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Golf Heading to Fayetteville Regional as No. 7 Seed
Liberty's men's golf team will be making its third-straight trip to the NCAA Men's Golf Regionals and fifth trip overall in program history next week, when they compete in the Fayetteville Regional.
The Flames, currently ranked No. 31 in the country by Golfweek and No. 40 by Golfstat, will be the No. 7 seed in the Fayetteville Regional. The three-day, 54-hole event will be contested at The Blessing Golf Club in Fayetteville, Ark., May 16-18.
The top five teams out of the 14 teams in the Fayetteville Regional will advance to play for the 2013 NCAA Men's Golf National Championship in Atlanta, Ga., at The Capital City Club, May 28 - June 2.
Liberty was one of eight at-large selections in the Fayetteville Regional, marking the third time the Flames have earned an at-large selection to an NCAA Men's Golf Regional (also in 2003 and 2006). The men's golf program is the only team in Liberty's athletics history to earn an at-large selection to an NCAA Division I postseason event.
The Flames will look to replicate last year's notable postseason run, which culminated with a 10th place finish at the 2012 NCAA Men's Golf National Championship at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif.
Liberty won three-straight tournaments to earn their trip to the West Coast, including a second Big South title and the program's first-ever NCAA Regional victory.
The Flames came into the Greensboro Regional as the No. 6 seed, but following 54 holes of play at the Grandover Resort in Greensboro, N.C., Liberty claimed victory. The Flames fired a four-over par 868 (283-293-292) to win by three strokes over Florida (299-287-285-871) and six over Auburn (296-292-286-874).
In their first-ever NCAA National Championship showing, the Flames narrowly missed advancing to match play. Liberty finished one shot out of eighth place with a 24-over par 876 (295-288-293), finishing just behind Kent State (293-291-291-875) and Florida State (290-290-295-875).
Leading the 14-team Arkansas tournament field is 2013 Big 12 Conference and defending 2012 NCAA Men's Golf National champion Texas. The Longhorns defeated Alabama, 3-and-2, in the final round of last year's national championship event to claim the program's third national title and the first since winning back-to-back titles in 1971 and 1972.
Other conference titles winners in the Fayetteville Regional include No. 5 seed Kent State (Mid-American Conference), No. 6 seed Illinois (Big Ten Conference), No. 12 seed UNC Wilmington (CAA), No. 13 UMKC (The Summit League) and No. 14 seed Alabama State (SWAC).
The Flames' fellow at-large selections at the Fayetteville Regional include: No. 2 seed Arkansas, No. 3 seed Oklahoma State, No. 4 seed SMU, No. 8 seed Tulsa, No. 9 seed Kentucky, No. 10 seed Colorado and No. 11 seed Indiana.
The Blessing Golf Course is the home links to the Arkansas men's and women's golf programs. The Robert Trent Jones, Jr., designed course opened in 2004 and can play up to 7,500 yards in length depending upon the course setup. Holes No. 8, 9 and 16 can be adjusted to make the course longer and more difficult. For the Regional, the course will play at 7,251 yards in length and at a par 72.
The Flames will travel to Fayetteville on May 14 in time for a practice round on May 15. The first of three 18-hole days of play will commence on May 16, with the top five teams advancing to the NCAA Men's Golf National Championship following the conclusion of the 54-hole event.
The Blessings Golf Club – Fayetteville, Arkansas
Hosted by the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
Teams (seeded in the following order):
1. Texas [Big 12 Conference]
3. Oklahoma State
5. Kent State [Mid-American Conference]
6. Illinois [Big Ten Conference]
12. North Carolina-Wilmington [Colonial Athletic Association]
13. UMKC [The Summit League]
14. Alabama State [Southwestern Athletic Conference]
1. Chris Gilbert, Kansas
2. Mitchell McLeroy, Stephen F. Austin
3. Pep Angles, Central Arkansas
4. Patrick Newcomb, Murray State
5. Paul McConnell, Texas-Arlington