WALTHAM, Mass. – The field for the 2012 NCAA Division II Regional Golf Tournaments was announced Friday afternoon with Bentley University the number five seed in the East Regional. The Falcons were an automatic qualifier by virtue of winning the Northeast-10 Conference championship last September.
The East and Atlantic regional tournaments will be held jointly at the Hershey Country Club East Course in Hershey, Pa. May 7-9. The top five teams and the top two student-athletes not with a team will advance to the finals, which will be held at the Cardinal Club in Simpsonville, Ky. May 15-19 as part of the 2012 Division II Spring Championships Festival.
The other automatic qualifier for the East Regional is Wilmington College (Del.), champion of the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference and the number one seed. Earning at-large berths were St. Thomas Aquinas (N.Y.), Post University (Conn.), Dowling College (N.Y.), Goldey-Beacom College (Del.) and four Northeast-10 teams: UMass-Lowell, American International, Franklin Pierce and Adelphi University.
The ten teams out of the Atlantic Region include automatic qualifiers Indiana University (Pa.), Bluefield State (W.V.) and Fayetteville State (N.C.).
This will be Bentley's second consecutive NCAA regional appearance and its seventh in the last 11 years.
Bentley, coached by Mickey Herron, has finished in the top three of seven tournaments this year, with three victories. In addition to winning the NE-10 tournament, the Falcons were first in the season-opening Saint Rose Fall Shootout and closed out the fall portion of the schedule by becoming the first Division II team to win the New England Championships in nearly 20 years.
The Falcons opened the spring season at the St. James Invitational in Southport, N.C., a tournament that included 12 of the teams selected for the East/Atlantic Super Regional. Coach Mickey Herron's club was second in that one after day one and finished seventh of 16.
Bentley's top four golfers all sport stroke averages under 79, and the team's stroke average of 78.2 is more than a stroke better than a year ago. Juniors Matt Michel (Danvers/Danvers HS) topped the list at 75.5, and junior Dan McQueen (Topsfield/Masconomet Reg. HS) edged out senior Richie owers (Leominster/Leominster HS) for second, 76.3-76.5. Senior Nick Clarke (Plymouth/Cape Cod Academy) is down to 78.6 after averaging under 74 in five April rounds.