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Karlsson and McKay Heading to Yale Regional
For the first time in program history, Liberty will have a pair of individual golfers representing the Flames at the 2010 NCAA Men's Golf Regionals. The NCAA Selection Committee announced the field of team and individual golfers selected to this year's event on Monday night, which includes Liberty's Robert Karlsson and Max McKay.
The trip to the Regionals will be the second of Karlsson's career and the first for McKay. Both golfers will be heading north, as the pair is two of five individuals sent to the Regional hosted by Yale, along with 14 teams to fill out the 75-men field.
Spotlighting the 14-team field is No. 1 seed UCLA, who is ranked No. 8 in the latest Golfweek team collegiate rankings. Following the Bruins, who are two years removed from winning the NCAA national championship in 2008, are three other Top 25 programs, including No. 7 Texas, No. 15 South Carolina and No. 20 Virginia.
The three-day event, which will feature 18 holes of competition on May 20-22, will be contested on The Course at Yale in New Haven, Conn. The par-7, 6,749-yard course is widly considered the No. 1 college golf course in the country.
The Course at Yale is recognized as one of the finest examples of early American course design. Large deeply bunkered greens and narrow rolling fairways are the core of Yale's penalizing character. Two of the holes - the 432-yard par-4 fourth and the 238-yard par 3 ninth - have been ranked among the world's 100 most difficult holes.
The course, which opened for play in 1926, was designed under the supervision of Charles Blair Macdonald, the renowned golf course architect, champion golfer and co-founder of the USGA.
In order for either Karlsson or McKay to advance to the NCAA National Championships, which will be conducted on June 1-6 at The Honors Course in Chattanooga, Tenn., either golfer will have to finish as the top individual at the Yale Regional who is not on the Regional's team championship squad.
Karlsson (So., Kalmar, Sweden) is making his second-straight showing at an NCAA Men's Golf Regional. Last year, the 2009 Big South's top freshman finished tied for 55th place with an 18-over par 231 (82-76-73) at the Northeast Regional, hosted at the Galloway National Golf Course in Galloway, N.J.
This go around, Karlsson is having a more solid all-around year, as he leads the team with a 72.6 stroke average. He has finished in the top five in seven out of 11 events, including the Big South Men's Championship, which earned him the automatic bid to the Yale Regional. Karlsson was named the Big South Men's Golfer of the Year before winning medalist honors with his individual title at the conference championship event.
McKay (Fr., Jacksonville, Fla.) will be following Karlsson's first-year lead, as the rookie will be making his first career appearance at an NCAA Men's Golf Regional. This year's Big South Freshman of the Year was the top ranked individual golfer in the Big South Conference in the latest Golfstat rankings, as the rookie ranked No. 106 coming into the week.
McKay, who finished fourth at the Big South Men's Golf Championship, ranks second on the team with a 73.0 stroke average, aided by six top 10 finishes and three top five showings during his first collegiate season on the links.
Karlsson and McKay are two of eight total Big South golfers who will be on the links at this year's NCAA Men's Golf Regionals. Big South champion Coastal Carolina will send its starting five to the Atlanta Regional, where they are seeded No. 11.
Along with the Chanticleers, Charleston Southern's Kelvin Day, who finished second to Karlsson at the Big South Men's Golf Championship, will also be heading to Atlanta as an individual. The Big South's trio makes a league record for number of individuals selected to represent the conference at the NCAA Men's Golf Regionals.
The Course at Yale - New Haven, Conn.
Hosted by Yale
Teams (seeded in the following order):
3. South Carolina
6. East Tennessee State (Atlantic Sun Conference)
7. Southeastern Louisiana (Southland Conference)
8. Charlotte (Atlantic 10 Conference)
9. Kent State (Mid-American Conference)
11. Penn State
12. UNC Wilmington
13. Columbia (Ivy Group)
14. Lafayette (Patriot League)
1. Max McKay, Liberty
2. Ben Herrera, Iowa State
3. Harold Varner, East Carolina
4. Robert Karlsson, Liberty
5. Scotty Williams, Pennsylvania