Tigers Looking to Advance at NCAA Golf East Regional
NEW HAVEN, Conn. — The 27th-ranked LSU men’s golf team will make its first appearance in NCAA-regional play since 2002 as the Tigers will participate in the 2004 NCAA Division 1 East Regional this weekend at the Course at Yale.
The regional begins on Thursday as the 33-team field will play round one, will round two following on Friday, and the third and final round to be played on Sunday. The Tigers will tee off beginning at 12:18 p.m. EST, and are paired with Georgia State and North Carolina.
“I think we will play well, I always think we will, but I know the players think that they will play well and they believe that they are going to advance,” said LSU head coach Greg Jones. “What is important for us is taking care of the task at hand and taking care of our business mentally. We have to figure out the golf course and things like that,” said Jones.
The top 10 teams in the regional will advance to the 2004 NCAA Division 1 Championships to take play June 1-4 in Hot Springs, Va. The top 10 teams from the Central and West regionals will also make the finals. The Central Regional will be held in West Lafayette, Ind., and the West in Sunriver, Ore. The top six individuals representing teams not in any of the regional fields, two from each regional, will also make the NCAA’s.
Jones will use a lineup of senior Garrett Prather, and juniors Andrew Lanahan, Jeff Riemann, and Heath West, along with true freshman Garrett Runion. Prather and West will each be making their second-career regional appearance while Lanahan, Riemann, and Runion will each make their debut.
West, a Second-Team All-SEC selection this season and a member of the All-Louisiana first team, leads the team with a 72.6 stroke average and four top-10 finishes. Prather has a 73.6 stroke average and has three top-20 finishes. Lanahan, the Louisiana Newcomer of the Year, recorded a 73.5 stroke average and has four top-20 finishes. Riemann has a 74.1 stroke average and two top-20 finishes. Runion, who saw action in four tournaments earlier in the season, will make his first tournament appearance since the LSU Spring Invitational in April.
LSU is coming off of an eighth-place finish in the Southeastern Conference Championship last month in Sea Island, Ga. The Tigers, led by West’s 2-under par 68, shot a final-round 2-over 282, which was the day’s second-lowest score. West shot a 5-over 215 to tie for 15th place. Prather shot a 6-over 216 to tie for 20th place. The Tigers won three tournaments this season.
The regional features a very strong field, which includes top-ranked Florida, defending NCAA champion and second-ranked Clemson, and No. 3 Georgia. Other SEC teams in the field include Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Vanderbilt. Eleven teams in the field are currently ranked in the top 30 of the latest Golfweek/Sagarin rankings, while four teams are ranked in the top 10.
The six individuals are Alabama’s Lars Brovold, Navy’s Billy Hurley, Gareth Maybin of South Alabama, Virginia Tech’s Ryan Stinnett, Tennessee State’s Robert Dinwiddie, and Winthrop’s Matt Johnson.
The Tigers placed 16th in the 2002 NCAA Central Regional held in Little Rock, Ark., their last regional appearance.
The East Regional will feature live scoring for the three-day event and can be accessed at golfstat.com.