The Cats have enjoyed one of the most successful seasons in school history by posting eleven top-10 finishes in as many tournaments, including a team title at the Kiawah Island Invitational and fifth-place finish in the Southeastern Conference Championships. However, despite its many accomplishments, coach Brian Craig and his team are seeking the ultimate prize of winning Kentucky's first men's golf national championship.
"This is probably the most exciting tournament of the year because what is at stake," Craig said. "We have to be prepared and confident. If we do that we'll have a chance to win it."
Kentucky is the six seed in the Central Region, which features five top-15 teams. UK finished sixth in the 27-team tournament in 2003. The 2004 Cats are more consistent than last season and two-time All-SEC performer, John Holmes, leads a strong junior class that has significantly elevated the status of Kentucky golf on the national scene.
The 54-hole tournament is set to tee off early Thursday morning at the Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex at Purdue University. The Wildcats are familiar with the course after finishing third in the Boilermaker Invitational in their final regular season competition.
"I'm very confident and comfortable with our lineup," Craig said. "We will be prepared to represent UK with class and integrity."
The top 10 teams and two additional individuals from each region (East, Central and West) will advance to the NCAA Championship, which will take place June 1-4 in Hot Springs, Va. A total of nine SEC schools will compete in the NCAA Championships, including Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, LSU, UK and Arkansas.