DADE CITY - Florida Southern is set to begin play in the NCAA Division II South/Southeast Super Regional Tournament Monday morning here at the Lake Jovita Golf and Country Club. The Moccasins, who are the No. 6 seed in the South Region, will tee of in a group with golfers from Georgia Southwestern (No. 5 seed Southeast Region) and Limestone (No. 6 seed Southeast Region) from the No. 10 tee beginning at 8:20 a.m.
The Mocs, who are making its 39th consecutive and 43rd overall appearance in the NCAA Tournament, will look to finish in the Top 6 at the super regional and advance to the NCAA D-II National Championships for a chance to bring home its 13th national championship. The Mocs have won an NCAA D-II best 12 national titles in men's golf, with the most recent title coming in 2010.
FSC last qualifed for the national championships in 2013 as they were leading after the first three days of stroke play, before falling to No. 8 seed Western Washington in the first round of match/medal play in Hershey, Pa. Despite not qualifying as a team for nationals last season, Tim Crouch qualified as an individual after taking home regional medalist honors and would go on to claim his second consecutive individual national championship as he shot an even-par 213 at the Meadows Golf Club in Allendale, Mich.
This year's field for the combined South/Southeast Super Regional, which is being hosted by Saint Leo University, will provide a challenge to Doug Gordin's Mocs and the rest of the 20 teams in the combined super regional as 16 of the Top 25 teams in the latest Bushnell Golfweek Division II Coaches' Poll have earned berths in the super regional, including nine of the teams comprising the South Region. In addition, eight of the Top 10 teams in the latest poll will all be competing at Lake Jovita this coming week.
Joining FSC, who is ranked eighth in the latest Bushnell Golfweek Division II rankings, at the combined super regional are No. 1 ranked Nova Southeastern, No. 2 ranked and SSC Champion Lynn, No. 3 ranked USC Aiken, No. 4 ranked and two-time defending Division II National Champion Barry, No. 5 ranked and Peach Belt Conference Champion Flagler, No. 9 ranked and tournament host Saint Leo, No. 10 ranked West Georgia, No. 11 ranked and Gulf South Conference Champion West Florida, No. 13 ranked North Alabama, No. 15 ranked Columbus State, No. 17 ranked Florida Tech, No. 22 Wingate, No. 24 Erskine and No. 25 North Greenville. In addition, the field will also have two teams that received votes in the latest poll - Conference Carolinas Champion Limestone and Georgia College. The other teams competing are Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Champion Benedict and South Atlantic Conference Champion Tusculum.
Leading the way for the Mocs heading into the South/Southeast Super Regional is freshman John Coultas (Valrico, Fla.). Coultas, who is one of three Mocs to earn Second-Team All-SSC honors this season, has recorded a team-best scoring average of 71.96 on the season in 26 rounds and nine tournaments. On the season, he has had three Top 10 finishes, including winning medalist honors at the AFLAC/Cougar Invitational during the fall season. At the AFLAC/Cougar Invitational, Coultas shot a team season-low 203 (-10) for 54 holes to finish first out of 90 golfers. In addition to the first place finish at the AFLAC/Cougar Invitational, Coultas, who is the No. 11th ranked golfer in the latest Golfstat Division II Player rankings, also finished as the runner-up at this year's SSC Championships as he fired a six-under 210 at the RedTail Golf Club in Sorrento, Fla. He has had 13 rounds of par or better on the season and his 66 (-5) in the first round of the AFLAC/Cougar Invitational is the team's lowest single round score of the season.
The next competitor for the Mocs this coming week at the South/Southeast Super Regionals is freshman John VanDerLaan (Southbury, Conn.). VanDerLaan, who was named the SSC Freshman of the Year and also earned Second-Team All-SSC honors, has posted a season scoring average of 72.31 in 26 rounds and nine tournaments. On the season, VanDerLaan, who is 23rd in the latest Golfstat Division II Player rankings, has had four Top 10 finishes, including taking home individual medalist honors at this year's SSC Championships, where he shot a 9-under par 207 at RedTail Golf Club to win the championship by three shots over Coultas and he also won medalist honors during the fall season at The McDonough Cup, where he fired a 6-under 210 at Rio Pinar Country Club. He has had 12 rounds of par or better on the season, including shooting a season-low round of 67 during the first round of the both the Matlock Invitational and the SSC Championships.
