Week 1 Preview
The fall 2017 season is finally here. Teams from the Ozark, South, and Twin Cities regions will all attempt to take their first step towards Vegas. We anticipate these will be three of the more competitive regions in the country as 4 of the top 12 teams in the preseason rankings will be teeing off (#1 Georgia, #3 Alabama, #5 OK State, and #12 Minnesota).
However, for the first time in NCCGA history, Zone based qualifying will be brought into play. This means that not only will teams be vying for National Championship & National Invitational Tournament bids against their own region but other regions in the country, too. The Ozark and the South Region both feed into Zone #4, so members of the Colonial, North Carolina, and Pacific should pay a little extra attention this weekend.
The Ozark Region tees it up this Saturday in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Oklahoma State enters the fall as the clear favorite in the region after winning both tournaments in the spring by a combined 49 strokes. The Pokes went on to finish in solo 4th place at Hot Springs CC, just 13 shots behind the champion. The University of Tulsa is only 1 semester removed from their regional championship. With a "home game" this weekend Tulsa has the best chance to knock off Oklahoma State. Arkansas, Arkansas Tech, East Central, and Pittsburg State round out the weekend’s field in Tulsa. The tournament will be hosted at Page Belcher Golf Course on both the Olde Page and Stone Creek Courses.
After spending the last few seasons in the Southeast Region, the South Region will [reluctantly] welcome the two-time defending National Champion Georgia. With 2 of the top 3 teams in the NCCGA facing off this weekend it will be exciting to see who comes out with the victory. Only 14 shots separated the two in Hot Springs, eventually taking 1st and 5th place. With expected temperatures in the mid 80s, this weekend's tournament in Glencoe, Alabama looks like it will have ideal conditions both days. Auburn, Georgia Tech, and Tennessee should all be competitive but we'd be surprised if Alabama or Georgia finished outside the top 2.
Twin Cities Region
The Twin Cities may lack the top end talent of the South Region but don't be surprised if they send 5 or 6 teams to Nationals. Minnesota (Twin Cities) comes in as the team to beat after an impressive finish during their first trip to Nationals this past spring, where both Bobby Frazzini and Eli Finkelstein finished in the top 25. Nebraska also qualified for Nationals in the spring, finishing in 26th. Last season, Minnesota claimed both tournament titles with Nebraska and Duluth each claiming a runner up. This weekend's tournament will take place in Central Iowa.
Student Leader Picks