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Karlsson Nabs Individual NCAA Berth

May 4, 2009
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Robert Karlsson earns Liberty's first NCAA Tournament individual berth.

Robert Karlsson earns Liberty's first NCAA Tournament individual berth.

Liberty freshman golfer Robert Karlsson has earned the first individual nod to the NCAA Tournament in program history, when the NCAA Division I Men's Golf Committee announced the entire regional field on Monday evening.

Karlsson (Kalmar, Sweden), the only individual selected from the Big South Conference, has been ranked as high as No. 14 nationally by Golfstat (April 2) and No. 35 by Golfweek (April 2). Karlsson is currently ranked No. 159 in the country after a couple 28th-place finishes and a 12th place in the last three tournaments he appeared in, after traveling in consecutive weeks to tournament locations in California, Missouri, South Carolina and Virginia.

Liberty has twice made the NCAA Division I Men's Golf Tournament as a team, earning at-large bids in 2003 & 2006. Both of the Flames' at-large appearances still serve as the only at-large berths by any Liberty sports program to their respective NCAA Tournaments.

Six 54-hole regional tournaments will be conducted May 14-16. Thirteen teams and 10 individuals not on those teams will compete at each of three regionals, while the other three regionals will have 14 teams and five individuals not on those teams. The low five teams and the low individual not on those teams will advance to the finals from each regional. Karlsson, along with Big South Champion Coastal Carolina, will travel to Galloway, N.J., to participate at the Galloway National Golf Club. The regional is hosted by Columbia University.

The national championships will be conducted May 26-30 at the Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio. The University of Toledo is the host institution for this year's championships.

Below is the entire Galloway Regional field:

Teams (seeded in the following order):
1. Clemson
2. Alabama
3. Illinois (Big Ten Conference)
4. Tennessee
5. Wake Forest
6. Colorado State
7. Kent State (Mid-American Conference)
8. Coastal Carolina (Big South Conference)
9. Virginia
10. Penn State
11. Minnesota
12. VCU (Colonial Athletic Association)
13. Columbia (Ivy Group)
14. Sacred Heart (Northeast Conference)

Individuals:
1. Kevin O'Connell, North Carolina
2. Dan Woltman, Wisconsin
3. Robert Karlsson, Liberty
4. Peter Williamson, Dartmouth
5. Eric Hawerchak, Central Connecticut