Men's Golf Takes Third At NCAA Regional And Advances To Nationals

Senior Eric Lilleboe helped the Bulldogs earn third place at regionals and a return national tournament appearance.
Senior Eric Lilleboe helped the Bulldogs earn third place at regionals and a return national tournament appearance.

The Ferris State University men's golf is going back to nationals for the second consecutive year as the Bulldogs captured third-place honors by recording a three-round 908 team stroke total (+44) at the 2010 NCAA Division II Midwest/South Central Regional (May 3-5) in Duncan, Okla.

After carding 287 and 320 scores in the first two rounds (May 3-4) at The Territory Golf Club course, Ferris State recorded Wednesday's (May 5) second-best final round at 301 to claim third place among the 20-team field.

The Bulldogs ended up four strokes in back of super regional champion Central Missouri (904, +40) and three strokes behind runner-up Wayne State (905, +41).  Bellarmine (909, +45) and host Cameron (910, +46) placed fourth and fifth, respectively to be among the top five teams receiving 2010 NCAA Division II Men's Golf Championships berth.

Senior Eric Lilleboe (Okemos/Lansing Catholic Central) and junior Garrett Simons (Grand Ledge) led Ferris State by finishing among the top 10 individuals.  Lilleboe tallied a team-best 222 score (68-81-73=222, +6) to claim a share of fourth place for the second consecutive year.  A season ago, the Bulldog golfer netted a one-over par 213 to tie for fourth at the 2009 Midwest/South Central Super Regional (May 4-6) in Allendale, Mich.

Like Eric LilleboeGarrett Simons turned in a noteworthy final-round performance with a 73 to end up with a three-round 223-stroke total (70-81-72=223, +7).  Simons was one of five players to gain a share of seventh place after entering the day tied for 29th place.  He paced the Bulldogs with four birdies in the final round while Lilleboe chalked up three.  

Senior Kurt Valley (Bay City/Western) moved up 12 places in Wednesday's (May 5) action by firing a 76 score as his 229 score (79-74-76=229, +13) was good for a 31st-place tie. 

Tying for 79th-place honors was junior Joe Brown (St. Ignace/LaSalle), who registered a 241-stroke total (70-87-84=241, +25) in the 54-hole tourney.  Senior Craig Burrows (Broadview Heights, Ohio/Olmstead Falls) finished two strokes behind Brown by turning an 84th-place tying 243 score (79-84-80=243, +27).

Ferris State, which was the Midwest Region's top seed going into this year's super regional tournament, will now get set to make its 14th appearance at the national championship tournament.  The 2010 NCAA-II Men's Golf Championships will be held May 18-21 at The Sagamore Club in Noblesville, Ind.  

A season ago (May 19-22), FSU head coach Mike Mignano directed the Bulldogs to an eighth-place showing at the 2009 NCAA-II Championships in Blaine, Wash.