BUIES CREEK, N.C. – For the second-straight year, Campbell University is heading to post-season play in men's golf. The Big South Conference champion received an automatic berth to play May 15-17 in the NCAA Regional at West Lafayette, Ind.
Ranked No.-68 nationally in this week's Golfstat rating, the Camels are one of 81 teams nationally to earn a post-season bid and are seeded 11th in West Lafayette. The top five teams (and top individual from non-qualifying teams) from each of six regional sites will advance to the NCAA Championship May 26-31 in Sugar Grove, Ill.
"Watching the selection show last year, the anticipation was, "are we going to be in?" said Campbell head coach John Crooks. "This year, we knew we were in and we knew that it was just a matter of where we're going to go. Going to West Lafayette, Ind., is great. It's a course I have some knowledge about. I helped the NCAA committee conduct the national championship there, so I know how they set the golf course up. There are six regionals and all of them are good. There are no weak sisters. If we go out and play well, we control our destiny."
The 54-hole event begins on Monday, May 15 at the Pete Dye design Kampen Course, an 18-hole, links-style, par-72 championship golf course featuring large bent-grass greens, fairways and tees. The championship tees plays over 7,400 yards. Kampen is rated one of the top collegiate courses in the nation and has been awarded 4.5 stars on Golf Digest's "Places to Play." The course has also played host to a number of prestigious collegiate and public tournaments such as the 2003 Women's NCAA Championship and the 2008 Men's NCAA Championship.
No.-5 Florida is the top seed in the West Lafayetteville and will be joined in the 13-team field by Illinois (No.-8), UNLV (17), Auburn (20), South Carolina (28), Colorado (32), Purdue (38), New Mexico (44), Augusta (52), Saint Mary's (57), Campbell (68), Richmond (91) and Cleveland State (147).
A year ago, Campbell made its first team regional berth since 2009 as an at-large choice. CU was the Big South runner-up in both 2015 and 2016.
Campbell won the 2017 Big South Championship last month to secure the league's automatic bid and the program's ninth NCAA post-season trip since 1998. Led by individual medalist Jesper Svensson, who broke the Big South 54-hole record, set in 2007 by current World No.-1 Dustin Johnson, the Camels also shattered the league's team standard (26-under 838).
On Apr. 21-22 at Ninety Six, S.C., Campbell shot 273-277-288—838 and defeated top-seeded Liberty by seven strokes at The Patriot Golf Club, to secure the conference's automatic berth in the regionals.
Svensson, who shot 14-under (67-66-69—202) at the league tournament, was named Big South player of the year and joined on the all-championship team by teammate and runner-up Thomas La Morte, who finished at 8-under 208 (67-69-72).
Freshman Brett McLamb (69-74-73—216) tied for 11th at the Big South Championship, while sophomore Ray Kraivixien tied for 16th (70-71-77—218) and senior Craig Hornberger tied for 20th (74-71-74—219). Kraivixien joined Svensson on the all-conference team, while McLamb and Max Theodorakis were named to the all-freshman team. Crooks collected Big South Coach of the Year honors, just four days after winning the same award on the women's side.
Crooks also guided the Campbell women to a record-breaking performance in the Big South Championship Apr. 17-19 and will guide his team next week in the NCAA Albuquerque Regional in the program's sixth-consecutive NCAA post-season trip.
2017 NCAA Men's Golf West Lafayette Regional
Dates: Monday, May 15-Wednesday, May 17
Location / Course: West Lafayette, Ind. / Kampen Course
Par: 72, 7423 yards
Field (Golfstat Rank) (Automatic bid): 1. Florida (5), 2. Illinois (8) (Big Ten), 3. UNLV (17) (Mountain West), 4. Auburn (20), 5. South Carolina (28), 6. Colorado (32), 7. Purdue (38), 8. New Mexico (44), 9. Augusta (52) (MEAC), 10. St. Mary's (57), 11. Campbell (68) (Big South), 12. Richmond (91) (Atlantic-10), 13. Cleveland State (147) (Horizon).
Individuals: 1. Peter Kim (Army West Point), 2. Mark Lawrence Jr. (Virginia Tech), 3. Austin Squires (Cincinnati), 4. Keegan de Lange (Louisville), 5. Lloyd Jefferson Go (Seton Hall), 6. David Kocher (Maryland), 7. Sarit Suwannarut (Virginia Tech), 8. Patrick Flavin (Miami-Ohio), 9. Peyton White (Ohio), 10. Trent Wallace (Illinois State).