SAINT LEO, Fla. – The 21st-ranked Saint Leo men’s golf team was selected to the NCAA Tournament, it was announced on NCAA.com; a program first for the Lions. SLU was seeded ninth in the 13-team South Region field. The tournament will be held at the Wilson Country Club and is scheduled to take place May 3-5 in Wilson, N.C.
Joining the Lions in North Carolina will be five other Sunshine State Conference schools, including the top-two seeds, Barry and Florida Southern. Nova Southeastern, Lynn, and Rollins will also be taking part in the event. In total, 80 teams and 32 individuals will participate in the 2010 Division II Men's Golf Championships.
The tournament is run slightly different than other NCAA tournaments. The south region is combined with the southeast region to make a 26-team field with the top five teams advancing to the finals. Aside from the South/Southeast region, there will be three other sites conducting regional tournaments. The other pairs consist of the Atlantic/East regions, as well as the Midwest/South Central and Central/West regions.
Finals will be held from May 18-21 at The Sagamore Club in Noblesville, Ind. and will be hosted by the Indiana Sports Corporation, the University of Indianapolis, the Great Lakes Valley Conference and the Hamilton County Sports Authority.
The Lions are led into the event by a trio of seniors in JP Albuquerque, Mark McGuire, and Cole Cisbani. Freshman Nick Brothers has posted incredible scores all season and Tom Lynn has been a steady force for the Green & Gold in each tournament.
Upon hearing the news, Head Coach Ray Cisbani stated, “This is the first men's golf team in school history to make it. Last year Cole and Mark went as individuals, but this was our goal from day one, to go as a team.”
He continued, “We feel good going into the tournament, as long as we are healthy, I feel that we have 5 players that can shoot low. Since the event is 18 holes per day, it gives my players time to prepare, both mentally and physically, for the following day.cWhen you have to play 36 holes in one day in a sport that doesn't allow substitutions, it is difficult to post the best possible scores when sickness, injury, and/or fatigue rears its head.”
As to what type of impact his team will have on the tournament, coach Cisbani stated, “If the three seniors play the game that I know they can play, and junior Tom Lynn continues his steady play, it will let freshman Nick Brothers to continue play as he has all season, very solid. If we stick to the game plan, limit mental mistakes and trust our swings we should do well. I know that this is a lot to ask for, but if you're selected to go to Regional’s, you better. They have to believe they can win. They have never been in this position before but if they stay loose they will definitely get everyone's attention.”
The team will begin training for the Tournament tomorrow from the Tampa Bay Golf and Country Club and will head up to North Carolina after a week of practice.
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