KSU golf team earns first−ever bid to NCAA national tournament
The Kennesaw State University men's golf team added another feather to its cap Friday by…
Georgia (May 10, 2002) — KSU golf team earns first−ever bid to NCAA national tournament
The Kennesaw State University men's golf team added another feather to its cap Friday
by accepting its first−ever invitation to compete in the NCAA Division II Men's Golf
The Owls‚ ranked No. 10 in the Precept Coaches Poll and 12th by Golfstat‚ will join seven other teams receiving at−large bids and 10 regional champions at Mission Inn Golf & Tennis Resort in Howey−in−the−Hills‚ Fla. for a 72−hole tournament beginning May 21.
"It's a great day‚" said Jon Dunlap‚ head coach of the Owls and a former player at Kennesaw State‚ "not just for this team‚ but for the entire program."
Friday's announcement came on the heels of a record−setting performance by Dunlap's squad at the Southeast Regional earlier in the week. KSU‚ seeded sixth in the eight−team field‚ broke or tied the school record for scoring in each round of the 54−hole event. At tournament's end‚ that added up to a 20−under−par total and a second−place finish behind fellow Peach Belt Conference power USC Aiken.
In Dunlap's mind‚ that performance made it impossible for the NCAA selection committee to ignore his team.
"That was a big part of it‚" he said. "Those three days of just superior‚ solid golf by all the guys on the team really just put the stamp on it."
The same five players who powered KSU to a runnerup finish in the Southeast Regional‚ Thomas Baker‚ Luke Stephan‚ Bryan Hume‚ Andrew Allen and John Tillery‚ will make the trip to Florida for the national tournament.
"They're all pumped up and excited‚" Dunlap said. "After how we played at regionals‚ they were just happy that we weren't left out of something that we should have been a part of."
Although this year's team has already accomplished more than any other group of KSU golfers since the school became an official member of the NCAA in 1994‚ Dunlap doesn't expect his players to be satisfied by the bid alone.
"Their heart's desire is to go after that national championship‚" the first−year coach said.
For the KSU golf program‚ this will be the first national appearance of any kind since the 1993 team finished eighth in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) tournament. Jon Hough‚ currently one of the golf professionals at Marietta Country Club‚ gave Kennesaw State its only national championship in the sport when he claimed the NAIA individual title in 1986.
Kennesaw State University‚ a progressive‚ comprehensive institution with a growing student population of 14‚100‚ offers more than 50 degree programs. Out of 34 institutions‚ KSU is the sixth largest in the University System of Georgia.
A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its approximately 38,000 students. With 13 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the third-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 92 countries across the globe. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status, and one of the 50 largest public institutions in the country. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.