May 6, 2013
HOUSTON - For the second straight season and the 16th time in program history, the University of Houston Men's Golf program will compete in the NCAA Regionals.
With the NCAA Selection Show on Monday night, the Cougars were tabbed as the No. 5 seed and will compete at the NCAA Baton Rogue Regional. Houston will be part of a 13-team field at the Regional, which includes No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Florida, No. 3 seed and host LSU, No. 4 Mississippi State, No. 6 Northwestern, No. 7 Tennessee, No. 8 South Alabama, No. 9 Coastal Carolina, No. 10 UAB, No. 11 Wichita State, No. 12 Southeastern Louisiana and No. 13 Houston Baptist.
Jonathan Grey (Georgia State), Tomasz Anderson (Jacksonville State), Alex Ellis (College of Charleston), Kamito Hirai (Winthrop), Blake Morris (Mississippi), Sam Bernstein (Yale), Josh Lorenzetti (College of Charleston), Josh Waters (LIU Brooklyn), Steve Burak (Fairfield) and Chris House (Navy).
"Any time you are an automatic qualifier, it feels good. Once we saw our name pop up there, it was a great feeling," Director of Golf Jonathan Dismuke said. "We have a strong Regional with a lot of Southeastern Conference teams there. We are going to have to show up and play good golf if we want to advance."
The NCAA Regionals begin May 16 with 18 holes scheduled for each day and will run through May 18. The top five teams from each regional and the low individual not on a qualifying team advance to the NCAA Championships, set for the Crabapple Course at Capital City Club in Atlanta on May 28 to June 2.
This is the first time that Houston - which stands at No. 26 in the latest GolfStat national rankings - has competed as a team in consecutive NCAA Regionals since the Cougars made six straight NCAA appearances from 1997 to 2001.
The Cougars, under the leadership of fourth-year director of golf Jonathan Dismuke and men's associate head coach Chris Hill, watched the NCAA Selection Show at a private location Monday night.
Eighty-one teams and 45 individuals not from those teams were selected to compete at the NCAA Regionals. As the Conference USA champion, the Cougars received the league's automatic bid to the postseason. Houston was joined in the NCAA postseason by Conference USA members Memphis, UAB, UCF, SMU and Tulsa.
ABOUT THE COUGARS
The Cougars, who will be making their second consecutive trip to the NCAA postseason, earned their place at the NCAA Regional with a three-stroke victory at the Conference USA Championships in late April. Sophomore Roman Robledo drained a 30-foot birdie putt on the 72nd and final hole to clinch the individual title for himself and the team championship for the Cougars for the first time since 2001.
Robledo recently joined junior Curtis Reed on the All-Conference USA First Team, while junior Wesley McClain earned a spot on the Second Team. Vincent Martino was named to the Conference USA All-Freshman Team, while Dismuke was recognized as the league's Coach of the Year, a first since 1999.
The Cougars have enjoyed tremendous success all season. Houston has enjoyed three tournament titles and nine top-five team finishes in 11 total events. This will be the Cougars' 15th appearance at an NCAA Regional since they started in 1989.
Monday was a busy day for the Cougars. Earlier in the morning, the team played host to the Dave Williams Pro-Am on the Players Course at The Woodlands Country Club in The Woodlands, Texas. The annual fundraiser benefits Houston Men's Golf and, for the first time in school history, Houston Women's Golf, which is set to begin with individual play in 2013-14.
On Monday evening, Houston Golf legend Fred Couples was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine, Fla.
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