Men's Golf to Begin NCAA Regional Play Thursday

May 18, 2011

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By Josh Molino

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - For the fifth-consecutive season, the UCF men's golf team will compete in an NCAA Regional with play beginning Thursday in Ocala at the Golden Ocala Golf Club. The three-round tournament concludes on Saturday.

The Knights earned a spot in the Ocala regional by claiming their third-straight Conference USA Championship last month. The field of 14 is headlined by No. 3 Florida followed by No. 7 Augusta State, No. 15 Arkansas, No. 22 Oregon and No. 25 NC State.

Rounding out the region is Baylor, Kennesaw State, Notre Dame, Missouri, Southeastern Louisiana, Jacksonville State, Georgia Southern and Jackson State with UCF representing as the No. 6 seed.

Starting Thursday, six 54-hole tournaments will be held across the country with the top-five finishers in each region as well as the low individual not associated with any of the top finishing teams, advancing to the NCAA Championship in Stillwater, Okla., held from May 31-June 5.

With the help of the C-USA Coach of the Year Bryce Wallor, UCF won three tournaments this season (Adams Cup of Newport and Rio Pinar Invitational), including the C-USA Championship, and will make its 14th postseason appearance.

The Knights earned an automatic berth into the 2011 NCAA Regional Tournament led by the outstanding play of C-USA Freshman of the Year Greg Eason (Leicester City, England) and juniors Connor Arendell (Cape Coral, Fla.) and Brad Schneider (Valrico, Fla.). The trio finished in the top- 15 overall at the C-USA Championship.

Eason, Arendell and Schneider participated in every event for UCF this season and will be accompanied at the regional by senior Nuno Henriques (Funchal, Portugal) and freshman Kyle Wilshire (Georgetown, Ky.). This group captured titles at the Rio Pinar Invitational and at the C-USA Championship.

Back Again
UCF returns to its fifth-consecutive NCAA Regional, ready to make a move to the NCAA Championships for the first time since 2009. Last season the Knights finished in sixth out of 13 teams at the San Diego, Calif., regional, missing the NCAA Championship by one spot.

The Knights have won three-consecutive Conference USA Championships. Two members of this years' team have been a part of each championship, Henriques and Schneider.

Familiar Course
Henriques, Arendell and Schneider are comfortable with this year's regional site having played a tournament at the Golden Ocala Golf Club last season. The trio participated in last year's season-ending Golden Ocala Invitational.

Fab Freshman
Eason has not only been the best freshman in C-USA but one of the best players across the nation. According to Golfweek.com, Eason is ranked No. 77 overall.

C-USA Honors
Wallor, Eason and Arendell all earned conference accolades. Wallor was named C-USA Coach of the Year, Eason earned freshman of the year and Arendell garnered first team honors.