Men's Golf Heads To C-USA Championships
April 18, 2008
TEXARKANA, Ark. - The East Carolina men's golf team will compete the 2008 Conference USA Championship beginning Sunday morning at the Texarkana Country Club in Texarkana, Ark. The championship consists of 54 holes on the par 72, 6,935-yard course over three days. The winner of the championship receives an automatic berth to the NCAA Regionals.
The Pirates are scheduled to tee-off at 8:50 a.m. CDT in a threesome with student-athletes from Memphis and Rice. UCF and Marshall drew the opening tee times starting at 8 a.m. SMU and Southern Miss tee-off at 9:40 a.m., while defending champion Tulsa, UAB and UTEP are the last group off the tees, beginning at 10:30 a.m.
The Pirates are a relatively young team with no seniors in the lineup. Junior Andre Thorsen holds the team's best stroke average (73.35), but his teammates have all recorded at least one Top 12 finish or better this season. Junior Markus Leandersson has three Top 10 finishes this season, including a pair of Top 3 finishes.
Golfweek currently ranks UCF No. 19 nationally. Juniors Greg Forest and David Johnson have been the Knights top performers (both rank among the nation's Top 65), Sophomore Christian Brand, the 2007 C-USA Freshman-of-the-Year, who posted two Top 15 performances in the fall, leads the Thundering Herd.
Rice is also young as sophomores Christopher Brown and Michael Buttacavoli lead the Owls. Memphis junior Brad Benjamin has placed among the Top 20 in his previous two C-USA Championships.
Houston's Cougars are led by senior Jordan Irwin, who finished in a tie for second at last year's Championship to earn All-Tournament honors. Sophomore Draegan Majors returns as the Mustangs top finisher in 2007. Southern Miss placed third in the 2007 C-USA Championship, and will be paced this year by junior Paul Apyan and sophomore Rob Hudson.
The Golden Hurricane graduated four seniors off its 2007 Conference USA and NCAA Central Region championship squads, but will be led by returning junior Nicholas Geyger, who tied for second at last year C-USA Championship in Texarkana.
UAB, the 2007 runner-up, also lost medalist Garrett Osborn to graduation. However, the Blazers do have the services of Zach Sucher, who placed fourth at last year's NCAA Championship. Junior Roger Sloan, who missed all-tournament team honors last season by just one stroke, leads UTEP.
Live scoring of this year's Conference USA Men's Golf Championship will be provided by Golfstat and can be accessed by logging onto www.conferenceusa.com.