The Oglethorpe men's golf team qualified for its 18th overall appearance at the NCAA Division III Men's Golf Championship Monday afternoon, earning an at-large bid to the event, which will be held at the Mission Inn Resort and Club in Howey-in-the-Hills, Florida, May 16 through 19. The Stormy Petrels' selection on Monday also marks their 17th consecutive appearance at the event.
The Petrels had an outstanding March, finishing third at the Callaway Gardens Collegiate Invitational and the Camp Lejeune Intercollegiate Golf Championship, and coming in tied for second at their own Jekyll Island Collegiate Invitational. Thosethree results, combined with a second-place finish at the Gordin Collegiate Classic in September and a third-place finish at their own Royal Lakes-Oglethorpe Fall Invitational in October, helped them earn one of seven general at-large slots in the tournament.
Oglethorpe will be joined at the event by one other SAA team, as Rhodes earned an automatic spot in the national tournament by winning the SAA Championship in late April. The Petrels finished third at the 54-hole event, which was held in Maumelle, Arkansas.
The Petrels will also be joined by two other teams from Georgia, as LaGrange earned a general at-large berth and Emory grabbed one of two available Pool B bids, reserved for independents and teams whose conference does not possess an automatic bid.
"Seventeen consecutive appearances by our guys, and 18 overall, is quite an accomplishment," said Oglethorpe head coach Jim Owen. "A lot of people thought we were too young this year to keep the streak alive, but we found a way! We had a great stretch in March and that swung our year."
Oglethorpe will co-host the tournament in conjunction with the Central Florida Sports Commission. They previously hosted the event at Mission Inn in 2005 and 2012.
They won the 2012 tournament for their second of two national championships. They won their first in 2009 in Port St. Lucie.
"I'm looking forward to partnering with the Central Florida Sports Commission and our hosts at the Mission Inn Resort and Club," Owen continued. "Each team we've partnered with those two organizations has been better than the last, and we'll look to continue raising the bar this year."