Charlotte golf will be heading to the Columbus, Ohio Regional, the NCAA announced tonight on the Golf Selection Show. The 49ers will be competing in their ninth-straight Regional, this year by virtue of their automatic bid awarded from winning the Atlantic 10 Championship, their seventh title in eight season of league membership.
The Regional will be contested at The OSU Golf Club Scarlet Course, which has hosted 10 NCAA National Championships and two NCAA Women’s Tournaments, features a Par-71, 7,455-yard layout. Joining Charlotte at the Columbus Regional will be top-seeded New Mexico, second seeded Stanford, third-seeded Auburn, as well as South Carolina, Missouri, UNLV, Texas Tech, Chattanooga, Georgia Southern, South Florida, Virginia and Valparaiso.
There are four automatic qualifiers at this tournament… New Mexico (Mountain West Conference), Chattanooga (Southern), Valparaiso (Horizon) and the 49ers.
The top five teams out of this and the other five Regional tournaments, as well as the top individual player not on a team that qualifies, will advance to the National Championship, contested at the Capital City Club Crabapple Course, in Atlanta from May 28-June 2. The 49ers have advanced to the NCAA Championship three times (2006-08), sending an individual once.
The 49ers finished 11th at the Greensboro Regional last season, with then-freshman Raoul Menard turning in a five-over par 221, good enough for a tie for 16th in the tournament. Charlotte has finished seventh or tied for seven in in four of the eight Regional Tournaments in which it has competed. The 49ers landed tied for sixth in 2010, tied for fifth in 2006 and tied for third in 2007.
Charlotte has not reached the Championships since the format was changed in 2009, reintroducing Match Play into the event. Three rounds of medal play are played with the 30 teams at the final tournament, and 22 teams are eliminated, leaving eight behind. Those eight are paired off by the results of the medal rounds for three more rounds of Match Play to determine a champion. The National Champion was determined by Match Play from the first year an NCAA champion was crowned, 1939, until 1964, after which stroke play was used to determine team and individual champions.
Charlotte golfers continue exams this week, with several golfers competing this weekend in United States Open qualifiers. The team will have a few days of practice before leaving next Tuesday, May 14 for Ohio.