May 4, 2009
Tennessee earned a No. 4 seed to the coastal town of Galloway, N.J., and begins regional competition in the NCAA Division I Men's Golf Championship on May 14.
Pairings for the 81-team field were announced Monday and included 11 SEC squads -- two more than any other conference. The Vols earned an NCAA bid for the 10th consecutive time in 11 seasons under head coach Jim Kelson.
"We're excited to go to New Jersey and compete," Kelson said. "It's supposed to be a great golf course and a fabulous place. We've got no complaints."
Tennessee's regional is one of three this year sporting a 14-team field; the other three regionals have 13 teams each. Seeding order for Galloway National Golf Club:
5. Wake Forest
6. Colorado State
7. Kent State
8. Coastal Carolina
10. Penn State
12. Virginia Commonwealth
14. Sacred Heart
The low five teams and the low individual not on those teams advance to the finals, set for May 26-30 at the Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio. Playoffs and tie-breakers will be used, if necessary, to determine advancement to the finals.
"All the regionals look like they are pretty tough and pretty evenly matched," Kelson said. "You're just going to have to play well to advance, that's all there is to it. Playing well and eliminating the big mistakes is the key to advancing, and that's what we're headed there to do."
In addition to the 10 consecutive regional bids, UT has advanced to the NCAA finals three times under Kelson -- 2003, 2005 and 2007.
Other SEC teams in this year's field are Florida and Mississippi State headed to Austin, Texas; Georgia, South Carolina and Kentucky to Sorrento, Fla.; Mississippi and Vanderbilt to Bowling Green, Ky.; and Arkansas and LSU to Stillwater, Okla. In-state teams joining UT and Vandy in the tournament are Austin Peay, Chattanooga, East Tennessee State and Middle Tennessee.
Columbia is the host school at Galloway National, located near the Jersey shore slightly more than two hours south of New York City. The course, designed by Tom Fazio, plays to 7,000 yards on a heavily wooded, gently sloping bayside property.