FSC's No. 3 golfer competing in the super regional is freshman Jimmy Jones (Tampa, Fla.). Jones, who was also tabbed a Second-Team All-SSC selection, comes into the super regional sporting a 72.65 scoring average in 26 rounds of golf and nine tournaments. On the season, Jones, who is 32nd in the latest Golfstat Division II Player rankings, has had four Top 10 finishes, including three Top 5 finishes, all of which came during the spring season as he was the Mocs top finisher at four of its five spring events. He opened the spring season with a tie for third place at the Matlock Invitational as he carded a 9-under 207 at Lone Palm and then placed in a tie for third at the Armstrong Pirate Men's Invitational with an even-par 216. Jones then carded a 3-under 213 to finish fifth ay the Southeastern Collegiate hosted by Valdosta State and then shot a 3-over par 213 to finish place sixth at the Bobcat Invitational. He has had 13 round of par or better on the season, including a low round of 68 at both the Matlock Classic (2nd round) and Southeastern Collegiate (1st round).
The fourth golfer competing for the Mocs this coming week is sophomore Jason Huntington (Lakeland, Fla.). On the season, Huntington has a scoring average 76.46 in 26 rounds of action and nine tournaments. He has had three rounds of par or better on the season and had a season-best 34th place finish at this season's SSC Championships. Had a season low round of 71 in the second round of the AFLAC/Cougar Invitational and shot even par 72's in the first round of the Saint Leo Invitational and in the second round of the Matlock Collegiate Classic. During the fall season, he shot a 147 for 36 holes as he carded rounds of 72 and 75 at the Saint Leo Invitational that was held at Lake Jovita.
FSC's final golfer competing is sophomore Levin Hoffmann (Sarstedt, Germany). On the season, Hoffmann has recorded a scoring average of 78.15 in 20 rounds of golf and seven tournaments. Posted a tie for 27th at the SSC Championships, which was his season-best finish and carded one round of par or better. Shot a season low round of 71 in the second round of the Bobcat Invitational during the spring season. Hoffmann also shot a 74 in the final round of the SSC Championships. During the fall season, Hoffmann shot a 180 for 36 holes competing in the Saint Leo Invitational that was held at Lake Jovita.
On the season, the Mocs have played in nine tournaments and have had four Top 5 finishes and placed in the Top 10 in the other five events on the season. The team's best finish was a third place showing at both the SSC Championships and the McDonough Cup hosted by Rollins during the fall season. At the SSC Championships, the Mocs shot an 866 (+2) at RedTail Golf Club and at the McDonough Cup, FSC fired a n 874 (+10) at Rio Pinar Country Club. FSC's lowest 54 hole score of the season came at Matlock Collegiate Classic as the Mocs shot an 861 (-3) at Lakeland's Lone Palm Golf Club to finish in fifth place as a team.
Florida Southern has advanced to the Division II National Finals 34 times in school history with the most recent appearance coming in 2013 when the Mocs won the stroke play portion of the event, but fell to No. 8 seed Western Washington in the first round of match/medal play. Along with winning 12 NCAA Division II National titles (1981, '82, '85, '86, '90, '91, '95, '96, '98, '99, '00, '10), the Mocs have also had five national runner-up finishes (1979, '80, '84, '88, '01) and have won three regional titles (1999, '00, '06).
The top six teams from the South/Southeast Super Regional will advance to this year's NCAA D-II National Championships in Conover, N.C., at the Rock Barn Golf & Spa on May 18-22. Along with sending six teams from the South/Southeast Super Regional to nationals, the top two individuals not on one of those advancing teams will also earn a trip to Conover, N.C. In addition to the South/Southeast Super Regional, five teams will qualify for nationals from the West/South Central Super Regional and Midwest/Central Super Regional and four teams will move on to nationals from the Atlantic/East Super Regional.
Click here for live hole-by-hole scoring of South/Southeast Super Regional
Click here for digital program of the 2015 NCAA Division II Men's Golf Tournament