Challenging Regular Season Finale Awaits Golfers at Barry

Challenging Regular Season Finale Awaits Golfers at Barry

Hoping to break a streak of three consecutive second-place finishes Eastern Florida's men's golf team closes its regular season on Monday and Tuesday at the Buccaneer Invitational at Normandy Shores Golf Club in Miami Beach.


NCAA Division II Barry University hosts the 16-team field that includes seven teams ranked in the Top 25 of the Bushnell GolfWeek Division II Coaches national poll.


They are No. 7 Barry, No. 3 Nova Southeastern, No. 5 Lynn, No. 10 Central Missouri, No. 11 Flagler, No. 21 Florida Tech and No. 24 Central Oklahoma.


Valdosta State, Wilmington and St. Thomas Aquinas are all receiving votes. Embry-Riddle, Tampa, Eckerd, Palm Beach Atlantic and Johnson & Wales are also competing along with Eastern Florida, the only NJCAA college in the field.


The Titans are ranked second nationally in the Bushnell GolfWeek NJCAA Division I Coaches poll.


Three rounds on the par-71, 6,733-yard course will be played over the two days, beginning with Monday's 8 a.m. shotgun start. This tournament is the final event of the regular season.


Lynn won last year's tournament, shooting 11-under 846 in the 54-hole format. Eastern Florida's Kerry Sweeney shot 9-under 204 to capture the individual medalist trophy.


Beyond Barry for Eastern Florida is the April 25-26 NJCAA District 4 Championship at Cullman, Alabama, the final stop en route to May's NJCAA Men's Division I National Championship to be played at Duran Golf Club in Viera.


Eastern Florida is seeking its 14th straight national tournament appearance. The Titans finished second last May. And, they have finished second in all three spring season tournaments beginning with the season-opening Titan Winter Invitational.


They followed up with runner-up finishes at the Doublegate Invitational at Darton in Georgia and at the Florida Tech Panther Invitational at Duran.


"The Barry Buccaneer invitational is always circled on our schedule as it is the strongest field we face all year," said Eastern Florida head coach Jamie Howell.


"The key for our preparation is recognizing we are playing the course and not to get caught up in who is competing alongside our team. Normandy Shores is a marvelous short course. The greens are some of the most demanding we encounter all year and the grass they use, paspalum, is something we rarely get to play on.


"Paspalum is a stiff coarse grass that causes the ball to react quite different than normal Bermuda grasses fairways and greens grassed with Tif-Eagle or Champion. We will have our hands full and at the same time we can compete in an arena such as this event and that will serve us that much better as we continue to prepare for our District Championship and National Championship."

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