Men's Golf Selected to Play in NCAA East Regional
BATON ROUGE — The 27th-ranked LSU men’s golf team was chosen as one of 27 teams to participate in the 2004 NCAA East Regional to be held May 20-22 at the Yale Golf Course in New Haven, Conn., it was announced via teleconference on Monday.
The Tigers, winners of three tournaments this season, are making their first regional appearance since 2002 and are a participant for the third time in the last four seasons. LSU head coach Greg Jones is taking his team to a regional for the third time in his five seasons in Baton Rouge. The Tigers last went to the East in 2001 when LSU placed 19th in Williamsburg, Va. LSU finished 16th in the 2002 Central Regional held in Little Rock, Ark.
“This is the place that I wanted to go, we really wanted to get sent to the East,” said Jones. “I took my South Alabama team there a few years back and so I am somewhat familiar with the course and surroundings.”
“I am really happy for my team because all these guys have worked very hard and they deserve this bid,” said Jones.
Yale University will host the event, which features a very strong field including the current top three-ranked teams in the country in Florida, Clemson, and Georgia. The Tigers are seeded 11th and are joined by two other Southeastern Conference squads in Auburn and Vanderbilt. Kentucky and Arkansas were selected to play in the Central Regional held in West Lafayette, Ind., which will be hosted by Purdue University. Seven SEC teams were selected for regional play. The West Regional will be held in Sunriver, Ore., and will be hosted by the University of Portland.
The top 10 teams from each region will advance to the 2004 NCAA Championship which will be held June 1-4 at the Homestead, Lower Cascades Golf Club in Hot Springs, Va. Each region also includes six individuals from schools not competing in any of the regions. The top two individuals in each region will qualify for the championship.
Jones has yet to decide on his fifth golfer in the lineup, but has announced that he will use a foursome of senior Garrett Prather, and juniors Andrew Lanahan, Jeff Riemann and Heath West. Prather and West each saw action in the 2002 Central Regional, while Lanahan and Riemann will each be making their debut in regional play.
West, a native of Dothan, Ala., was named to the All-SEC second team last week and leads the Tigers in virtually every major statistical category this season. He posted a 72.6 stroke average along with four top-10 finishes and seven top-20 finishes. He also recorded 14 rounds of par or better and shot a 5-over par 215 to tie for 15th at the SEC Championship last month. West is a strong candidate for Louisiana Player of the Year honors and a potential All-American. He tied for 55th place in the Central Regional two seasons ago.
The Tigers are coming off of an eighth-place finish at the SEC Championship last month in Sea Island, Ga. Prather and Riemann joined West in the top 30 as the Tigers fired a 2-over 282 in the final round, which was the second-lowest score of the day.
LSU is currently ranked 27th in the country in the latest Golfweek/Sagarin rankings, and are fourth in the Southeast District.
2004 NCAA EAST REGIONAL — May 20-22, 2004
New Haven, Conn. — Host: Yale University
4 Georgia Tech
5 South Carolina
6 Augusta State
7 Wake Forest
10 North Carolina
12 Georgia State
13 Jacksonville State
14 North Carolina State
18 Georgia Southern
19 Penn State
22 Rhode Island
25 Yale (Host)
27 Long Island