The Kansas and UMKC men’s golf teams are headed to the NCAA tournament.
The Jayhawks and Kangaroos were in the field when regional pairings were announced Thursday morning. Six 54-hole regional tournaments will be held May 16-18. The low five teams and the low individual not on those teams from each regional will advance to the finals May 27-June 1 at Eugene Country Club in Eugene, Ore.
Kansas received an at-large bid and is the No. 7 seed in the regional hosted by Alabama at the Ol’ Colony Golf Complex in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
The Jayhawks had two first-place finishes and two seconds in five starts in 2016 before tying for sixth place last week at the Big 12 championship. The Jayhawks have been led this season by Connor Peck, a senior from Ankeny, Iowa, with a scoring average of 71.86 in 12 events. Chase Hanna, a junior from Leawood, has averaged 72.84.
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“Obviously we’re excited,” KU coach Jamie Bermel said in a release. “You never know which draw you’re going to get, and Alabama is perfectly fine with us. The good news is that we’re playing, so we’re certainly excited about that.”
Texas, the Big 12 champion, is in a regional at Vanderbilt Legends Club in Franklin, Tenn., and is among the favorites to win the NCAA crown. Defending champion LSU is also in that regional.
UMKC got in the tournament as the champion of the Western Athletic Conference and is the No. 13 seed in a regional at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla. That regional host is Oklahoma State.
“It’s exciting for me to get to go home, being from Oklahoma,” UMKC coach J.W. VanDenBorn said in a release. “I know a lot about Karsten Creek and have already received many texts and emails from people who are excited to come watch us play and share their knowledge of the course.
“It’s considered one of the most difficult courses in college golf and the NCAA Finals have been hosted there, but it’s hard for everybody, and hopefully that levels the playing field. We are just looking to go in, play well, take our chances and see where we finish.”
Antoine Rozner, a senior from Paris and one of three Frenchmen on the UMKC team, leads the Kangaroos in scoring this season with a 70.30 average. He is followed by countrymen Francois Lagraulet at 71.89 and Thibault Vieilledent at 74.91.
Rozner won the WAC individual title with a 12-under 204 total April 30-May 2 in Blaine, Wash.
Grant Bennett of Wichita State will compete individually in the regional hosted by Oklahoma State.
Kansas State’s Madison Talley shot 2-under 70 and leads the other five players competing as individuals after the first of three rounds at the Baton Rouge, La., regional.
Missouri is tied for 13th among teams at the Shoal Creek, Ala., regional at 23-over 311, trailing leader Northwestern by 15 shots and fifth-place Vanderbilt by 9. KU golfers Yupaporn Kawinpakorn and Pornvipa Sakdee are competing as individuals. Kawinpakorn shot 3-over 75, 1 stroke behind the cutoff for nationals.