LakePoint, Ga. - After not having a team qualify for the NCAA Championships in the past two seasons, ASUN Conference men's golf teams made history on Wednesday with three teams qualifying for the NCAA Championship at Rich Harvest Farms on May 26-31. Lipscomb and Jacksonville make their first-ever NCAA Championship appearance, while Kennesaw State qualified for the third time. UNF's Travis Trace qualified as an individual out of the Stanford Regional.
The Dolphins made a huge comeback on the back nine to force a sudden-death playoff with Northwestern at the Baton Rouge Regional. Jacksonville entered the day five shots behind the fifth spot, and dropped to as many as 10 shots back on the front nine. But the Dolphins showed their resiliency and carded 12 combined birdies on the back nine to finish in a tie for fifth with Northwestern.
On the first playoff hole, the Dolphins and Wildcats both carded +2 scores in the five-count-four format on the 18th hole to force a second sudden death playoff hole. The teams went to the par 4 10th hole, where Ryan Jahn, Sam Uhland and Elliott Fullalove carded 4-4-3 scores to put the Dolphins at one-under par. Northwestern entered the final group at +1. After a Northwestern player hit his tee shot out of bounds, David Wicks and Raul Pereda carded pars on the second playoff hole. The Wildcats conceded the final hole at their own choice to give Jacksonville the fifth and final qualifying spot to the NCAA Championships out of the Baton Rouge Regional. The Dolphins advance to their first-ever national championship in only their second-ever regional appearance.
Two ASUN Conference teams emerged among the top-five in the College Grove Regional as Kennesaw State and Lipscomb advanced to Rich Harvest Farms. The Owls continued their consistent display with a two-over par 290 score today to finish at one-over par for the regional. They were led by senior Chris Guglielmo, who posted a four-under par 68 to finish in second place on the individual leaderboard. Jake Fendt and Pablo Rodriguez-Tabernero posted top-20 finishes to put the Owls back at the NCAA Championship for the first time since 2014, and third time overall.
Lipscomb, in only its second-ever regional appearance, advanced to its first-ever NCAA National Championship behind a steady performance. The Bisons got off to a great start as Eric Ansett birdied his first three holes of the day. Then Mikey Feher got fire with three consecutive birdies on holes four-six to keep the momentum on Lipscomb's side. Feher ended the day with a two-under par 70 for the Lipscomb low round of day three. Dawson Armstrong didn't have his best round, but still managed to claim the medalist honor with a three-over par 75 today.
North Florida will be represented at the NCAA Championships as well as Travis Trace finished in 10th place and qualified as the individual from the Stanford Regional. Trace shot an even-par 70 in the final round to finish the regional at 208 (-2) and the top individual from a non-advancing team. The Ospreys entered the final round in a three-way tie for fifth place, but were unable to stay in the top-five. They finished in seventh place, two shots behind North Carolina which occupied the final qualifying spot for the NCAA Championships. Trace becomes the first Osprey to qualify for the NCAA Championships as an individual.
The NCAA Championship begins on May 26-31 at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill. Rich Harvest Farms, named one of America's 100 greatest golf courses by Golf Digest Magazine, was the site of NCAA Men's Regionals in 2007 and 2014. In addition, the 2009 Solheim Cup, 2015 Palmer Cup and 2015 WGA Western Amateur were all played at Rich Harvest Farms.