May 20, 2010
Junior men's golfer Scott Pinckney shot a 1-under 69 and is tied for fifth after the first round of the NCAA Southeast Regional held in Atlanta at the Capital City Club's Crabapple Course (par 70/7,182 yards).
ASU sits in sixth after the first of three rounds, as it shot a 10-over 290. Oklahoma State leads the field at 2-over 282, followed by Clemson (283) and host Georgia Tech (287).
Pinckney, from Anthem, Ariz., bogeyed the first two holes but then posted four birdies. He opened this season with three straight top-10 finishes, as he tied for eighth at the Olympia Fields Invitational, tied for sixth at the NCAA Preview and then tied for seventh at the Isleworth Invitational. He also tied for seventh at the Illinois Invitational in the fall of 2008 and tied for third at the 2009 ASU Thunderbird Invitational and tied for tenth at the 2009 U.S. Intercollegiate.
Senior Knut Borsheim fired a 1-over 71 and is tied for 13th. Junior Jesper Kennegard and senior Braxton Marquez each shot a 5-over 75 and are tied for 39th, while junior James Byrne is at 6-over 76 and is tied for 52nd.
TEAM STANDINGS AFTER FIRST ROUND (TOP 10)
1. Oklahoma State, 282/+2
2. Clemson, 283/+3
3. Georgia Tech, 287/+7
4. Georgia Southern, 288/+8
5. Brigham Young, 289/+9
6. Arizona State, 290/+10
T7. South Alabama, 292/+12
T7. Wake Forest, 292/+12
T7. Furman, 292/+12
10. Coastal Carolina, 293/+13
(Note: Top five teams qualify for NCAA Championships)
REGIONAL FORMAT BACKGROUND
Three of the six regionals will have fields of 13 teams and 10 individuals, with the other three consisting of 14 teams and five individuals each for a total of 75 players at each site. The top five teams and the top individual not on an advancing team will qualify from each regional site for the NCAA Division I Men's Championship (113th annual) at The Honors Course in Chattanooga, Tenn., with Tennessee-Chattanooga serving as host.
ASU IN THE REGIONALS
With the victories by both the team and Jesper Kennegard at the 2009 West Regional, ASU has won or tied for the title in a NCAA Regional six times. ASU tied with Arizona in 1991 and tied with New Mexico in 1998. It won the title outright in 1995, 1999, 2001 and 2009. Sun Devil Paul Casey won the 1998 individual title outright followed by Jeff Quinney (1999), Benjamin Alvarado Holley (2007) and then Jesper Kennegard this season. Matt Jones shared medalist honors in 2001.
IT ISN'T EASY
ASU has made the NCAA Championship in the past seven seasons and in 16 of 17 seasons under Randy Lein, but it sure isn't getting easier with the 30-team, three-round regional format. Using Golfweek's rankings prior to the 2009 NCAA Championship, nine top 30 teams did not go to the NCAA Championships last season, a list that included seventh-ranked Clemson, No. 18 LSU, No. 21 Indiana, No. 23 UNLV, No. 24 NC State, No. 25 San Diego State, No. 28 Ole Miss, No. 29 Colorado State and No. 30 Florida State.
IT ISN'T EASY, PART TWO
Of the 30 teams that made the 2009 NCAA Championships, only 15 played in the 2008 championship: UCLA, Stanford, USC, Oklahoma State, Washington, Georgia, Florida, Texas A&M, Alabama, Arizona State, Illinois, Texas, Wake Forest and Oregon.
START IT OVER
Back in 2002, Randy Lein saw ASU's 18-year NCAA championship consecutive streak snapped in a season that had injuries and bad luck. ASU is back in the saddle with seven straight, and to show you how competitive the NCAA men's golf championships is, that streak already is tied for the sixth-best active streak, as Arizona (1987-2007) had a 21-year streak snapped in 2008 after failing to post a .500 record and not make regionals, while Georgia Tech did not qualify out of regional action in 2008 after making the NCAAs for 10 straight years (1998-2007). Only six teams have made the NCAAs in each of the past five seasons.
CONSECUTIVE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP APPEARANCES
1. Oklahoma State, 1947-2009, 63
2. Georgia, 1998-2009, 12
3. Florida, 2001-2009, 9
T4. Arizona State, 2003-2009, 7
T4. UCLA, 2003-2009, 7
6. Wake Forest, 2005-2009, 5
NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP APPEARANCES
ASU has made 16 NCAA Championship appearances in Randy Lein's 17 years (1993-2009), tied for the second-best mark in the nation. Oklahoma State leads the way with 17, while Arizona and Florida also have 16 in that time. Clemson, Georgia Tech and Wake Forest have 14 each. North Carolina and Texas have made it 13 times, while Auburn, Georgia, New Mexico and UNLV have done it a dozen times. UCLA is next with 11 appeareances.