Arkansas qualifies for NCAAs
The Razorback men’s golf team qualified for the 2009 NCAA Championship by way of a second-place South Central Regional finish last week. The Razorbacks are making the program’s first NCAA appearance under head coach Brad McMakin and its first since 2005, when the team tied for 26th overall.
Dates May 26-30, 2009
Site Toledo, Ohio
Course Inverness Club
Host University of Toledo
Specs Par 71, 7,255 Yards
Last Time 2005
Best Finish 4th, 1994
How does it work?
Glad you asked because there has been a format change for this year’s National Championship. For the first time, the team champion will be determined by match play. It is the first time since 1965 that the team title hasn’t been awarded by total strokes.
The top eight teams after 54 holes of stroke play will advance to match play with the quarterfinals and semifinals being held on Friday, May 29 and the championship match set for Saturday, May 30.
During the match-play portion of the championships, each match will be worth one point with all five players participating. The first team to win three points within the team match will advance or, in the case of the championship match, be declared the national champion.
How’d ya get there?
To advance to the NCAA Championships, teams had to be one of the top five teams or individuals from a non-advancing team out of each regional.
How about Arkansas at the Regional!
The Razorbacks finished second at the South Central Regional. That is the program’s best regional finish since 1992 when they were second at the Central Regional in McKinney, Texas.
Arkansas in the polls
This week, the Razorabacks are in the top 10 in all three polls. Arkansas ranks ninth in the GolfWorld/Nike Coaches poll and on Golfstat.com. Arkansas is 10th in the Golfweek.com poll.
Arkansas against the field – Rankings
The Razorbacks are in good shape in terms of their rankings against the championship field. There are only five teams in the 30-team field who rank higher than the Razorbacks in all three polls and three others who are near Arkansas in the polls. Those eight teams include: Georgia (1-2-1), Oklahoma State (2-1-4), Southern California (4-3-2), Stanford (6-5-5), Florida (8-8-8), Illinois (10-12-16), Alabama (11-9-10) and South Carolina (12-11-13). Numbers in parenthesis are Nike, Golfweek and Golfstat rankings.
SEC makes solid showing
The Southeastern Conference has six of its 12 members at the NCAA Championships this week. That is the second most at this year’s championship. The Pacific-10 has seven teams in attandance followed by the SEC with six, the Big Ten with five, the Big 12 and the ACC with four each. Four other conferences have one member in attendance.
Making the trip
McMakin has been consistent in the top of the lineup with David Lingmerth, Andrew Landry and Ethan Tracy making all 12 trips this year. Jamie Marshall has made eight trips and Jason Cuthbertson has traveled seven times. Those five were the traveling five for last week’s NCAA regional and will again represent Arkansas this week.
The Number Two
Arkansas has finished second in five consecutive tournaments this spring – a trend we’re sure head coach Brad McMakin would like to see continue at the NCAA Championship next week. Those second place showings came at the Border Olympics (Laredo, Texas), Morris Williams Intercollegiate (Austin, Texas), Bank of America Intercolleigate (Madison, Miss), the SEC Championship (St. Simon Island, Ga.) and the NCAA SC Regional (Stillwater, Okla.).
Setting the pace
Senior Andrew Landry sets the pace for Arkansas. He has been the Razorbacks’ top finisher in six of 12 events this year. Junior David Lingmerth has been the top Razorback in four events and it’s one each for freshman Ethan Tracy and senior Jason Cuthbertson.
SEC honors for the Razorbacks
Brad McMakin was named the Southeastern Conference Coach of the year headlining several honors for the Razorbacks this year. Senior Andrew Landry earned All-SEC First-Team honors, junior David Lingmerth was selected to the second team and freshman Ethan Tracy was named to the SEC All-Freshman team. McMakin, in just his third season as the skipper of the men’s team, is the first Razorback men’s golf coach to earn the award. Junior Jamie Marshall was selected to the SEC Community Service team as well.