Men's Golf to Tee Off at NCAA Regional

Men's Golf to Tee Off at NCAA Regional

BATON ROUGE – The march toward the 2010 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championships begins Thursday morning as the Tigers tee it up in the first round of the NCAA Central Regional Championships being held this weekend at Notre Dame’s Warren Golf Course in South Bend, Ind.

The opening round is set to begin with tee times on front nine at 7 a.m. CT and tee times on the back nine at 7:20 a.m. The second round will be held Friday followed by the final round on Saturday.

The No. 5-seeded Tigers are among 14 teams competing in regional play at The Warren Golf Course with the course playing to a par 71 and a lengthy 7,020 yards for the championship.

Despite missing this year’s regional field, Notre Dame will serve as the host school for the NCAA Central Regional Championships. LSU will see the likes of No. 1 seed and No. 3-ranked Stanford, No. 2 seed and No. 6-ranked Florida, No. 3 seed and No. 19-ranked Florida State and No. 4 seed and No. 24 ranked Duke for the right to advance to the 2010 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championships.

Also invited to compete in the 14-team field at the NCAA Central Regional in order of seeding are No. 6 seed NC State, No. 7 seed Iowa, No. 8 seed Michigan, No. 9 seed Northwestern, No. 10 seed Indiana, No. 11 seed Virginia Tech, No. 12 seed Murray State, No. 13 seed Detroit and No. 14 seed St. Francis.

The Tigers will play alongside No. 4 seed Duke and No. 6 seed NC State in Thursday’s opening round of the tournament and will tee off from the back nine beginning at 7:20 a.m. CT.

While LSU will compete at The Warren Golf Course, the Yale University Golf Course (New Haven, Conn.), Capital City Club (Alpharetta, Ga.), The Traditions Club (College Station, Texas), Carlton Oaks Golf Course (San Diego, Calif.) and Gold Mountain Golf Club (Bremerton, Wash.) will also serve as host sites for three days of NCAA Regional play this weekend.

The top five teams at each regional site will earn the right to tee it up in the 2010 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championships at The Honors Course in Chattanooga, Tenn., from June 2-5.

Live scoring of the 2010 NCAA Central Regional Championships will be provided by Golfstat and can be found online at Fans can also receive coverage of LSU by following @LSUMensGolf on Twitter and by becoming a fan of the official LSU Men’s Golf group on Facebook.

“We look forward to the opportunity to compete for a regional championship this weekend,” said LSU head coach Chuck Winstead. “We expect it to be a very competitive field. The Warren Golf Course is a demanding golf course, but it is a very good golf course and a very fair golf course. Our guys are excited about competing for a championship and look forward to tomorrow.”

The Tigers have enjoyed an outstanding 2009-10 campaign that includes three tournament championships and a fifth-place finish at the 2010 SEC Men’s Golf Championships. LSU has won three tournament titles for the second-straight season as it is the reigning team champion at the David Toms Intercollegiate at the Country Club of Louisiana, the Louisiana Classics and the Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate.

LSU has experience on its side this weekend as four Tigers return from the starting lineup that teed it up at the NCAA South Central Regional in Stillwater, Okla., last season. Not only that, but the Tigers will be led by a trio of juniors that has competed in NCAA Regional play in each of the last two seasons.

LSU’s starting five includes the likes of junior First-Team All-SEC and Second-Team All-American John Peterson, junior First-Team All-SEC selection and All-America candidate Andrew Loupe, junior standout Clayton Rotz, sophomore and NCAA Regional veteran Sang Yi and sophomore Austin Gutgsell.

Loupe competes this weekend as the team’s leading scorer as he has recorded a scoring average of 72.1 in 11 tournament appearance this season. He also leads the team with five Top 10 and seven Top 20 finishes this season, including a tie for fourth place individually at the SEC Championships. Loupe’s performance helped solidify his First-Team All-SEC status for the 2010 season.

Like Loupe, Peterson has also been impressive in 11 tournament appearances while posting a 72.7 scoring average to go along with two Top 10 and four Top 20 finishes this season.

Both Peterson and Loupe earned Top 10 finishes at the NCAA South Central Regional last spring as Peterson tied for third place and Loupe tied for ninth place at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla.

The Tigers fell one spot and three strokes shy of qualifying for the NCAA Championships a year ago with a sixth-place finish in regional competition. Peterson also missed a chance to compete as an individual for the NCAA Championships by dropping a sudden-death playoff to Baylor’s Cody Paladino.