COLLEGE GROVE, Tenn. – The No. 11 Texas Tech men's golf team will tee off at the NCAA College Grove Regional on Monday morning at The Grove, in College Grove, Tenn.
The Red Raiders are the regional's No. 2 seed, and will begin Monday's first round at 8 a.m., off the first tee, paired with No. 1 seed Vanderbilt and third-seeded Clemson. The top five teams and the top two individuals unaffiliated with those five teams in the final standings will earn berths into the NCAA Championships, which will be held May 26-31, at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill.
"At this point, this round is the next step toward our ultimate goal," Texas Tech head coach Greg Sands said. "These guys are motivated and they know it's either qualify or go home, and that's good because you face scenarios like that plenty of times in golf. We know the top five advance, but we aren't going to sit back and try to get that fifth spot. We're going to be aggressive and try to go win the tournament."
Representing the Red Raiders for the third consecutive tournament will be Fredrik Nilehn, Hannes Ronneblad, Federico Zucchetti, Hurly Long and Ivan Ramirez. Ronneblad, Nilehn and Ramirez are all averaging 72 or better per round this season.
The Grove is a par-72, 7,368-yard track featuring six par-5's, four of which are on the back nine. The Red Raiders enter this 54-hole affair with two team titles and three individual tournament crowns this season.
This is the 16th consecutive year in which the No. 11 Red Raiders have been selected for the NCAA postseason, which is the longest active team qualification streak on campus. The school record for consecutive NCAA postseason appearances is currently 17 years, held by the women's basketball program.
"The goal is to advance to the match play portion of the national championships, and this is a step we take to get there," Sands said after the regional was announced. "We don't want to sit around and talk about 16-straight regionals, especially after setting the match play bar for this program in 2010, but it's not something we want to take for granted, either. There are talented teams in our field and we have our work cut out for us. We will have to play well to advance, which is always the case in the regional round."