ALPHARETTA, Ga. –The Florida State men’s golf team tees off Tuesday to begin the NCAA Championships in Alpharetta, Ga., at the Capital City Club, Crabapple Course. As the No. 13 seed, the Seminoles tee off beginning at 2:00 p.m. from the 10th tee with North Florida and Illinois.
“What we’re going to need to do this week is to have more than one guy hot,” said head coach Trey Jones. “We can’t go in there and have only one guy playing well. They are all going to have to play well for us to do what we want to do. Two out of the three last years, we’ve been one of the few teams to be in the top eight and we want to do that again.”
The Seminoles advanced to the final site by placing third at the NCAA Tallahassee Regional two weeks ago. 30 teams play 54 holes of the 70 par, 7319 yard course from Tuesday through Thursday. At that point, the top eight teams begin match-play on Friday with the National Champion crowned on Sunday, June 2.
“Each individual person had things that we wanted to improve on from the regional,” continued Jones. “Having played in the Preview on this golf course in the fall, we’ve also been working on course specific stuff to help prepare us. We’re in a good spot and where we want to be.”
“We’re going to hit some drivers,” finished Jones. “Which my team loves to do, we’re pretty good when we get to hit drivers. We need to keep it in the fairway and away from the rough.”
In the Seminoles line-up this week is senior Chase Seiffert, sophomore Daniel Berger, freshmen Hank Lebioda and Rowin Caron and senior Doug Letson. Seiffert, Berger and Lebioda were named to the All-ACC team last week with Lebioda earning the ACC Freshman of the Year honor.
This spring Seiffert finished tied for second in three tournaments, the NCAA Tallahassee Regional, ACC Championship and Seminole Intercollegiate. He is finishing the season hot placing no worse than 10th place the past five tournaments.
Berger won two tournaments this spring (Gator Invitational and Seminole Intercollegiate) and led the ACC in stroke average (70.00). In September when the team played in the PING-Golfweek Preview here at the Crabapple Course, Berger led the team by finishing tied for 16th.
“We feel pretty calm and we feel good about our games right now,” said Berger. “We’re just trying to go out there and play as best as we can. If we do that we’ll be in the top eight and have a chance for the National Championship.”
Lebioda leads all ACC freshmen, and ranks ninth overall, in stroke average (71.84). This spring season he has finished no worse than 19th in six tournament competitions including a fifth place showing at the USF Invitational.
Caron tied for first at the Gary Koch Invitational at the beginning of April. Letson, who missed last year’s NCAA Championship due to a freak injury, looks to close off his career in top form. His best finish this year was tied for third at the Gator Invitational.