Friday, May 9 2014, 02:22 PM EDT
Mocs Make NCAA Tournament By A Thread
The Mocs men's golf team breathes a sigh of relief, and delight.
They've been on pins and needles for the last couple of weeks -- wondering if they would make it into the NCAA Men's Regionals.
This morning, they got the news they wanted.
This afternoon, freshman Ewan Scott and junior Liam Johnston got in a round at Council Fire. After playing, Johnston hammered his brand new two iron from the driving range.
The Scot will get the chance to try it out in Eugene, Oregon next week. The Mocs found out this morning via Golf Channel they made the NCAA Regionals -- by the absolute thinnest of margins.
Johnston spoke of his reaction, "Definitely was a relief when we found out that we got the nod and we were the last team in."
That's right, the last squad in to the 81 team field.
Coach Mark Guhne monitored the developments from his office, "I heard 'em all yell down the hall when our name flashed up, so I knew everybody was watching."
Athletic staff watched NCAA Selection Monday, actual Moc golfers, not so much. Scott revealed how he found out. "We didn't watch it. We just kind of found out through Twitter and text and stuff like that. There was a few, a few yelps when we found out in the gym, which was nice."
And so is the reputation the Mocs have built.
They've now made the NCAA tourney eight years in a row.
This year, they were an at-large bid.
Coach Guhne said blending American and overseas talent makes for a winning culture. "I like where we're at, I like who we're playing against. I think if we go out and do what we're supposed to do, then we have a legitimate shot to get through."
Scott is one of two freshmen making the trip. But he's had big time experience, playing in the British Amateur.He expects nerves next week on the first tee, but a good nervousness.
The NCAA field is divided into six regions, and the five low teams from each region advance. Scott noted, "If we shoot five scores that we're capable of shooting that we can compete with the guys, the teams that are going out there."
Scott and Johnston are both from Scotland, roommates, and thinking on the same lines. Both acknowledged putting a shaky fall season behind them and building off an improved spring. Johnston said, "I can tell the team's jelling a lot better now. We're kind of coming more together."
On Monday, the Mocs fly out to Oregon. They've played several of the teams in their region, and played them well.
by John Madewell
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