May 11, 2007
LANCASTER, Pa. - Franklin & Marshall's men's golf team will compete for the NCAA Championship this week in Fishers, Indiana. The 72-hole National Championship event will be played out over four days on two courses, Hawthorns Golf and Country Club and Prairie View Golf Club, beginning Tuesday morning.
The Diplomats gained entry into the field as the Centennial Conference's automatic qualifier, marking F&M's first appearance in the NCAA Championships in two decades, and fifth appearance overall. F&M placed seventh in its last appearance back in 1987, its best finish in any appearance. That was the fourth straight year the Diplomats competed for the national title in golf.
Charles Anttonen (Rumson, NJ / Rumson-Fair Haven) and Andrew Woods (Simsbury, CT / Simsbury) have logged the most competition rounds this season, with each having played 18, 18 times. Anttonen, who averaged 77.1 shots per round this season, paced the Diplomats' April championship victory with a three-round total of 228 (+12) for second place. He has a team-high of seven top 20 finishes with four in the top five. Anttonen's low round of the season was a 72, shot on the first day of the Conference tournament. It was the third best round by an F&M golfer this year.
Woods holds the top-two best rounds this season having shot a 70 at Southmoore (Moravian Fall Invitational), and a 71 at the Hershey Country Club's East Course (Elizabethtown Fall Invitational). His two best rounds of the traditional spring segment of the slate were a pair of 74's.
With 14 rounds under his belt this season, Dennis Gunderson (Duxbury, MA / Duxbury) has averaged a team-best 76.5 shots per round, and his average finish has been +5 relative to par. Gunderson has had five top 20 finishes, and has landed in the top five three times.
A total of 180 participants will compete at the 2007 championships. Twenty-four conferences were awarded automatic qualification for the championships. Eight teams were selected from Pool B, which consists of independent institutions, and institutions that are members of conferences that do not meet the requirements for automatic qualification. The final three berths were reserved for Pool C, which are institutions from automatic-qualifying conferences that are not the conference champion and any remaining Pool B teams. The top five individuals are selected from the remaining players who have not qualified with a team
Fans who cannot make the jaunt to Indiana can follow along on the web at GoDiplomats.com. Click on the Live Leaderboard link to watch scores as provided by www.golfstat.com.