Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

MR. GOLF: Hosting Regionals a Win for Alabama Golf Teams

Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

MR. GOLF: Hosting Regionals a Win for Alabama Golf Teams

Article excerpt

May 2016 will be a very busy time for the University of Alabama and its golf teams.

It was recently announced the women's team will host an NCAA regional at storied Shoal Creek, May 5-7, 2016, with the men's team then hosting a regional May 16-18, 2016 at their home course, Ol' Colony Golf Complex.

Both will mark the first time either program has hosted a regional.

Both teams have been fixtures in regionals and nationals, with the men's team the two-time defending national champions, and the women's team winning it all in 2012.

"We are very, very excited to host a regional," head men's golf coach Jay Seawell said.

"The regionals are set now through 2018, so the chance doesn't come along too often. When our athletic department put in a bid, they bid for 2016, '17 and '18, with an emphasis on 2016."

Ol' Colony was completely renovated in 2013, reopening in September of that year, with course designer and UA legend Jerry Pate in charge of the renovation, that saw all the greens and bunkers redone, hundreds and hundreds of trees removed, and new tees added, taking the overall yardage to a very healthy 7,544 yards from all the way back.

These new tees were built to attract just such an event as what will be called the Tuscaloosa Regional, which will be made up of 70 players, with either 13 teams and five individuals involved or 14 teams.

The top five teams from each of six regionals will make up the field for the national championship, which will be played at Eugene Country Club in Eugene, Ore., May 27-June 1, 2016.

Seawell said Ol' Colony and PARA were great partners in the venture and expects limited changes needed to the course to make it championship-ready.

Seawell praised "Red" Leonard in UA's athletic department for spearheading the successful bid.

Seawell also noted he fully expected his team, as the host team, to be in the field, however, "there is no rule saying this, but we are pretty much guaranteed to be there. They (the NCAA) want the hosts there."

"I'm in my 13th year as head coach here and I've wanted to host a regional from the get-go. This has been a dream of mine.

"I'd like to think we can get on a rotation and host one every five or six years. …

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