Tigers Earn Berth in NCAA Regionals
May 9, 2011
INDIANAPOLIS - The University of Memphis golf team earned an invitation to the NCAA Indiana Regional, as announced Monday evening by the NCAA Men's Golf Selection Committee. The regional will take place at Wolf Run Golf Club in Zionsville, Indiana.
The NCAA field is made up of 81 teams competing in six regionals across the country with the top-five schools from each regional advancing to the NCAA Championship on May 31 - June 5 in Stillwater, Okla.
"We're all very excited about this opportunity," Memphis head coach Grant Robbins said. "The guys played great coming down the stretch of the season. We're certainly happy to be here, but we aren't satisfied--we want to advance."
Memphis earned an at-large bid after finishing second in the Conference USA Men's Golf Championship and putting together an impressive resume throughout the season. The Tigers posted their first tournament victory since 2008 at the Mason Rudolph Championship, where they were led by Jack Belote's individual medalist performance. His rounds of 66-69-70 earned him the first individual title of the year as well as Golf Digest's National Player of the Week Honors. Belote was also C-USA's All-Conference Second team as well as to C-USA's All-Academic squad.
Jonathan Fly also took an individual title this season, posting a 54-hole total of 209 to capture the C-USA Individual Crown. Fly was the first Memphis golfer to win the C-USA Crown since Clint Clement won the inaugural C-USA Championship in 1996. His performance throughout the season earned him a selection to C-USA's All-Conference First Team, the first Tiger to earn that distinction since Ian Rochester in 2008.
The Tigers averaged 289.9 strokes per round as a team this season and turned in 11 top-10 finishes, including three showings in the top three. Memphis finished the regular season ranked 66th by Golfstat.com and 63rd by Golfweek Magazine.
This will be the third appearance in NCAA postseason play for Memphis and second under Coach Robbins. The Tigers finished tied for 20th at the 2008 NCAA East Regional at Council Fire Golf Club in Chattanooga, Tenn. Robbins was named 2008 C-USA Coach of the Year during that season.
The Tigers advanced to the finals at NCAA Championship for the only time in school history in 1988 when they were led by All-American Steve Metz. Memphis finished 28th in the championship.
Robbins also led UNC-Wilmington to the NCAA Regionals in 2003, making this his third appearance in postseason action as a coach.
Memphis' best accomplishment in the NCAA Championship came in 1955, when former Tiger Hillman Robbins won the Individual Title. Robbins led the 1954-55 Tigers to a 9-2 match record and was named as an alternate to the Walker Cup Team.