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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.—The Alabama State men’s golf team has arrived in Fayetteville, Ark., for the NCAA Fayetteville Regional which runs Thursday-Saturday, May 16-18 at Blessings Golf Course, which is the home course for the host Arkansas Razorbacks.

Overall, six 54-hole regional tournaments will be conducted this weekend. There will be 13 teams and 10 individuals not on those teams competing at each of three regionals, while the other three regionals will have 14 teams and five individuals not on those teams. The low five teams and the low individual not on those teams from each regional will advance to the finals.

The finals will be conducted May 28-June 2, at The Capital City Club, Crabapple Course in Atlanta, Georgia. Georgia Tech is the host institution for this year’s championships.

NCAA Men's GolfAlabama State is playing in a region that consists of 14 teams, eight of which are ranked among the top 45 teams in the nation.  The University of Texas is ranked fifth in the nation and will be the region’s top seed.  Host Arkansas is ranked 13th and will be the second seeded team.
 
The other ranked teams are Oklahoma State (16th), Southern Methodist (21st), Kent State (28th), Illinois (32nd), Liberty (40th) and Tulsa (45th).
 
Joining ASU in filling out the 14-team field are Kentucky, Colorado, Indiana, North Carolina-Wilmington and Missouri-Kansas City.
 
ASU played through their practice round Wednesday to become familiar with the course and were met with a day that had them face different types of weather.  The day began in the 60’s and sunny, but by midday had become warm, humid and overcast.  As the practice round finished a hard rain moved into the area.  The team stopped for a quick bite and headed back out into wet conditions to get some more practice time in on the tough course.
 
“”It takes preparation and they have the right attitude for winning,” Head Coach Gary Grandison said.  We just have to continue that work ethic and to keep getting stronger.  On this course it is going to be a matter of getting the tee shot into a place.  The greens are kind of like our practice course except they are a lot faster than our practice course at Robert Trent Jones.  But it is something we are prepared for and their work ethic has prepared them for this.”
 
The Hornets enter the regional coming off a third-place finish in the PGA Minority Championship where they shot a three-day total of 864 (301-293-301).  Robert Grant topped a standout event winning the individual championship with an eagle on the 18th hole to force a playoff and then a birdie on the first playoff hole for the win.
 
It has been a highly successful season for the Hornets even though four of the top five players are freshmen with a sophomore rounding out the top five.  Two juniors, two sophomores and a freshman round out the rest of the 2012-13 team.
 
The youthful Hornets have won six of their 12 events over the course of the season and have one second place finish and two third place finishes among the 12 events.
 
“We have performed well in terms of wins and in terms of scoring so it is exciting going into this tournament,” Grandison said.  “This course is brutal on certain holes and there are certain holes the PGA Tour would not condone, but it is a fair course and the way the guys are hitting the ball we have a chance to do something special.”
 
Francis Berthiaume leads the Hornets with a 72.52 scoring average, followed by Branson Ferrier’s scoring average of 73.96.  Jose Rodriguez is next at 75.43 with Chris Wilson’s 75.89 and Ian Mmbando’s 76.70 finishing up the top five ASU scoring averages.
 
ASU will begin the region today with a 9:20 a.m. (CT) tee off time from the first tee.

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