KANSAS CITY, MO. (May 14, 2012) -The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has officially released the first and second round pairings for the 2012 NAIA Men's Golf National Championships. The 61st annual event will take place at Creekside Golf Club in Salem, Ore., May 22-25.
Two additional invitations were extended to individuals on Friday as Brett McCurdy Jr. of Northwood (Fla.) and Zach Lindsey of Reinhardt (Ga.) received at-large selections, bringing the total number of golfers to 159 at the event.
First-round action will tee off on May 22 at 7 a.m. PDT (9 a.m. CDT), with Oklahoma City, Johnson & Wales (Fla.) and Marian (Ind.) starting on No. 1, while Grand View (Iowa), Southern Nazarene (Okla.) and Madonna (Mich.) open play on No. 10 at 7:30 a.m. (9:30 a.m.) The afternoon session kicks off at 12 p.m. (2 p.m.) with Lee (Tenn.), Our Lady of the Lake Universityand Union (Tenn.) setting out at No. 1. Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.), Bethany (Kan.) and Brescia (Ky.) begin play on No. 10 at 12:30 p.m. (2:30 p.m.)
Live scoring can be found here.
British Columbia, Tennessee Wesleyan and Evangel (Mo.) will open the second round on the back nine at 7 a.m. (9 a.m.) on May 23. St. Thomas' (Fla.) Omar Tejeira, Morningside's (Iowa) Brandon Thompson and Westminster's (Utah) Dane Jensen begin at 7:20 a.m. (9:20 a.m.) on hole one. Afternoon play culminates at 12 p.m. (2 p.m.) as Texas Wesleyan, Wayland Baptist (Texas) and Northwestern (Iowa) hit the links at No. 10. Jesse Heinly of Concordia (Ore.), Lindsey and McCurdy Jr. tee off on No. 1 at 12:20 p.m. (2:20 p.m.)
The 159-player field is made up of 20 automatic qualifying schools who won their conference/independent/unaffiliated group tournaments, eight team at-large selections based on the final NAIA Men's Golf Coaches' Top 25 Poll, Corban (Ore.) (host berth) and 14 individual qualifiers.
Nine teams that placed in the top 10 at last year's National Championships return to the field, including defending national titlist and second-ranked Oklahoma Christian. The Eagles lost 2011 National Championships individual medalist Oscar Stark to graduation, but return three golfers who participated in last year's event. 2011 runner-up British Columbia is back after receiving an at-large bid, while No. 1-ranked Oklahoma City is poised to improve upon last year's 10th-place finish. The Stars ride into Salem after besting Oklahoma Christian in the Sooner Athletic Conference Championships.
The 14 individual qualifiers includes nine automatic selections and five at-large choices. Each of the automatic selections garnered a spot in the National Championships by winning either his respective conference tournament or regular-season individual medal. The five at-large participants were chosen by the tournament committee.
The Saints men's golf team won one tournament this season and placed second in the Red River Athletic Conference Championship Tournament. The Saints finished in fourth place in the NAIA Men's Golf National Preview in Oregon. In the final NAIA Men's GOlf Coaches' Top 25 Poll that was release last week, the Saints were ranked 16th.