May 17, 2000
OXFORD, Miss. - The Ole Miss men's golf team begins its run toward a
second straight NCAA Championship appearance Thursday at the Central
Regional at the Par 72, 6,870-yard Victoria Country Club in Victoria, Texas.
The 54-hole, 27-team event will run Thursday through Saturday and is
hosted by Southwest Texas State. Among the top members of the field are No.
3 Oklahoma State, No. 7 Northwestern, No. 10 Houston and No. 20 Kent State.
Ole Miss, who received an at-large bid, is the lone Southeastern Conference
This is the fourth NCAA Tournament appearance for Ole Miss, who finished
ninth at last year's East Regional and advanced to the championships where
the team tied for 24th. The Rebels' best finish came in 1985 when they
placed fourth overall.
Ole Miss returns four of the five members of last year's NCAA lineup with
seniors Jon Bartlett and Chris Malloy, and juniors Troy Muller and Phil
Caravia. Redshirt-freshman Andrew Medley replaces now-graduated Haymes
Snedeker at this year's tournament.
Bartlett, a 2000 All-SEC first team selection, leads the team and ranks
sixth in the conference in stroke average at 72.00. He has placed in the
top 20 of his last 10 tournaments, and his seven top 10 finishes is
second-most in the SEC.
As a team, Ole Miss totaled six top five finishes this year and just
missed medalist honors at the Birkdale Collegiate Golf Classic, placing
second with a 288-288-302--878. The Rebels finished in the top eight of all
12 tournaments, posting the second-most single-season top 10 finishes in
"We played well all year long, and I thought we were deserving of the
bid," said Ole Miss head coach Woody Cowart. "To go to NCAAs two years in a
row shows this program is heading in the right direction.
"I'm also really pleased that our seniors have an opportunity to extend
their playing career, at least one more tournament. And we feel we have a
chance to return to the championships."
A minimum of eight teams from each of the three regionals will advance to
the championship finals, to be held May 31-June 3 at the Grand National
Golf Complex in Opelika, Ala. The two lowest scoring individuals at each
regional, whose teams do not advance, will also compete in the championships.