PHILADELPHIA – With final exams in the rearview mirror, the University of Pennsylvania men’s golf team is ready to tee it up at the NCAA Regional later this week in Noblesville, Ind.
The tournament will run from Thursday through Saturday, with the field playing 18 holes each day. Tee times will start from No. 1 and No. 10 at 8 a.m. on Thursday and Friday, and 7:30 a.m. on Saturday.
Sagamore Golf Club is a Jack Nicklaus-designed course that will play at 7,173 yards and par 72 for the 54-hole event. This course hosted the 2010 Division II Men’s Golf National Championship.
Penn is the 14th seed in the regional. The Quakers will be joined by (in order of seed) Illinois, Oregon, UCLA, two-time defending NCAA champion Alabama, SMU, UNLV, Virginia Tech, Georgia Southern, Colorado, New Mexico State, East Carolina, Marquette, and Alabama State. The individuals in the field are Toledo’s Chris Selfridge, Xavier’s Jose Montano, Oakland’s Evan Bowser, IUPUI’s Jose Pablo Segurola, and Ball State’s Johnny Watts. (Coincidentally, Ball State is the host for this regional.)
Penn will tee off at No. 1 with Alabama State and the five individuals in the field on Thursday morning. Amay Poria will tee off at 9:50 a.m.; Dane Walton will tee off at 10:01 a.m.; Patrick O'Leary will tee off at 10:12 a.m.; Ben Cooley will tee off at 10:23 a.m.; and Austin Powell will tee off at 10:34 a.m. (All times are Eastern.)
The top five teams and the top individual not associated with one of those teams will advance to the NCAA Men’s Golf Championships, which will take place May 29-June 3 at The Concession Club in Bradenton, Fla.
How Did Penn Get Here?
Penn won the Ivy League Championships team title for the first time since 2012 and the fourth time overall (the others came in 1998 and 2007). Seniors Austin Powell and Ben Cooley both earned first-team All-Ivy by finishing second and fourth, respectively. Penn overcame a five-shot deficit to Princeton entering the final day and defeated the Tigers by a single stroke. Penn finished eighth at last year’s Ivy Championships, making this the first time in history a team went from worst to first at the Championships in consecutive years.
Austin Powell (Sr.)
*22 tournament rounds this year / 73.4 stroke average
*2014-15 Ivy League Player of the Year
*First-team All-Ivy (2nd at Ivy Championships)
*Individual medalist at Mission Inn Spectacular (George Mason)
*Individual medalist at Quechee Club Invitational (Dartmouth)
*First player in program history to be in the lineup for two Ivy Championships title teams
Low round: 67 (3rd round Ivy League Championships)
Ben Cooley (Sr.)
*24 tournament rounds this year / 74.9 stroke average
*First-team All-Ivy (4th at Ivy League Championships)
Low round: 69 (2nd round Macdonald Cup)
Patrick O'Leary (Jr.)
*17 tournament rounds this year / 77.5 stroke average
*t-20th at Ivy League Championships
Low round: 69 (2nd round Wolfpack Spring Open)
Amay Poria (Fr.)
*22 tournament rounds this year / 76.4 stroke average
*30th at Ivy League Championships
Low round: 70 (1st round Temple Invitational)
Dane Walton (So.)
*17 tournament rounds this year / 79.6 stroke average
*t-11th at Ivy League Championships
Low round: 71 (City Six Shootout)
Quoting Coach Heintz
“We’re still riding high on the thrilling finish at the Ivy Championship two weeks back, although the last 7 or 8 days of final exams have cooled off the celebration a bit,” said Penn’s third-year head coach, Bob Heintz. “It will be a great reward for our team to make this trip to Indiana for the NCAA Regional tournament. We have worked hard on the course and in the classroom, and after grinding through finals this will be a chance to enjoy the game on a fabulous golf course while competing against some of the best college teams in the country. I can’t wait to get to Indianapolis and start preparing the guys and enjoying the moment with them.
“As a lower seed, the expectations of us are not high, so I believe we can use that to our advantage. We are a loose, relaxed team, one that has proven it can make lots of birdies. We will need to play our own tournament, be ourselves, and embrace the role of underdog as we try to secure a spot among the top five teams by week’s end. Regardless of outcome, this promises to be a special trip for our golfers and another steppingstone for a program on the rise.”
Download: Round 1 Pairings.pdf