May 8, 2001
OXFORD, Miss. -
The Ole Miss men's golf team was picked to participate in the 2001 NCAA Championships, the NCAA Division I Men's Golf Championships Selection Committee announced Tuesday. The Rebels received the program's third consecutive at-large NCAA berth and will play in the East Regional, which will be held May 17-19 at the Golden Horseshoe Golf Club in Williamsburg, Va. The regional will be hosted by Virginia Commonwealth University.
The 2001 NCAA Tournament appearance will be the program's fifth overall. Last year, the Rebels
played in the NCAA Central Regional in Victoria, Texas, and placed 11th, just missing the eight-team cut to advance to the nationals. In 1999, Ole Miss placed ninth at the East Regional and advanced to the program's first NCAA Championships since 1985. That 1999 Rebel squad finished 24th at the nationals.
"Receiving our third straight NCAA bid is very satisfying," said Ole Miss head coach Woody
Cowart. "The feeling is that we are getting the Rebel golf program to a point where earning an
NCAA Tournament berth is expected.
"I'm proud of the guys because they have worked hard. We have achieved a lot of goals we set for the program both on the course and in the classroom. We're accomplishing things now that I
envisioned when I became head coach at Ole Miss. It has taken some time to reach those goals, but nothing good comes easy."
Ole Miss is one of seven Southeastern Conference teams selected to participate in the NCAA
Regionals. The Rebels will be joined in the East Regional by Auburn, Florida, Georgia and LSU.
South Carolina and Tennessee will play in the West Regional in Corvallis, Ore. Other East Regional participants include: Hartford, Rhode Island, Yale, Penn State, Richmond, St. John's, Seton Hall, Georgia Tech, Clemson, N.C. State, East Tennessee State, Virginia Tech, Duke, UAB, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, VCU, Charleston Southern, Xavier, Princeton, Iona and Maryland-Baltimore County.
The top 10 teams from each of the three regions (East, Central and West) will advance to the NCAA Championships at Duke University Golf Club in Durham, N.C., May 30-June 3. The two lowest-
scoring individuals in each regional, whose teams do not advance, will also compete in the
"The East Regional field is strong," said Cowart. "Georgia is the the top team in the country, and Georgia Tech has been ranked second most of the season. Clemson is also in the East, and the Tigers have been among the top three squads in the nation all year.
"But, I feel that we're playing solid golf, and we show up to play each week. We closed the regular season with seven straight top-five finishes. It would be sweet to have a top-five showing at the regionals because that would give you a whole lot of confidence heading into the nationals, and getting to the national tournament is our goal."
The Rebels' last competition this season was the SEC Championships April 20-22, and Ole Miss
posted a fifth-place finish with a three-round total of 878 (290-292-296). J.J. Thompson, Andrew Medley and Phil Caravia all placed among the top 20 individuals at the SEC Championships.
Senior Troy Muller, an All-SEC second team pick, leads the Rebels with a 73.0 stroke average,
while Thompson and Medley are tied for second in stroke average at 73.5. Senior Phil Caravia,
who-along with Muller-is playing in a third straight postseason, has a 75.0 stroke average.