With a solid team performance at the 2009 NCAA Division II Midwest/South Central Super Regional (May 4-6), the nationally-ranked Ferris State men's golf team has secured a NCAA Championship tournament berth as a result of producing a fourth-place tying regional finish.
The Bulldogs carded a 297 score in Wednesday's (May 6) final round and concluded the 54-hole regional with an 875-stroke total (+23) at Grand Valley State's par 71, 6,973-yard The Meadows Golf Course in Allendale, Mich.
Ferris State tied for fourth place with Indianapolis (875, +23) among the 20 participating schools as the top five-place teams secured national tourney berths. Wayne State won the super regional by firing an 859 score (+7). Northeastern State captured runner-up honors with a 865-stroke total (+13) to qualify as did Central Missouri State, which registered a third-place 871 score (+19).
Ferris State came into the super regional ranked 25th nationally in the most recent (April 22) Golf World/Nike Golf Division II Coaches' Poll.
Junior Eric Lilleboe (Okemos/Lansing Catholic Central) paced the Ferris State attack with a one-over par 213 (72-69-72=213, +1), which tied him for fourth-place honors.
Junior Pat Steffes (Fond du Lac, Wis./St. Mary's Spring) gained a share of 28th place by shooting a 221 score (75-71-75=221, +8). Senior Kelbi Lee (Billings, Mont.) registered a 222 (72-72-78=222, +9) and was one of seven golfers to tie for 38th place.
Senior Brian Janty (Madison, Wis./West) concluded tourney play by tallying a 227 (73-74-80=227, +14), which earned him a tie for 66th place. Junior Kurt Valley (Bay City/Western) netted a 70th-place tie following a 228 score (81-75-72=228, +15) to round out the Bulldogs' scoring.
The top-five regional placing for Ferris State was bittersweet as the Bulldogs just missed the cut last season. FSU needed to place among the top two teams in the Central/Great Lakes Super Regional to qualify for nationals but wound up in third place.
Ferris State's upcoming 13th ever appearance at the national championship tourney will be its first since the 2006-07 season when the Bulldogs placed 17th at the 2007 nationals (May 22-25) in Allendale, Mich.
The 2009 NCAA-II National Championships will be held May 19-22 at the Loomis Trail Golf Club in Blaine, Wash.