By Alan Grosbach, Manager of Communications and Sports Information
KANSAS CITY Mo. – (First Round | Second Round) The National Association of Intercollegiate (NAIA) has officially released the first and second round pairings for the 2014 NAIA Men’s Golf National Championships. The 63rd annual event will take place at LPGA International in Daytona Beach, Fla., May 13 – 16.
First round play will tee off on May 13 at 7:30 a.m. EDT with Wayland Baptist (Texas), Webber International (Fla.) and Indiana Wesleyan starting on hole No. 1. Opening the day on No. 10 at 7:50 a.m. will be Tyler Falk of Northwest Christian (Ore.), Matthew Latham of St. Andrews (N.C.) and Jorge Benitez of Davenport (Mich.). Two-time defending national champion Oklahoma City is also slated for a morning tee time, hitting the course starting on No. 1 at 9:10 a.m.
Day one’s afternoon session starts at 12 p.m., as Cal State San Marcos, Thomas (Ga.) and Embry-Riddle (Ariz.) tee off on hole No. 1. Faulkner (Ala.), Bethany (Kan.) and Midland (Neb.) open afternoon action on the back-nine at 12:30 p.m.
The start times rotate on day two with Faulkner, Bethany and Midland on No. 1 at 7:50 a.m., while Cal State San Marcos, Thomas and Embry-Riddle (Ariz.) are on No. 10 at 7:30 a.m. Wayland Baptist, Webber International and Indiana Wesleyan begin round two afternoon action at No. 10 at 12 p.m. Falk, Latham and Benitez will lead the afternoon competitors off No. 1 30 minutes later.
The 156-player field consists of 22 automatic qualifying teams, which won or finished runner-up in their respective conference, independent or unaffiliated group tournament, six at-large berths, Embry-Riddle (Fla.) (host berth) and 11 individual qualifiers. At-large teams were determined using the final regular-season Coaches’ Top 25 Poll released yesterday.
Two-time defending national champion Oklahoma City highlights a field that includes seven teams that finished in the top 10 at last year’s championships. The Stars, who never trailed during last year’s event en route to an unprecedented 28-stroke victory, were the first team to repeat as national champions since winning back-to-back crowns in 2006 and 2007. In total, Oklahoma City, which earned an at-large berth into this year’s championships field, owns an NAIA-best nine men’s golf championships.
The other returning top 10 teams are: Bellevue (Neb.), Cal State San Marcos, Faulkner (Ala.), Grand View (Iowa), Johnson & Wales (Fla.) and Texas Wesleyan.
For additional information on the 2014 NAIA Men’s Golf National Championships, click here.