Top Division II men's squads headed to Hershey
Ten of the top 12 ranked men’s teams in Division II have advanced to the national championship.
The top five teams – Nova Southeastern, Barry, South Carolina-Aiken, Florida Southern and Lynn – all advanced out of the South/Southeast Super Regional.
Nova Southeastern, the defending champion, won the regional by 16 shots behind regional medalist Ben Taylor. Taylor, last year’s Division II Player of the Year, finished at 6-under 210, one shot ahead of teammate Ricardo Celia. Two other Shark golfers finished in the top 8.
The finals are May 20-24 at Hershey (Pa.) Country Club’s East Course. This will be the third year with a match-play portion to decide the team winner after a 54-hole stroke-play portion.
Joining Nova Southeastern as regional champions are: Indiana-Pa. (Atlantic/East), Central Missouri (Central/Midwest) and Cal State-Monterey Bay (South Central/West).
The 16 other teams to advance to finals are: Barry, Columbus State, Florida Southern, Lynn, West Florida, South Carolina-Aiken, Wilmington (Del.), California (Pa.), Central Oklahoma, Missouri-St. Louis, Bellarmine, Southwestern Oklahoma State, Grand Canyon, Western Washington, Colorado-Colorado Springs and Cal State-Stanislaus.
Eight individual qualifiers – the top two players out of each region who were not on an advancing team – are: Robert Coyne (Millersville), Sebastian Bendsen (Davis & Elkins), Chris Cunningham (Grand Valley State), Nick Reardon (Ohio Dominican), Nate Gahman (Georgia Southwestern State), Adam Hedges (Belmont Abbey), Eric Ash (Sonoma State) and Dalen Yamauchi (Hawaii Hilo).
Eight of the past nine national champions are back in the finals (Nova Southeastern, 2012; Cal State-Monterey Bay, 2011; Florida Southern, 2010; West Florida, 2008; Barry, 2007 and South Carolina-Aiken, 2004-06). Only Sonoma State (2009) did not make it to Hershey.
Six Division II schools advanced their men’s and women’s teams to the finals (California-Pa., Central Oklahoma, Nova Southeastern, Barry, Lynn and Grand Canyon).