May 6, 2013
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern will make its 28th all-time appearance in NCAA postseason play this year after earning the No. 6 seed at the May 16-18 Baton Rouge Regional at the University Club of Baton Rouge. The seed is NU's best in the current six regional format.
The Wildcats have qualified for NCAA Regionals for the 14th time in head coach Pat Goss' 17-year tenure. NU has advanced out of Regional play seven times under Goss, most recently in 2011 when an epic final round charge at the Colorado Regional propelled NU into the top three and a berth at the NCAA National Championships, where the Wildcats would finish 22nd in the country.
Six 54-hole regional tournaments will be conducted May 16-18. Thirteen teams and 10 individuals not on those teams will compete at each of three Regionals (including Northwestern's) while the other three will have 14 teams and five individuals not on those teams. The low five teams and the low individual not on those teams from each Regional will advance to the NCAA National Championships May 28-June 2 at the Capital City Club in Atlanta.
The 13 teams at the Baton Rouge Regional are: No. 2 Alabama, No. 10 Florida, host No. 17 LSU, No. 23 Mississippi State, No. 26 Houston, No. 34 Northwestern, No. 38 Tennessee, No. 47 South Alabama, No. 50 Coastal Carolina, No. 61 UAB, No. 63 Wichita State, No. 76 Southeastern Louisiana and No. 140 Houston Baptist. Teams are listed in the order they are seeded for the Regional; rankings are from Golfstat.com.
Northwestern is the No. 6 seed after advancing to the NCAA National Championships as the No. 10 seed in 2011 and the No. 9 seed in 2009.
Northwestern's 2012-13 season was bookended by victories, beginning at the Inverness Intercollegiate and finishing with a runaway title at its own NU Spring Invitational at The Glen Club in Glenview, Ill. In between, the Wildcats had a second-place finish at their own Windon Memorial Classic in the fall and finished among the top half of strong fields at tournaments such at the Olympia Fields CC/Fighting Illini Invitational, the Gifford Collegiate at CordeValle and the Puerto Rico Classic.
Junior Jack Perry (Santa Barbara, Calif./Santa Barbara) captured the Big Ten's Les Bolstad Award for having the lowest season stroke average among all conference players; he is the first Wildcat since Luke Donald in 2001 to win the honor. Perry led NU with medalist honors at both of Northwestern's team tournament victories.
Senior Nick Losole (Scottsdale, Ariz./Scottsdale Notre Dame) has also turned in the best season of his career, recording five top-20 and four top-10 performances in the Wildcats 10 stroke play tournaments of 2012-13. Included in that number has been a career-best second-place result among an always strong field at the Olympia Fields CC/Fighting Illini Invitational, a third-place finish at the Inverness Intercollegiate and a fourth-place effort at the Northwestern Spring Invitational for a trio of top-fours this season.
Joining Perry and Losole in the team lineup in Baton Rouge will be sophomore Matthew Negri (El Cajon, Calif./Grossmont), freshman Andrew Whalen (Ephrata, Wash./Ephrata Senior) and sophomore Bennett Lavin (Deerfield, Ill./Deerfield). Lavin rejoins the team lineup for the first time since the Fresno State Lexus Golf Classic in early March, replacing freshman Josh Jamieson (St. Andrews, Scotland/High School of Dundee), who had played in all six of NU's spring tournaments to this point.
NU's overall depth has been unrivaled in recent seasons. All eight members of the 2012-13 team have carded at least one round in the 60s and all but one have at least one top-20 finish this year. Five 'Cats have at least one top-five.
On the same day the NCAA field was announced May 6, Perry and Negri advanced through U.S. Open local qualifying Monday at Northmoor Country Club in Highland Park, Ill. Perry fired a 68 to tie for second while Negri carded a 69 to enter a two-man playoff for the fifth and final berth in the Sectional Qualifying round. Negri would birdie the second hole of the playoff to move on.
For the complete list of six Regional sites and entrants into the field of the 115th NCAA Championships, link to NCAASports.com.
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