Tom Whitney Heads to Oklahoma For NCAA Regional
May 12, 2009
USAFA, Colo. - Air Force golfer Tom Whitney will compete at the 2009 NCAA Men's Golf Regional Championship in Stillwater, Okla., this week, May 14-16. The regional is being held at the par-72, 7,407-yard Karsten Creek Golf Course, site of the 2011 NCAA Men's Golf Championship. Whitney will tee off from hole 1 at 10:30 a.m. (CT) on Thursday morning for the first round of action. Live stats for all rounds will be available at golfstat.com.
This year's regionals are being held at six separate sites around the country. Three of the regional sites, including Karsten Creek, will feature 13 team and 10 individuals not on a qualifying team. Meanwhile, the three remaining sites will host 14 teams and five individuals not on a qualifying team. Whitney, a junior from La Quinta, Calif., is the third-seeded individual at Karsten Creek.
At the conclusion of each regional competition, the top five teams and top individual not on an advancing team will move on to the championship finals, being held May 26-30 at the Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio.
The 13-team field at the Karsten Creek regional is led by second-ranked host Oklahoma State, champion of the Big 12. Thirteenth-ranked Arkansas claimed the second seed, while Mountain West champion TCU (ranked 15th in the nation) earned the third seed in the bracket. Other teams slated to compete at Karsten Creek include LSU, Chattanooga, Pepperdine, Michigan State, Baylor, Northwestern, Tulsa, Denver, Wichita State and Oral Roberts.
Meanwhile, South Dakota State's Trent Peterson earned the top individual seed in the regional, followed by Peter Malnati of Missouri and Whitney. Rounding out the group of individual competitors at Karsten Creek are Kelly Kraft (SMU), Eric Onesi (Old Dominion), Chris Ross (Eastern Michigan), Roger Sloan (UTEP), Nate Page (Southern Utah), Devin Carry (Louisiana-Lafayette) and James Kwon (SMU).
Whitney's selection to the NCAA Regional caps off an outstanding season for the Falcons, as he has led the team in all 12 tournaments this year, including the MWC Championships. An all-conference selection for the first time in his career, Whitney has recorded a 71.6 stroke average for the season, setting a school record in that category. His trip to the NCAA Regional this season is the first for an Air Force golfer since Tyler Goulding in 2005.
Among Whitney's top performances of the year were a pair of individual victories in March, winning the Argonaut Invitational and Desert Shootout in back-to-back tournaments. Whitney set a slew of school records in his win at the Desert Shootout, posting the lowest scores after 18 holes (64), 36 holes (133) and 54 holes (200). For his performance, Whitney was named the MWC Golfer of the Month, becoming the first Falcon to earn the honor since Goulding in November 2004.