorida StateGeorgia SouthernGeorgia TechIllinoisKent StateLSUUNLVNorth FloridaOklahoma StateOregonOregon StatePenn StateSan DiegoUSCStanfordTennesseeTexasTexas A&MTCUTexas TechVirginiaWashington
In addition, an individual from each of the six regionals advanced to the NCAA Championships:1. Marshall Bailey, Virginia Tech2. Nick Delio, Cal State Northridge3. Rhys Enoch, East Tennessee State4. Robbie Fillmore, BYU5. Russell Henley, Georgia6. Espen Kofstad, Denver
WHAT THEY'VE DONE RECENTLY
The Beavers finished fifth in the high powered Pac-10 tournament that has seen eight of conference's the ten teams advance to nationals. At the NCAA's Gold Mountain regional the Beavers finished in fourth place. The 2009-10 season has one of the most successful in program history, and the team is expecting to continue with a quality finish.
The Beavers placed fourth at the NCAA Gold Mountain Regional in Bremerton, Wash. OSU stood fifth going into the final round and needed maintain their standing in order to advance to nationals. The Beavers received rounds of 1-under 71 from sophomores Morten Madsen and Alex Moore. Moore led the Beavers for the tournament with a (73-77-71) 221.
BEEN THERE ... WELL, CLOSE ANYWAY
Although the Beavers haven't been to The Honors Course, they are familiar with the Tennessee area. In October, Oregon State tied for first at the Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate hosted by East Tennessee State at The Ridges Golf and Country Club in Jonesborough - Tennessee was given the win after all five scorecards were counted. Diego Velasquez finished the tournament at 10-under par to win by an impressive seven strokes.
'The whole intent of going to Tennessee in the fall was because we knew the national championships were going to be in Tennessee,' Watts said. 'The experience that these guys had in the fall, winning a huge tournament - and with Diego winning the tournament - you would hope that the guys would feed off of that. We're going to definitely use that to our advantage.'
REPRESENTING THE PAC-10 CONFERENCE
It is common knowledge in the college golf world that the Pac-10 Conference is one of, if not the, premier conferences in the country. In 2010, eight teams from the Conference of Champions will hit the links at the NCAA Championships. To further illustrating the point, a Pac-10 school - Washington, Oregon, Stanford and UCLA - was the No. 1 seed at four of the six NCAA Regionals.
The Beavers have been re-writing the record books all season long as four golfers have climbed into the top 10 lists on numerous Beaver records. The team has also been ranked in the top 25 nationally for virtually the entire season. The team tied for first place at the Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate, with Diego Velasquez finishing as the top individual, winning by an unheard of seven strokes. Velasquez and Mike Barry both reach the top five for a low individual score in 4 rounds with Velasquez at 4-under 280 (third) and Barry at 3-under 281 (fifth), both scores recorded at the Pac-10 Championships. Morten Madsen and Barry each had single rounds of 6-under 65s, which is one stroke off of the school record 64 held by Tim Mickelson, set in the Spring of 2000. This is the fourth year in a row that the Beavers will head to an NCAA Regional. This is the first time the Beavers have qualified for nationals since 2001, where they finished in 12th.
Brian Watts is in his 10th year as the Beavers head coach, and his 13th overall with the program. He was an assistant coach for the men's and women's teams from 1995-97 and 1999-01. He has led the Beavers to back-to-back fifth place finishes at the Pac-10 Championships and to third in 2002. OSU has reached the postseason in each of the last four years and are playing in the 2010 NCAA Championships for the first time during Watts' tenure.