May 8, 2006
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The University of Maryland men's golf team earned an invitation to the NCAA Division I Men's Golf Championships for the fifth straight season on Monday when the NCAA announced the field via teleconference.
Maryland will play in the East Regional to be held May 18 to 20 at the Lake Nona Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. There were 27 teams selected for each of three regionals, with the top 10 teams at each regional advancing to the nationals, to be held May 31 to June 3 at Sunriver, Ore.
The Terrapins have had a strong season, particularly in the spring semester. Maryland won both the Furman Intercollegiate and the Cavalier Classic, and posted a second-place finish at the William & Mary Invitational. The Terps were the top-seeded team in the Mid-Atlantic District throughout the year.
Maryland placed seventh at the Atlantic Coast Conference Championships in mid-April, posting its best finish at the conference championship since 1999. The Terps were one of eight ACC teams selected for postseason play.
"I think we're playing well," said Terrapin head coach Tom Hanna. "Winning at Virginia was good and our play at the conference tournament was good. We hung in there and played well against the top teams in the country.
"I don't think we've hit on all cylinders yet this season," said Hanna. "If ever there was a time to do it, it would be at the regionals. I think we can play with everybody and I think the players believe it too. I'm excited, this is the best chance we've had so far to advance."
A year ago, the Terrapins placed 21st in the team standings at the NCAA East Regional held in Nashville. Should Hanna use the same lineup as in the most recent two events - senior John Eades, along with juniors Blaine Peffley, Matt Schall, Tully Coyle and Tyler Witman - Maryland's fivesome will include four players who appeared in the East Regional last year.
"Experience certainly helps," said Hanna. "Blaine (Peffley, a junior transfer from Arizona who has played only in the spring semester) has been to the big-time also. This is probably the most experienced team we've had since I've been here. John has provided us with tremendous senior leadership and that's been a big factor.
Maryland is making its seventh NCAA appearance in the 15 seasons Hanna has been directing the golf program at his alma mater. The Terrapins missed a postseason berth between 1977 and 1993 prior to his arrival.
NCAA EAST REGIONAL SEEDS
1. Georgia, 2. UCLA, 3. UNLV, 4. Georgia State, 5. North Carolina, 6. Southern California, 7. Texas Tech, 8. Wake Forest, 9. Charlotte, 10. Coastal Carolina, 11. Auburn, 12. Tennessee, 13. South Carolina, 14. Florida State, 15. Indiana, 16. Notre Dame, 17. Georgia Southern, 18. MARYLAND, 19. Jacksonville, 20. Western Illinois, 21. Wichita State, 22. Rhode Island, 23. George Washington, 24. Richmond, 25. Liberty, 26. Army, 27. Binghamton.