May 6, 2013
Cullowhee, N.C. -
Western Carolina sophomore men's golfer J.T. Poston earned an at-large bid tonight into the Tallahassee, Fla., regional of the 2013 NCAA Men's Golf Championship to be held May 16-18 at the Golden Eagle Country Club. The announcement came just after 9:00 pm through a live video stream from the NCAA's official website, NCAA.com.
Poston joins nine other individuals and 13 teams in Tallahassee. He will be flanked in the regional by Southern Conference-foe, Richard Fountain of Davidson who also earned an at-large bid.
Overall, the SoCon put two teams - league champion, Chattanooga, and at-large Georgia Southern - into the field, both in the Columbus, Ohio, region. College of Charleston individuals Alex Ellis and Josh Lorenzetti also made the field, placed in the Baton Rouge, La., regional.
Poston becomes just the second WCU men's golfer all-time to earn an at-large bid into the NCAA post-season field. He joins former four-time all-conference selection Matt Cook who earned individual at-large bids into the field in both 2006 and 2007.
Cook and the 2008 Catamount squad garnered an at-large berth as a team to the East Regional at the Council Fire Golf Club in Chattanooga, Tenn.
"They made us sweat it out until the very end, but it was all worth it," said WCU head coach Carter Cheves. "J.T. is very deserving of this opportunity. He had a great year. Any time you put a player into post-season, it shows you're going in the right direction as a program."
With his teammates as well as his father, members of the women's golf team and representatives from the WCU Athletic Department all looking on, Poston and Cheves both anxiously anticipated the announcement which finally came with the unveiling of the last grouping of individuals in the final region.
"The first thing that went through my head when I saw my name flash up on the screen was `finally!'" said Poston after the selection show event held in the Ramsey Center. "It was exciting to have everyone here to share this experience. There was a lot of anticipation; coming down to the very last site was pretty nerve racking. But it was pretty awesome to see my name come up."
Poston finished the 2012-13 regular season ranked second in the SoCon in scoring average per round at 72.19 - the third-best, single-season stroke average in school history behind Cook's 2006-07 (71.81) and 2007-08 (72.00) scoring marks.
A product of Hickory, N.C., Poston recorded seven, top 10 individual finishes including a career-best showing in three-consecutive weeks in the fall portion of the season. A second-place tie at the Wolfpack Intercollegiate in late October marked his career-best finish, shooting rounds of 74, 68 and 72 to culminate the three-straight weeks of career finishes.
He closed the regular season by placing in a tie for 10th at the SoCon Championship for a second-consecutive season. A year after garnering all-freshman honors, Poston was named to the 2013 All-SoCon team for his play during the season and post-season tournament.
Overall, Poston native finished the regular season ranked 142 out of the 250 men's golfers ranked by GolfStat - the third-highest ranked golfer in the SoCon. Collectively as a team, the Catamounts finished ranked 134th in the NCAA head-to-head rankings as compiled by GolfStat.
All told, six 54-hole regional tournaments will be conducted May 16-18. A total of 81 teams and 45 individuals will compete for the right to advance to the national championship. The low five teams and the low individual not on those teams from each regional will advance to the finals which will be conducted May 28-June 2, at The Capital City Club, Crabapple Course in Atlanta, Ga., hosted by Georgia Tech.