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May 13, 2003
AUBURN, Ala. -
University of Maryland makes its second consecutive appearance in the NCAA Championships this week as it takes part in the East Regional here.
The Terps, ranked second in the Mid-Atlantic District, secured one of four berths from their region when the 81-team field was announced last week. Maryland is one of 27 teams competing in the 54-hole regional being hosted by Auburn University at the Auburn University Club.
Teams will take part in a practice round on Wednesday before competition gets underway on Thursday. Teams will play 18 holes each on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the 7,207-yard, par-72 Auburn University Club.
Two other regionals will be taking place at the same time at other sites across the country. The Central Regional will be held at Manhattan, Kan., and the West Regional will take place in Seattle, Wash. The top 10 teams in each regional advance to the NCAA Championships, slated for May 27-30 in Stillwater, Okla.
Maryland coach Tom Hanna is expected to field a lineup consisting of senior John Moheyer, juniors Tim Kane and Dan MacDonald, sophomore Bobby MacWhinnie and freshman John Eades.
Moheyer, Kane and MacWhinnie all competed in last year's NCAA Central Regional in Little Rock, Ark., and Hanna is hoping his squad will benefit from that postseason experience. Says Hanna: "It's a little bit like our basketball program; once they got to the tournament, they began to advance further and further each year. Three of our players have been there before; they aren't going to Alabama to sightsee this year. Our kids feel that they can play with anybody; we're excited about going. Our experience factor should have a positive effect."
There will be somewhat of a familiar feel to the East Regional for the Terps, who will be joined by four other ACC squads - Clemson, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech and Duke. In all, seven of the nine ACC schools are among the 81-team field. Both North Carolina and NC State have been shipped to the Central Regional.
Maryland has been idle from competition since finishing third at Penn State's Rutherford Invitational the last weekend of April. It marked Maryland's third top-three finish in its last four regular season tournaments, and included one of the best team rounds in Hanna's tenure as head coach - an 11-under par 277 in the middle round.
Hanna is looking for solid, consistent play from his Terps.
"The team knows it doesn't have to light it up this week," says Hanna. "We just need solid numbers. If we go out and play consistently, don't try to get fancy, I think we should do fine. I'm pleased with the progress of the team. We've played well the last half of the season, and it's a reflection of the hard work by the players."