Men's Golf clinches at-large berth into NAIA Nat'l Championship
KANSAS CITY -- Senior Arvid Bengtson tasted success at last year's NAIA Men's Golf National Championship, bringing home a fifth place individual finish that earned him NAIA and PING All-America honors.
This time, Shorter University's ace is bringing his teammates with him.
The 11th-ranked Hawks have been granted an at-large berth into the 2011 NAIA Men's Golf National Championship in an announcement made by the organization on Thursday evening.
The Hawks were left out of the tournament field last season -- with the exception of Bengtson's individual invitation -- but lived in the top 10 of the national rankings all season to position themselves for an at-large selection.
Shorter, one of three teams from the Southern States Athletic Conference to make the 28-team field, will challenge for its first-ever men's golf national championship when the four-round event tees off on May 24 at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Ill.
The Hawks are the top rated team out of the SSAC, which also sent No. 14 Lee University and unranked SSAC Tournament champion William Carey University to the national championship tournament.
Shorter placed third at the SSAC Championships, but a strong 2010-11 resume that included eight top three finishes and three tournament championships was more than enough to warrant an invitation to Illinois.
Shorter head coach Greg Owens will roll out a young starting five anchored by his veteran Bengtson, the 2011 SSAC Men's Golfer of the Year.
Bengtson won medalist honors at the SSAC Championships, outdueling teammate Matt Youmans for the title in a playoff. His resume includes medalist honors at the Lee Invitational, a runner-up finish at the Coastal Georgia Invitational in St. Simons Island and a top 10 placing in every one of Shorter's events this season.
Shorter's squad is rounded out by four freshmen: Youmans, Erwan Vieilledent, Ethan Lambert and Nick Burns, each of which has the potential to challenge for medalist honors in Silvis.
First and second round pairings and tee times are set to be released today around 4 p.m. ET.