May 14, 2013
On Thursday, the Tennessee men's golf team will take the course in Baton Rouge, La., for the 2013 NCAA Regional. The Volunteers will play at the University Club Golf Course of Baton Rouge from May 16-18. The Regional site host is LSU.
"We want to come in on a high note," head coach Jim Kelson said. "We don't just want to make the NCAAs, but we actually want to qualify and play well. We want to play with great effort and have a positive approach by everyone involved".
Leading the way for the Vols is Oliver Goss, who captured a pair of post-season conference awards. Goss was named to the All-SEC First Team and All-SEC Freshman Team after only playing in the Vols' spring season. To round out the rest of Tennessee's starting five, Kelson will travel seniors Rick Lamb and Jay Vandeventer, sophomore Thomas Dunne, and freshman Michael Nagy.
"There's a lot of pressure on this event as it acts as a qualifier to make the NCAA Finals, which is a very important goal for the team," Goss said. "We have been playing well recently and we are hoping to put forth our best on Thursday. I'm feeling confident in the boys so hopefully we have some deep rounds ahead of us and make the finals".
Coach Kelson's starting five will look to make up for a lackluster showing at the SEC Championship in April.
"It's up to us to show up and do the things you have to do to win," Kelson said. "We have to eliminate mistakes and play smart. If we play solid golf, we should be OK at the end of the weekend".
The Vols' first round tee time will be Thursday, May 16 at 8:50 a.m. CT. Tennessee will be paired with South Alabama and Coastal Carolina. Teams and individuals will be re-paired according to score after the first round.
The 2013 NCAA Regional selection marks Tennessee's 14th consecutive NCAA bid in 15 seasons under Kelson, extending the school record.
"The NCAA Regional selection committee does an excellent job year in and year out of making these Regional sites very competitive," Kelson said.
This year's field for the Baton Rouge Regional: 1. Alabama (SEC Champion) 2. Florida 3. LSU 4. Mississippi State 5. Houston (C-USA Champion) 6. Northwestern 7. TENNESSEE 8. South Alabama 9. Coastal Carolina (Big South Champion) 10. UAB 11. Wichita State (Missouri Valley Champion) 12. Southeastern Louisiana (Southland Champion) 13. Houston Baptist
The top five teams from the Baton Rouge Regional site will advance to the NCAA Championships conducted May 28-June 2, at The Capital City Club, Crabapple Course in Atlanta, Ga. The Vols have advanced to the NCAA Finals six times under Kelson (2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011).
For a complete breakdown of the 2013 NCAA Regional field Click Here.
Volunteer fans can keep up with the team by following @Vol_Golf on Twitter.