Golf Set to Open NCAA Athens Regional on Thursday
May 15, 2012
ATHENS, Ga. - For only the second time in the last 10 years, the University of Houston golf team will compete in the NCAA postseason when it tees off at the NCAA Athens Regional on Thursday morning.
The Cougars will compete as the No. 10 seed for the NCAA Athens Regional, hosted by Georgia. The three-day, 54-hole event will be held on the 7,253-yard, par-71 University of Georgia Golf Course in Athens, Ga., starting Thursday and concluding on Saturday.
Fans can follow live scoring from the NCAA Athens Regional by visiting GolfStat.com and clicking the appropriate links or by clicking here.
Specific tee times have not yet been announced, but competitors will begin at 7 a.m. (CDT), Thursday off holes No. 1 and No. 10.
Head coach Jonathan Dismuke and assistant coach Chris Hill have not finalized their lineup for the Regional but will select a group of five from juniors James Ross and Will Dusenbury, sophomores Curtis Reed and Jesse Droemer and freshmen Roman Robledo and Kyle Pilgrim.
Competing in his first collegiate season, Robledo leads the team with a 72.92 scoring average, 15 rounds of par or better and stands second among the Cougars with five rounds in the 60s. For his impressive performances all season, he was named to the Conference USA All-Freshman Team.
The Harlingen, Texas, native recently tied for fifth at the Conference USA Championships on April 22-24 to earn a place on the All-Tournament Team, marking the second straight season a Cougar was named to that postseason squad.
Ross, who also is in his first season at Houston after transferring from Michigan State, stands a close second on the team with a 73.07 average and 12 rounds of par or better but leads the Cougars with six rounds in the 60s.
This season, Ross etched his name into the Cougar records book after firing a second-round 64 at the Royal Oaks Intercollegiate on Oct. 31. He became only the fourth player in school history to shoot a round that low.
The Edinburgh, Scotland, native also succeeded in the classroom, earning places on the C-USA All-Academic Team and the C-USA Commissioner's Honor Roll.
Reed joined Robledo as the only Cougars to compete in all 12 team-scoring tournaments this season. The Castroville, Texas, native ranks third on the team in scoring average and is tied for second with 12 rounds of par or better.
Reed has posted back-to-back top-20 individual finishes in his last two outings and was named to the C-USA Commissioner's Honor Roll with a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or higher.
Droemer has competed in 11 tournaments during the 2011-12 season and posted a pair of top-five finishes, including a third-place showing the HBU Husky Invitational on Oct. 24-25. The Sealy, Texas, native was honored as the C-USA Golfer of the Week following that performance.
Dusenbury has competed in five tournaments this season and tied for 23rd at the Border Olympics on March 16-17. The League City, Texas, native and Clear Creek High product was honored in 2011 as the C-USA Newcomer of the Year.
Like Robledo, Pilgrim is making his collegiate debut this season and appeared in five straight events early during the spring season. The Colleyville, Texas, native tied for 29th at the Border Olympics and was named to the C-USA Commissioner's Honor Roll.
The Cougars will face No. 1 seed Alabama. No. 2 North Florida, No. 3 New Mexico, No. 4 Georgia, No. 5 Iowa, No. 6 and Conference USA-rival East Carolina, No. 7 Long Beach State, No. 8 and two-time defending national champion Augusta State, No. 9. Wake Forest, No. 11 UT Arlington, No. 12 UNC Wilmington and No. 13 Loyola (Md.).
Each of the top eight seeds at the NCAA Athens Regional are ranked among the nation's top 50 leaders according to GolfStat.com with No. 4 Alabama, No. 10 North Florida, No. 16 New Mexico and No. 24 Georgia standing among the top 25.
Houston checks in at No. 57 in the latest GolfStat rankings.
Joe David (Mississippi), Jacobo Pastor (Charleston Southern), Trey Valentine (USF), Chad Ramey (Mississippi State), Sebastian Soderberg (Coastal Carolina), Brandon Pena (Florida Gulf Coast), James Beale (Mercer), David Denlinger (Charleston Southern), Kamito Hirai (Winthrop) and Clay Myers (Jackson State) were selected as individual participants.
Eighty-one teams and 45 individuals not from those teams were selected to compete at six NCAA Regional sites across the nation. The top five teams and the top individual not from those teams will advance to the NCAA Championships on May 29-June 3 at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif.
The Cougars were part of an impressive showing by Conference USA, which saw seven schools selected for NCAA Regionals. Houston joined East Carolina, SMU, Tulsa, C-USA Championships winner Memphis, UCF and UAB in the postseason.
NCAA POSTSEASON HISTORY
The Cougars, who have won 16 NCAA team national championships during their history, will be making their 15th NCAA Regional appearance since 1989. Since that time, the Cougars have enjoyed one team championship, two individual titles and six top-five finishes in Regional play.
Houston last competed as a team in NCAA Regional play in 2006. That year, the Cougars tied for 17th at the Omni Tucson National Golf Club. Jordan Irwin (2007) and Zach Mowbray (2004) played as individuals during their respective seasons.