Park Set For NCAA Ann Arbor Regional

William Park

William Park

May 15, 2012

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Link to NCAA Ann Arbor Regional Page

WEST POINT, N.Y. --
It took some juggling of his Term Ending Exam schedule but Army golfer William Park is off to Michigan and the NCAA Ann Arbor Regional.

Park won the Patriot League Golf Championship and earned an individual berth to the NCAA Regionals. He will begin his 54 holes of play Thursday at U-M Golf Course, a par-71, 6,723-yard layout designed by Alister MacKenzie.

The NCAA Ann Arbor Regional will host 10 individuals and 13 teams. The low five teams and the low individual not on an advancing team will move on to the NCAA Finals at Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles, Calif. The NCAA Finals are comprised of the low 30 teams and six individuals not on qualifying teams from six regional sites.

The 13-team regional includes USC, Oregon, Kent State, Virginia, Baylor, Oklahoma State, Kennesaw State, TCU, Purdue, N.C. State, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Navy.

Park began taking his final exams last weekend and made the trek to Michigan on Tuesday. He played a practice round on Wednesday and begins competition Thursday at 9:50. Individuals and teams will be re-paired following each round.

"I want to make smart choices and not have any regrets," said Park. "I can't get frustrated. When I smile I usually play pretty well so I am going to try and smile and enjoy the moment and enjoy playing with some of the best golfers in the country."

This will mark Park's second trip to the NCAA Regionals. He was part of the Army squad last year that won the Patriot League Tournament and was assigned to the NCAA Tucson Regional. Park posted Army's low score, 73-70-73--216, for a plus-three total at the par-71 Omni Tucson National.

"I'm definitely excited," said Park. "I have some experience to call on from last year so I think that will help. I know what to expect. I know it's a different level of players and I know what it's like to play on those kind of courses under those kinds of conditions. "

Second-year Army head golf coach Brian Watts has some experience at the U-M Course. As the head coach at Oregon State, Watts helped Mitch Gillis win the Wolverine Open in 2006 with a six-under-par championship score. Gillis is playing in his first Nationwide event this week.

"The course fits Will well," said Watts. "There is a premium on driving and that is one of Will's strength. Winning the Patriot League Championships has given him a lot of confidence."

HOW HE GOT THERE: Park earned his trip to the NCAA Regionals by winning the Patriot League Championship, his first career victory.

Park blistered Bucknell Golf Course with a pair of one-under-par rounds of 69. His tournament total of 211 was one-over-par and six shots in front of his nearest competition. He was named Most Outstanding Golfer and first team All-Patriot League.

LAST TIME AT NCAAs: As a team, Army has participated in the NCAAs 24 times and in the current regional format on 11 occasions. While the Black Knights competed as a team last year, the last time an individual competed was in 1984 when Dave Goodling posted a score of 76-74-76--226 at Bear Creek in Houston, Texas.

POST AND A BRANCH: William Park has branched Air Defense Artillery and will be stationed in Korea beginning in January 2012. After taking leave following commencement exercises over Memorial Day weekend, Park will take part in his Basic Officer Leadership Course before posting in Korea.

OTHER SITES: In addition to the Ann Arbor Regional at U-M Golf Course, five other sites are hosting Regionals.  Georgia Golf Course will welcome 13 teams and 10 individuals to Athens, Ga. The Grandover Resort features 14 teams and five individuals in Greensboro, N.C.; the Club at Olde Stone in Bowling Green, Ky., has 14 teams and five individuals; Austin OU Golf Club in Norman, Okla., will host 14 teams and five individuals and Stanford Golf Course boasts 13 teams and 10 individuals in California.

PARK BY THE NUMBERS: William Park has played in 11 events in his senior season and is second on the team with a 76.8 scoring average. He has finished in the top-10 on three occasions.

He has shot a 69 twice this season and owns three rounds under par.

In addition to winning the Patriot League Tournament, Park tied for fourth in a dual match against Florida Atlantic and tied for seventh in the Service Academy Classic. His best 54-hole score of the season was at the Patriot League Championships, a one-over-par 211.

For his career, Park has played in 36 events with a scoring average of 77.0 through 88 rounds. Four times in his career he has shot a 69 and he has 10 top 10 finishes.

WHAT'S NEXT: The lowest scoring five teams and the low individual not part of an advancing team from each of six regionals will all participate in the NCAA Championships at Rivera Country Club in Los Angeles. The 30-team, six-individual field will begin competition May 29.

ABOUT THE COURSE: The U-M Golf Course is located on Michigan's campus and was designed in the late 1920s by Alister MacKenzie. The challenging fairways and greens are surrounded by trees and plush rough and hills that offer a stunning view of the University's main campus.

The U-M Golf Course has been the home to numerous championships including the NCAA Regional Championship, three Western Junior Championships, three Michigan Opens and one USGA Junior Championship.

The U-M Golf Course officially opened for play in 1931 and is one of six golf courses in the United States designed by MacKenzie, the architect of Augusta National.

A multi-million dollar renovation was completed in the spring of 1994 by Arthur Hulls, a Michigan graduate. It included the return of original bunkers, improved tree planting and placement, construction of tee areas and an improved irrigation system. A new practice range was added to assist Michigan's golf squads as well as a number of practice greens and sand traps. The popularity of golf carts necessitated large stretches of cart paths that partition landscaped medians around the course.

The course is expected to play to 3,396 yards on the front to a par of 36. Two par-5s are included in the first four holes, the longest the 554-yard third. Four par-4s and a pair of par-3s are also included on the front.

The back nine begins with a par-4, then a 532-yard par-5. The course closes with four consecutive par-4 holes and plays to a 35 on the back at 3,326 yards.

FOLLOW IT LIVE: Live scoring will be offered at www.golfstat.com.

OTHER INDIVIDUALS: Park is joined by nine other individuals competing at the NCAA Ann Arbor Regional. the individuals in the Ann Arbor Regional include Peter Williamson, Dartmouth; Matt Thompson, Michigan; Sebastian MaClean, Xavier; Erik Van Rooyen, Minnesota; Dan Ellis, Michigan State; Tyler Merkel, Ball State; Charlie Bill, Akron; Chad Ebert, Green Bay and Greg Matthias, Delaware will all be looking to advance.

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