WALTHAM, Mass. – After a strong finish to the regular season, the Bentley University men's golf team will be looking to carry that momentum over to the NCAA Division II East/Atlantic Regional when the three-day, 20-team event gets underway Thursday at the Totteridge Golf Club in Greensburg, Pa.
Coach Mickey Herron's team, which is competing in its ninth straight NCAA regional tournament and is the third seed in the East Region, is coming off wins in both the Bentley Newport Classic and the California (Pa.) Crofton Classic. The Falcons averaged 294 during those two tournaments and earned wins over six teams that will be competing in the NCAAs (Assumption, California (Pa.), Indiana (Pa.), Roberts Wesleyan, West Chester and Wilmington (Del.)).
Herron's five-man lineup includes three players with previous NCAA experience, including two seniors who'll be competing in their third regional, Doug Kulikowski (Pittsford, N.Y./Pittsford Sutherland HS) and Chris Simione (Cheshire, Conn./Cheshire HS).
Sophomore Tommy Ethier (Nashua, N.H./Bishop Guertin HS) will be competing in his second regional tournament and both junior Robert Falconer (Mechanicsburg, Pa./ Cumberland Valley HS) and sophomore Ellis Yoder (Fort Wayne, Ind./Homestead HS) will be making their regional debut.
Simione edged Ethier for the team's best stroke average during the regular season, 75.3-75.5, and Kulikowski averaged 72.3 strokes during his most recent four rounds.
Bentley played on the course during the Vulcan Invitational in October and turned in a 307-320-627. Kulikowski was the Falcons' top finisher in that tournament, with a 76-81-157.
In last year's regional, Bentley finished 10th among 20 teams.
Bentley is one of three East Region teams who'll be competing in a ninth straight regional, a distinction the Falcons share with Wilmington and St. Thomas Aquinas.
The top three teams and the top two individuals not on a qualifying team will advance to the NCAA Championships, which will be contested in West Virginia later this month.