May 24, 2011
Tennessee's third straight appearance in the NCAA Men's Golf Championship begins next week in Stillwater, Okla., with the Vols seeded 24th in a 30-team field.
Only 11 other teams have matched UT's run of reaching the last three NCAA finals, and this year's trip marks the sixth for UT under head coach Jim Kelson in the last nine seasons. The Vols tied for 25th last season at The Honors Course in Ooltewah and were 12th the year before in Toledo. Tennessee's best national showing under Kelson was a tie for 11th in 2005.
Three consecutive trips to the NCAA finals matches the best streak in UT program history. The 1980-82 and 1995-97 squads, under head coach Mike Malarkey, also advanced three times.
The Vols made it through this year on the strength of their fourth-place tie at the NCAA Central-Indiana Regional, where they rallied from eight strokes down entering the final day to punch their ticket to Oklahoma.
Low seeds haven't been a hindrance for Tennessee, especially during their late-spring surge. The Vols were seeded sixth last week at the NCAA regional. Before that, six SEC teams were ranked in the top 25 entering the SEC Championship and Tennessee wasn't one of them, yet the Vols posted a strong third-place finish to assure their NCAA postseason chances.
Seeding for the 2011 NCAA Men's Golf Championship:
1. Oklahoma State
4. Georgia Tech
6. Augusta State
7. San Diego State
8. Texas A&M
16. Southern California
19. San Diego
20. North Carolina State
22. Arizona State
23. Ohio State
25. Kent State
26. Kennesaw State
30. Colorado State
NCAA championship play begins May 31 at Karsten Creek Golf Club, with the Vols scheduled to debut on the No. 1 hole at 7:50 a.m. Central time alongside Arizona State and Ohio State.