ETSU golf team headed to Oregon

Joe Avento • May 5, 2014 at 7:36 PM

The East Tennessee State golf team is headed to Oregon for the postseason.

When the field for the NCAA tournament was announced on Monday morning, ETSU received an at-large bid. The Bucs will play in the Eugene Regional, May 15-17 at Eugene Country Club.

It will be ETSU’s 23rd regional appearance, its 19th under coach Fred Warren.

“Our guys are excited,” Warren said. “I think they wanted to go to Oregon. It will be a good trip.”

ETSU is one of three teams from Tennessee making the trip to the Northwest. The Bucs, ranked 57th nationally in the latest Golfweek/Sagarin ratings, will be seeded 10th in the regional. Tennessee is seeded eighth while UT-Chattanooga is seeded 11th.

The top five teams from each of six regionals will advance to the NCAA Championships, May 23-28 at Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson, Kan. There will be 13 teams playing in Eugene.

“We’re seeded 10th and the top five go, so we’re going to have to play well,” said Warren, whose team has no seniors and only one junior. “There are some good teams and it will be very competitive. We have the talent, but we’re young. It will be a good experience.”

Warren will coach at the regionals nine days after undergoing surgery. He is scheduled to have his second hip replacement surgery this morning.

The Bucs last played in an NCAA regional in 2010. They’ve appeared in the national tournament 17 times with a best finish of third in 1996 when they wound up one spot ahead of Tiger Woods’ Stanford team at the Honors Course near Chattanooga.

Four teams from the Atlantic Sun Conference made the field. North Florida is also in Eugene. Mercer, which won the A-Sun tournament and the league’s automatic bid, will play in the Raleigh Regional, while Kennesaw State will be in the Auburn Regional.

The regionals will be 54-hole tournaments. The top individual not on a qualifying team will also make the national tournament.

It makes for a busy spring for the ETSU athletic department. The school’s men’s and women’s golf teams are in the NCAA tournament as are the men’s and women’s tennis teams.

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