CHARLOTTE, N.C. – For the first time in eight years, the Charlotte 49ers men’s golf team will participate in its first Conference USA Championship looking to build off the runner-up finish in 2005. Wrapping up play in the Atlantic 10, the Niners won four of the five previous tournaments looking to punch their ticket to the NCAA regionals for the tenth-consecutive year.
This year’s Conference USA tournament will take place Sunday-Tuesday, April 27-29 at the Oak Tree Country Club in Edmond, Oklahoma. The championship will consist of 18 holes scheduled for each playing day with the overall team winner gaining the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Championships.
“Oak Tree is a fantastic golf course that will be a good test for all of the players and will require us to play with a lot of commitment and composure,” remarked Head Coach Ryan Cabbage. “The key for our team will be taking care of our business and focusing on controlling the things that we can control. I feel like our guys are ready to do that and are ready to play well."
The Niners posted their best tournament of the regular season three weeks ago hosting the Irish Creek Collegiate finishing tied for third. Charlotte has picked up a top-ten finish in nine of their 10 tournament this season. As a team, the Niners are posting an average round of 72.99 heading into this week’s C-USA Championship.
Charlotte will send the five-man team of Riley Davenport, Franco Castro, Raoul Menard, Thomas Rowland and Seth Gandy to the Conference USA Championship. Davenport, Castro and Rowland have each posted their low rounds of the year in the 60’s while Menard and Gandy best rounds of the year are at an even 70.
Rowland leads in the individual category posting seven top-ten finishes including a first place finish at the Irish Creek Intercollegiate playing solo earlier in the year. Rowland, the Conference USA Golfer of the Week two weeks ago after his 4th place finish, wrapped up the regular season at the Robert Kepler Invitational tied for fifth overall.
Castro, who has a team-best 16 rounds under par heading to Oklahoma, has participated in 90 career rounds for the Niners with a pair of top-ten finishes individually in 2013-2014. Menard has found himself in red figures while Rowland and Davenport have each added six. Gandy has four rounds under par in his seven events this season as well.
Charlotte, heading to the three-day event ranked #67 in the latest Golfstat rankings, will be in a 14-team field joined by East Carolina, Florida Atlantic, Louisiana Tech, Marshall, Middle Tennessee, North Texas, Old Dominion, Rice, Southern Miss, Tulsa, UAB, UTEP, UTSA. FIU and Tulane do not have men’s golf teams.
Live stats for the 2014 Conference USA Championship will be available for all three-day through Golfstat by clicking HERE.