DURHAM, N.C. -- The Duke men's golf team, No. 17 in the latest Golf World/Nike Golf Coaches' Poll, received the four-seed in the NCAA East Regional as announced by the NCAA Division I Golf Committee on Monday. The Blue Devils will stay close to home with a short trip to Greensboro, N.C. to play on the Grandover Resort East Course (May 17-19) and compete for a spot in the 2012 NCAA Championship.
"This is something that the guys work for every day all year long," said head coach Jamie Green. "It is an exciting thing for us. Now everybody start out at zero and you go out there and play the golf course as well as you possibly can. Our guys will look to play as well as they can play and we will see if that is going to be enough."
Auburn claimed the top seed in the region followed by UNLV, Florida, Duke and Indiana. Liberty is the six-seed with SMU at No. 7 and Texas Tech, Tulsa and Lamar rounding out the top 10. Louisiana-Lafayette (11th), Charlotte (12th), George Washington (13th) and Mount St. Mary's round out the east regional seeding.
Vaita Guillaume (Campbell), Sam Ryder (Stetson), Rhys Enoch (East Tennessee State), Casey O'Toole (Samford) and Leo Garcia (Sacred Heart) will also be in the field as individuals.
The NCAA East Regional field includes four conference champions and seven teams ranked in the top 50 of the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings. Auburn is ranked third overall with UNLV (No. 15), Florida (No. 18) and Duke (No. 19) also ranking in the top 20. Liberty (No. 31), Indiana (No. 33), SMU (No. 42) and Texas Tech (No. 46) enter the regional among the top 50 nationally.
The Grandover Resort East Course (par 72, 7,100 yards) was designed by former U.S. Open champion David Graham and Gary Panks. The course opened in 1996 and is rated as a four-star course by Golf Digest.
"We could have been sent to Stanford or any one of the other regions so we are a little fortunate to be able to play just down the road in Greensboro," said Green. "We haven't played the course a lot but the guys did play a qualifier there early in the spring. The golf course will play a little differently but the good thing is we have seen the course and the layout. The most comforting factor is that we will be playing on the grass that we play and practice on every day."
The NCAA East Regional in one of six 54-hole regional tournaments will be conducted May 17-19. Thirteen teams and ten individuals not on those teams will compete at each of three regionals while the other three regionals will have 14 teams and five individuals not on those teams. The low five teams and the low individual not on those teams from each regional will advance to the finals.
The finals will be conducted May 29-June 3, at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif.
Duke has qualified for NCAA regional play in each of the last 14 seasons and has advanced to the NCAA Championship eight times in that span.
Last season, the Blue Devils captured the NCAA East Regional title at the Pete Dye River Course in Radford, Va. Julian Suri posted a two-under 214 to finish fifth, while Tim Gornik fired a final round 66 (-6) to guide Duke to its first NCAA regional crown. The Blue Devils went to finish eighth at the NCAA Stroke Play Championship and defeated top-seed UCLA to reach the match-play semifinals.
Grandover Resort East Course - Greensboro, N.C.
Teams [conference champions]
6. Liberty [Big South]
8. Texas Tech
10. Lamar [Southland]
13. George Washington [A10]
14. Mount St. Mary's [Northeast]
Vaita Guillaume (Campbell), Sam Ryder (Stetson), Rhys Enoch (East Tennessee State), Casey O'Toole (Samford), Leo Garcia (Sacred Heart)