In beautiful Bradenton, Florida, the home of the University of South Florida, a new NCAA Division I men’s golf champion will be crowned. On May 29-June 3 at The Concession Golf Club, the top five teams from each region and the top individual players not on those teams will compete for the right to call themselves champions.
The event is a stroke play/match play competition. The teams will battle in a match play playoff format to crown a champion. Single players compete for the lowest score to earn the individual championship. We’ve seen several players springboard to legendary careers after winning the individual championship.
Tiger Woods won in 1996 with the Stanford Cardinal. Phil Mickelson won three times from 1989-1992 with the Arizona State Sun Devils and Ben Crenshaw won from 1971-1973. He shared the crown with Tom Kite in 1972.
Here’s a look at the entire team and individual field for 2015.
The Sagamore Club -- Noblesville, Indiana
Hosted by Ball State University
- University of Illinois, Champaign
- Southern Methodist University
- University of Nevada, Las Vegas
- University of California, Los Angeles
- University of Oregon
- David Oraee, University of Colorado, Boulder
University of North Carolina Finley Golf Course -- Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Hosted by University of North Carolina
- University of North Carolina, Charlotte
- Stanford University
- Florida State University
- University of Florida
- Clemson University
- J.T. Poston, Western Carolina University
The Farms Golf Club -- Rancho Santa Fe, California
Hosted by University of San Diego
- University of Oklahoma
- Arizona State University
- Georgia Institute of Technology
- University of Georgia
- University of Virginia
- Gudmundur Kristjansson, East Tennessee State University
The Rawls Course -- Lubbock, Texas
Hosted by the Texas Tech University
- University of Texas at Austin
- Texas Tech University
- Duke University
- Auburn University
- University of Houston
- Robin Sciot-Siegrist, University of Louisville
Gold Mountain Golf Club -- Bremerton, Washington
Hosted by University of Washington
- University of Alabama at Birmingham
- University of South Carolina, Columbia
- University of Southern California
- Texas Christian University
- University of Washington
- Kyle Mueller, University of Michigan
The Course at Yale -- New Haven, Connecticut
Hosted by Yale University
- University of South Florida
- San Diego State University
- Oklahoma State University
- Vanderbilt University
- Louisiana State University
- Tolver Dozier, Troy University
Two-time defending champion Alabama Crimson Tide didn’t make the field this year, but the runner-up from 2015 is in as one of the teams to watch.
The Oklahoma State Cowboys were dominated by the Crimson Tide 4-1 in the team championship at Prairie Dunes CC in Hutchinson, Kansas in 2014. Needless to say, the team would love to rebound with a stronger showing this year.
The Cowboys have built a tradition in the sport that is pretty impressive. The consistency boasted in this tweet from the program’s official Twitter account is rare in any sport on the collegiate or pro level.
Led by Brendon Jelley, the Cowboys have high hopes to capture their first national championship since 2006 when it knocked off the Florida Gators. Despite the team’s success in 2014, the Cowboys aren’t the team most would consider the ones to beat in Bradenton.
After winning the Lubbock, Texas regional, which was its sixth tournament win of the year, the Texas Longhorns could be seen as the top team. The Florida State Seminoles are ranked No. 1 on the latest NCAA.com poll, and they do have three All-ACC performers Rowin Caron, Hank Lebioda and Jack Maguire—not to mention coach-of-the-year Trey Jones.
However, the Noles finished third in their regional, which doesn’t give them the momentum that the Longhorns have.
According to the tweet from the program’s official Twitter account, another win would put the Longhorns in line with the 2011-12 team that won it all.
It would be an epic final if we saw the Longhorns and Seminoles battle in the match play final. Although, a rather unexpected run by the Cowboys or one of the other lower-rated teams would also add intrigue.
Time, drives and putts will tell when the 2015 NCAA Golf Championships gets underway on Friday.
Historic statistics per NCAA.org unless otherwise noted.