Photo by Dan Menningen

Members of the men’s golf team watch the Golf Channel’s “Morning Drive” with Kara Robinson to find out when and where they will play in the upcoming NCAA Regional Tournament. The Vikings travel to New Mexico to the campus of the University of New Mexico for their opening rounds.

 

April 19, 2016

Men’s golf prepares for NCAA Regional Tournament

In the Family Room of the Wolstein Center the Cleveland State Men’s Golf team awaits its selection to the NCAA Regional Tournament.

The men are sitting around a television watching “Morning Drive” on the Golf Channel, the morning talk show where the NCAA will reveal locations for tournament play.

Members of the women’s golf team and the men’s basketball team were on hand to show support.

“Now we will show who will be heading out West to New Mexico,” said Cara Robinson, the host of “Morning Drive” who revealed the names of the schools.

And sure enough, there was Cleveland State’s name in the New Mexico division, causing the team to clap and cheer in celebration.

“We wanted to go out West because the ball travels farther and it’s warm with little weather concerns,” sophomore golfer Joe Krecic said.

The team will play the Championship Course at the University of New Mexico, a course that has held the NCAA Division I Men’s Championship in 1976, 1992, 1998 and the Women’s Division I Championship in 2008. Golfweek magazine listed it in “Best Courses You Can Play State by State.”

“We have never played this course, so it will be a learning experience for our guys,” Coach Steve Weir said.
The UNM Championship Course is a par 72 course that encompasses 7,562 yards on the campus of University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.

It is an open course with few trees, which will punish a player in places for errant drives, but overall it is a forgiving course with tough greens, according to the Championship Course pro shop.

The Cleveland State Vikings gained entrance to the tournament by winning the Horizon League Championship for the third straight year.

Tournament play took place at the Mission Inn Resort in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla.

“Honestly, I felt the most pressure in this tournament,” Krecic said. “It gets pretty tense down there, but it was great to play well.”

Krecic shot three straight rounds of 1-under-par 71, earning him runner up in the tournament.

Junior Patrick Luth, came through when the Vikings needed it with a final round 2-under-par 70 to help secure the victory for Cleveland State.

“That’s the best part of this team is that we are five deep,” Weir said., noting that with five exceptional golfers, no one player must stand out.

Cleveland State will play against some of the top teams in the country in Albuquerque, N.M.

The Vikings are in the same tournament bracket as University of Southern California, Arizona State University, South Florida University and San Diego State University.

“This tournament will take all five of our guys playing well for three days,” said Weir.

The Vikings will play a practice round on May 15 with the regional tournament taking place May 16-18.

If the Vikings win in New Mexico, they will head to the National Championship at Eugene Country Club in Eugene, Ore. May 27 through June 1.



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