Mountain Lions make field for Super Regional

By Paul Madison published April 23, 2004

BELLINGHAM, Wash. â- Six of the top 12 teams and 13 of the top 23 players in NCAA Division II are part of the field announced today for the NCAA Division II West/Northwest Super Regional which Western Washington University will host May 3-5 at the Bellingham Golf and Country Club.

The host Vikings are the No.6 seed in the very strong West Region, which includes all six of the nationally ranked teams in the field. The 54-hole event, one of five super regionals across the country, is actually two simultaneous regional tournaments of eight schools and five additional individuals from non-qualifying schools. The winning school in each region earns an automatic berth to the NCAA II National Tournament at Orlando, Fla., on May 12-15. The next four teams in each region qualify for consideration for a total of eight at-large berths. Last year, the West sent the maximum five teams to nationals, earning four at-large spots.

In addition, the top individual in each region from schools not qualifying for nationals earns an individual berth to the national tourney.

The two regions play concurrently in separate tournaments, with the West Region starting from the first hole in the opening round and the Northwest Region opening on the 10th. The two regions flip-flop for the second round, then return to the original starting points for the final round.

“It is an outstanding field, particularly in the West, where you probably have 11 of the top 23 players in NCAA II,” said Western coach Steve Card. “It should be a phenomenal event.”

Chico State, ranked No.1 nationally both by Golfstat and by the NCAA Division II coaches poll, is the top seed in the West Region. The Wildcats, who finished fifth in the 2003 NCAA II National Tournament, are led by J.J. Jakovac, a first-team All-American last year who is the top-ranked player in the country with a 70.4 stroke average.

Cal State Bakersfield is the second seed in the West, followed by Cal State Stanislaus, UC San Diego, Western, Hawaii-Hilo, Grand Canyon and Saint Martinâ€TMs. Two-time defending regional champion UC Davis is in the first year of a transition to NCAA Division I and is not eligible for post-season play.
In the most recent Golfstat rankings, Cal State Bakersfield is rated fifth nationally, Cal State Stanislaus sixth, Western seventh, Hawaii-Hilo 1oth and UC San Diego 12th.

All eight West Region schools competed in the Western Invitational on the same course last September. Victoria, an NAIA school, won the tourney, with UC San Diego finishing second. All eight of the teams competing this week were within 14 shots of each other last fall. Shane Prante of Saint Martinâ€TMs took medalist honors, shooting 14-under 202.

The top seed in the Northwest Region is St. Cloud State MN. Completing the field are South Dakota, North Dakota State, Minnesota State-Mankato, Fort Lewis CO, Colorado-Colorado Springs, Colorado State-Pueblo and Nebraska-Kearney. Colorado-Colorado Springs is the two-time defending regional champion.

The Bellingham Golf and Country Club will play at 6,523 yards and par-72 for the Super Regional. Thatâ€TMs somewhat shorter than many courses the teams play during the season, but the course also provides a different set of challenges from longer ones.

“It is a traditional course, cut out of the firs and evergreens,” said Card. “It has very undulating greens, thereâ€TMs a real emphasis on shot making and controlling the ball.

“The winning team here in the fall had a score of 4-under. The next week, with the same field, on a course over 7,100 yards, the winning score was 11-under. It is a different course than some we play, but its uniqueness and the different challenges it poses make it a good test of golf.”

Host Western was fourth in the West Region last year, earning at-large berth to the national tournament where it placed 11th. The Vikings are led by senior Josh Immordino (Kent/Kentwood), a third-team All-American in 2002 and honorable mention last year, who has a team-best 73.6 stroke average; and sophomore Tim Feenstra (Lynden), who has a 73.7 average and was named 2003 NCAA II Freshman of the Year by the Golf Coaches Association of America and a third-team All-American. Senior Chris Anderson (Oak Harbor/Papillion-LaVista NE), who placed second in the Western Invitational last fall, has a 74.1 average, and sophomore Luke Bennett (Bellingham/Sehome) has a 74.6 average.

“Having the tournament on our home course is very beneficial,” Card said. “We get to sleep in our own beds, weâ€TMre comfortable, weâ€TMre not weary from travel. It makes our lives a lot easier.”

2004 SUPER REGIONAL

West Region
1. Chico State
2. Cal State Bakersfield
3. Cal State Stanislaus
4. UC San Diego
5. Western Washington
6. Hawaii-Hilo
7. Grand Canyon
8. Saint Martinâ€TMs

Individuals
Bryan Newman, Cal State Dominguez Hills
Ryan Plummer, Cal State San Bernardino
Andy Ainsworth, Western New Mexico
Adam Lewis, Sonoma State
Jason Myers, Western New Mexico

Players to Watch
J.J. Jakovac, Chico State, 70.4 (ranked No.1 nationally, 2003 1st-team GCAA All-American)
Shane Prante, Saint Martinâ€TMs, 70.7 (Medalist at WWU Fall Invitational)
Ryan Thornberry, Cal State Stanislaus, 71.1 (2003 h.m. All-American)
D.J. Fernando, Cal State Bakersfield, 71.7
Nick Mason, Hawaii-Hilo, 71.8
Billy Moon, Cal State Stanislaus, 72.6
Greg Lopez, Cal State Bakersfield, 72.9
Brian Duckworth, UC San Diego, 73.6
Marc Peterson, Chico State, 73.6
Benjamin Knight, Chico State, 73.6
Josh Immordino, Western Washington, 73.6 (2003 h.m. All-American)
Tim Feenstra, Western Washington, 73.7 (2003 3rd-team All-American, GCAA Freshman of the Year)

Northwest Region
1. St. Cloud State MN
2. South Dakota
3. North Dakota State
4. Minnesota State Mankato
5. Fort Lewis CO
6. Colorado-Colorado Springs
7. Colorado State-Pueblo
8. Nebraska-Kearney

Individuals
Jon Burns, Augustana SD
Terry Kragero, North Dakota
Miles Philpy, Regis CO
Chris Sylvia, Regis CO
Jeff Philippe, Adams State CO

Players to Watch
Chris Little, St. Cloud State, 71.5
Jon Burns, Augustana SD, 72.9


Paul Madison
Sports Information Director
Western Washington University
Office - 360-650-3108
Email - paul.madison@wwu.edu
FAX - 360-650-3495

Additional News Stories
May 5, 2004Golf team takes fifth at regional tournamentJ.P. Wertz shot a 2-over par 74 as the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs shot a final-round score of 307 Wednesday to finish the NCAA Division II Northwest Golf Regional at Bellingham, Wash., in a tie for fifth place.
May 4, 2004Van Etten leads Lions into seventhThe University of Colorado at Colorado Springs golf team shot a 299 Tuesday, the second-best round of the day, to move up to seventh at the NCAA Division II Northwest Regional golf tournament in Bellingham, Wash.
May 3, 2004Golf team in eighth after first round at regionalsNick Van Etten shot a 75 as the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs golf team finished the first round of the NCAA Division II Northwest Regional golf tournament in eighth place on Monday.
April 20, 2004Dominant Daum leads golf team to seventh placeTrent Daum shot a tournament-best 4-under par 67 Tuesday to lead the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs into a tie for seventh at the Northwest Region Spring Head-to-Head tournament at Firethorn Country Club in Lincoln, Neb.
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