May 25, 2009
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STANFORD, Calif. - The fifth-ranked Stanford men's golf team begins play in its fourth national championship appearance in five years on Tuesday, May 26 at the Inverness Golf Club in Toledo, Ohio.
This will be the second time Toledo has served as the tournament host with the previous occurrence coming 65 years ago in 1944. A par-71, 7,255-yard course, the Inverness Club was founded in 1903 and has hosted four U.S. Opens, one U.S. Amateur, one U.S. Senior Open and two PGA Championships.
Seniors Dodge Kemmer and Daniel Lim, sophomores Steve Ziegler and Sihwan Kim, and freshman David Chung will be suiting up for the Cardinal. The Knowles Family Director of Men's Golf, Conrad Ray, is hoping experience will lead his men to another top-notch performance after winning in 2007 and earning a runner-up finish just one stroke behind the champions in 2008, as each golfer except for rookie Chung will be participating in their second NCAA Championship.
Kim earned the best Stanford finish at the 2008 NCAA Championships, tying for fourth, while Kemmer tied for 23rd and Ziegler tied for 52nd. Statistically, Ziegler, who is ranked No. 15 in the Golfweek polls, has been the Cardinal's best golfer this season averaging 72.58 strokes in 33 rounds. Chung, Kemmer, and Kim are all averaging around 73 strokes.
Stanford has won eight previous NCAA team crowns (1938, '39, '41, '42, '46, '53, '94, and most recently in 2007), while current Cardinal coach Ray has one championship to his name as a coach and has helped his squad qualify for the NCAA Championship, the most prestigious of all collegiate golf tournaments, four of the five years he has been at the helm of the program.
Pushing to be the best in the the field of 30 competing for the title will be no easy task for Stanford. The Cardinal will see many familiar foes, including six other Pac-10 schools (UCLA, USC, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Arizona State), six SEC institutions (Florida, Georgia, Arkansas, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina), five Big-10 schools (Illinois, Ohio State, Northwestern, Michigan, Iowa), four ACC schools (Georgia Tech, Dukes, Virginia, Wake Forest), along with Texas Tech, Texas, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, Central Florida, Chattanooga, San Diego, and TCU.
No. 7 Clemson was the only Golfweek top-10 squad to not qualify for the tournament and nine of the top-30 teams are also not up for the championship.
The 2009 NCAA Championships will feature a new twist with the team champion determined via match play, the first time the winner hasn't been awarded by total strokes since 1965. The top eight teams after 54 holes of stroke play will advance to match play with the quarterfinals and semifinals being held on Friday, May 29 and the championship match set for Saturday, May 30.
During the match-play portion of the championships, each match will be worth one point with all five players participating. The first team to win three points within the team match will advance or, in the case of the championship match, be declared the national champion.
Stanford begins on Tuesday with at 1:47 p.m. and will play with South Carolina and USC from the 10th tee. The Cardinal will start the second round early with the same pairing, but from the first tee beginning at 8:35 a.m. Tickets are available for spectators at the golf course and for fans not in attendance, all the action can be followed live on golfstat.com. For more general information on the 2009 NCAA Championships, please visit http://www.utoledo.edu/golf/.