Men's Golf Set to Tee-Off at NCAA East Regional
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa., May 17, 2005 - The Penn State men's golf team will tee-off at the NCAA East Regional on Thursday, May 19, for first round action at The Golf Club of Tennessee in Nashville, Tenn. The Nittany Lions are the No. 20 seed in the 27-team field and are joined by Big Ten rival Indiana.
The appearance is the 16th straight for the Nittany Lions who are the top team out of the Mid-Atlantic region. The top ten teams and top two individuals will move on to the NCAA Championships held at Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, Md., from June 1-4.
Penn State posted another solid season with top five finishes in five tournaments. In the fall, the Lions started their season on a high note grabbing second place at the Northern Intercollegiate. One month later, senior Ted Neville (Oklahoma City, Okla.) led the Nittany Lions to a third place finish at the Penn/Big 5 Classic held in Philadelphia, Pa.
Penn State opened the spring season with a fourth place victory at the Irish Spring Invitational and one month later in April, the Nittany Lions finished in third place at the First Energy Intercollegiate topping Kansas State and Eastern Michigan.
The team set a Rutherford Intercollegiate 54-hole record, shooting a 277 in the final round to win the tournament, which sealed an East Regional appearance. Freshman Robert Rohanna (Waynesburg, Pa.) took second place individually, which earned him Big Ten Men's Golf Player of the Week honors for the first time in his career.
Senior Mark Leon (Brampton, Ontario) followed Rohanna's lead one week later at the Big Ten Championships posting a final score 210 (-6) to take fifth place. The performance not only earned Leon Big Ten Men's Golf Player of the Week honors but also landed him a spot on the 2005 All-Big Ten Men's Golf First Team.
Last season Penn State shocked the golf world finishing in second place in the 27-team East Regional field to advance to the NCAA Championships for the first time since 1996. The Lions surprised a stacked field of national powers with a 15th place finish. In the process, Penn State placed ahead of the nation's top teams, No. 2 and defending national champion Clemson and No. 4 Arizona State.