May 7, 2012
Tennessee gets the chance to make California its home away from home down the 2012 golfing stretch when the Vols open NCAA postseason play as the eighth seed at the Stanford Regional.
UT's bid to reach uncharted territory -- a fourth straight berth to the NCAA Championship Finals for the first time in program history -- requires this important side trip to the San Francisco Bay area beginning May 17. Tennessee needs a top-five finish against a stellar field to earn a return ticket to Los Angeles and the famed Riviera Country Club, site of this year's championship tournament.
Monday night's selection marked Tennessee's 13th consecutive NCAA bid in 14 seasons under head coach Jim Kelson, extending the school record.
But this year marks the Vols' most difficult postseason task in quite some time. The Vols are seeded eighth and must defeat at least three squads deemed superior by the NCAA selection committee if they are to advance.
This year's field for the Stanford Regional, set for May 17-19 at the Stanford Golf Course:
3. San Diego State
4. Central Florida
7. Wichita State
9. Oregon State
10. Southeastern Louisiana
11. San Francisco
12. San Jose State
13. UC Davis
The low five teams from each of the six regionals and the low individual not on those teams advance to the finals, set for May 29-June 3 at Riviera Country Club. Playoffs and tie-breakers will be used, if necessary, to determine advancement.
Earlier this spring, Tennessee tied for fourth at the San Diego Intercollegiate in a field that included NCAA top-three seeds UCLA, Washington and Southern California. In that tournament, the Vols tied current region foe San Diego State and defeated Stanford in one of its best showings of the season.
In addition to the 12 consecutive regional bids, UT has advanced to the NCAA finals six times under Kelson -- 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011. The only other years Tennessee made three consecutive NCAA Championship appearances were 1980-82 and 1995-97.
Other SEC teams in this year's field are top-seeded Alabama and fourth-seeded Georgia in Athens, Ga., top-seeded Auburn and third-seeded Florida in Greensboro, N.C., second-seeded Arkansas in Bowling Green, Ky., and ninth-seeded South Carolina in Norman, Okla. In-state teams joining UT are Chattanooga and Memphis in the Bowling Green Regional.
A total of 81 teams and 45 individuals were selected as part of the 2012 NCAA Division I Men's Golf Championship.