Tide Men's Golf Second Seed At NCAA

The No. 8 University of Alabama men's golf team garnered its fifth straight invitation to NCAA postseason competition on Monday by being selected to compete in the 2009 NCAA Galloway Regional on May 14-16 at the Galloway National Golf Club in Galloway, New Jersey.

The Crimson Tide is the regions' No. 2 seed and is coming off of a sixth-place finish at the SEC Championships. The Galloway National Golf Club is a par-71, 7,022-yard layout designed by Tom Fazio and rated among Golf Magazines top 100 modern courses.

"We are really excited to get a chance to compete at the Galloway site," Alabama head coach Jay Seawell said following Monday's announcement. "Any time you hear your named called for the NCAA Tournament it is exciting. We are looking forward to representing the University of Alabama against a tough field of teams. I thought the NCAA did a great job of spreading everyone out. The Galloway Regional is very fair with a lot of very good golf teams, which means we are going to have to play outstanding golf to advance."

Since Seawell's arrival in Tuscaloosa prior to the 2002-03 season, the Crimson Tide has qualified for five straight NCAA postseasons and six overall, including three NCAA Championship appearances (2005, 2007-08). The 2009 selection is the 18th overall NCAA appearance in school history.

The NCAA men's golf tournament will take on a new look in 2009 with the first change in the tournament format since 1989. The old 30-team, three-regional format has been replaced by a six-regional schedule. Three of the 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 Galloway (N.J.) Regional will consist of 14 teams and five individuals.

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 at Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio. The NCAA Championships run May 26-30, 2009. The finals also will have a new format, with the final eight teams after 54 holes facing off in match play to determine the national champion. The individual winner will be crowned after 54 holes instead of 72 as in past years.

Joining Alabama in the NCAA Galloway (N.J.) Regional is No. 1-seed Clemson, No. 3-seed Illinois, No. 4 Tennessee and No. 5 Wake Forrest. Along with Alabama and Tennessee at the Galloway Regional, 11 of the 12 SEC teams qualified for the NCAA field. Georgia is the No. 1 seed at the Sorrento, Fla., site hosted by Central Florida, while Arkansas is the No. 2 seed at the Karsten Creek Regional in Stillwater, Okla.

Last season Alabama finished sixth at 44-over 896 at the NCAA Central Regional in Columbus, Ohio. The Tide was led by then-junior Matthew Swan and senior Mark Harrell, who both tied for 33rd position at 12-over par. The finish earned the Tide its third trip to the NCAA Championships in the last four seasons under Seawell and the 11th appearance in school history. Swan will be playing in his fourth NCAA Tournament when play gets underway on May 14.

BamaMag Top Stories