PREVIEW: Men’s Golf Returns to NCAA Regionals for Third Straight Season

Photo Courtesy of Matthew Cerullo
Photo Courtesy of Matthew Cerullo

GREENSBURG, Pa. (May 8, 2019) The no. 1 regionally-ranked Franklin Pierce University men's golf team is hours away from making their fourth overall and third consecutive appearance in the NCAA Division II Tournament Atlantic/East Regional Thursday afternoon at the Totteridge Golf Club in Greensburg, Pa.

Last season, Pierce was ranked eighth in the east and were the clubhouse leaders for the opening two rounds at the Resort the Glade Springs in Daniels W. Va. They finished the three rounds at 890 (+26) which was good enough for second place and just one stroke off of a Regional Championship. Current junior Sam Myers (Colchester, Vt.) carried the Ravens tying for ninth place individually at 220 (+4) shooting a team-low round card 70 (-2) to go along with 13 birdies, the second most in the field of golfers. The Ravens were one of three teams from the Atlantic/East Region to reach the National Championship, their first berth in program history.

 

SCOUTING THE RAVENS

This year, the Crimson and Grey never finished below fifth in tournament play capturing four-team invitational championships at the FPU Fall Invitational (597, +21), the Saint Rose Fall Shootout (606, +38), the Assumption College Invitational (598, +22) and the Penmen Invitational (289, +1). In the Northeast-10 Conference tournament, the Ravens were tied for third place following the opening round but fell to fourth on day two (596, +20). Three other league programs will compete with the Ravens in Pennsylvania, conference champion and no. 2 ranked Southern New Hampshire University, no. 3 Bentley University and no. 6 Assumption College.

In the spring during the first edition of the Division II Regional Poll, the Ravens were placed second which to that point in time was their highest ranking in team annals. However, they only sat second for another week as they climbed to first and remained in the top spot during the final two poll releases due to their successful spring season. On May 3rd, for the first time in program history, Franklin Pierce received three votes in the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) Division II Coaches' Poll.

 

HOW THE RAVENS LINEUP

Franklin Pierce will head to the Keystone State with the following five-golfer lineup. Four of the five golfers who competed in the regionals last year will make a return trip to postseason play this time at the Totteridge Golf Club, a par 72, 7,154-yard course.

 

1. Keeton Foster (Spofford, N.H.) – Tee Times: 5/9: 1st Tee, 12:40 p.m., 5/10: 10th Tee, 8:10 a.m.

Foster, a two-time All-NE10 Second Team selection will golf from the number one slot and make his third appearance at the regionals. This season he tallied three top-10 finishes including a share of fourth place at the Penmen Fall Invitational (153, +9). Foster added two 11th place performances while also tying for 15th twice as well. The junior's best round of the season came during the second round of the Penmen Fall Invitational when he fired a 70 (E).

 

2. Sam Myers (Colchester, Vt.) – Tee Times: 5/9: 1st Tee, 12:30 p.m., 5/10: 10th Tee, 8:00 a.m.

Myers, a three-time regional participant collected an individual championship in his final tournament of the regular season at the Penmen Spring Invitational shooting two under par (70, -2). The junior biology major was also runner up at the Assumption College Invitational (148, +4) and he capped off his top-five finishes with a fourth-place showing at the FPU Fall Invitational (147, -3). Myers saved his best round of the season for last as his 70 (-2) round at the Penmen Spring Invitational was his lowest of the campaign.

 

3. Dylan Plis (Camillus, N.Y.) – Tee Times: 5/9: 1st Tee, 12:20 p.m., 5/10: 10th Tee, 7:50 a.m.

Plis, a two-time New England Intercollegiate Golf Association (NEIGA) All-New England selection, the 2017-18 NE10 Rookie of the Year, an All-NE10 First Team choice, and two-time NE10 Men's Golfer of the Week will compete from the three hole. The sophomore had five top-10 finishes including two individual medalist honors at the 84th Annual NEIGA Championship (147, +3) and versus Saint Michael's in stroke play (69, -3). The 68 (-4) second round total at the NEIGA Championship was a new personal career-low for Plis and helped him to his second straight All-New England nod. He finished third at the FPU Fall Invitational (145 (+1) pacing his team to a team championship as well.

 

4. Liam Donohue (Vernon, Conn.) – Tee Times: 5/9: 1st Tee, 12:10 p.m., 5/10: 10th Tee, 7:40 a.m.

Donohue joins Foster and Myers in making their third trip to the NCAA Regionals. He participated in five tournaments this year coming in fourth place at the Assumption College Invitational (151, +7). The junior tallied his best round of the year at Assumption posting an even 72 second day score. Donohue continued to build momentum in the spring season tallying his other lone top-15 performance at the season-ending Penmen Spring Invitational (73, +1).  

 

5. Nathan Patterson (Conway, Mass.) – Tee Times: 5/9: 1st Tee, 12:00 p.m., 5/10: 10th Tee, 7:30 a.m.

Patterson, a junior transfer student by the way of Rhode Island College and a one-time NE10 Golfer of the Week travels to the regionals for the first time. He had three top-10 finishes on the year carrying the Ravens to first place at the Assumption College Invitational and earned medalist honors producing a two-round 144 (E) scorecard. His best round of the year came at Assumption totaling a 70 (-2). Patterson kicked off his Raven career in stroke play at Saint Michael's firing a 73 (+1) good enough for a share of second place. He tied for sixth place in the final tune-up before regionals at the Penmen Spring Invitational (71, -1).

 

HEADING TO THE TOURNAMENT?

If you are planning on heading to the Regionals here are some useful links…

 

TOTTERIDGE GOLF COURSE | COURSE INFORMATION | SCORECARD | HOLE LAYOUTS | GREENSBURG, PA. WEATHER

 

HOW TO FOLLOW ALONG?

Can't make it to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania? Host California University of Pennsylvania has you covered with live results.

 

WHAT'S NEXT?

The top three teams and the top two golfers not with a team from each regional will advance to the finals May 20th to 24th at The Resort at Glade Springs in Daniels, W. Va. The remaining eight-team berths will be allocated based on the regions represented in the prior year's head-to-head medal play portion of the championships, with the maximum number of teams from a given region capped at seven.

 

For more information on Franklin Pierce Athletics, please visit the official website of Franklin Pierce Athletics (http://athletics.franklinpierce.edu). Also be sure to follow the Ravens through the Department of Athletics' official Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/FranklinPierceRavens), its YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/franklinpiercesports) and its Twitter feed (http://twitter.com/FPUathletics). Fans wishing to purchase Franklin Pierce golf apparel can do so at the Department of Athletics' online store (http://athletics.franklinpierce.edu/store). You can also follow the golf programs on Twitter (https://twitter.com/FPU_GOLF).