This Week in Atlantic Sun Men's Golf, March 21st

Thursday, March 21, 2013

MACON, Ga. - North Florida headlines the Furman Intercollegiate while Jacksonville, Mercer and Kennesaw State join an impressive field at the Linger Longer Invitational and Northern Kentucky tees it up in the Jim Bishop Toyota Classic in this week's men's golf action.

Seven A-Sun men’s golf teams moved up in the most recent GolfWeek rankings, led by North Florida’s rise up one spot to No. 14. Four teams also remain ranked in the top 80 of the GolfWeek and Golfstat lists: North Florida, Kennesaw State, ETSU and Mercer. Northern Kentucky made the biggest move among A-Sun teams, moving up 11 spots in the GolfWeek rankings and five in Golfstat.

A-Sun individuals also remain in the rankings. North Florida has a pair of players highly rated, MJ Maguire ( T/32nd Golfstat, 31st in GolfWeek) and Kevin Phelan (11th GolfWeek, 34th Golfstat). Kennesaw State’s Jimmy Beck holds steady in the rankings, rated 76th by GolfWeek. Beck has seven Top-25 finishes this season, second only to Lipscomb’s Blanton Farmer’s A-Sun leading eight.

North Florida is the highest ranked team in this weekend’s 21-team field of the Furman Intercollegiate, played at the Furman University Golf Course, March 22-24. The field includes a pair of Top-50 teams and eight teams in the Top-100 of the latest Golfstat rankings including Chattanooga No. 44, ETSU No. 69, No. 85 Georgia State, No. 93 Iowa State, No. 17 North Florida, No. 86 Purdue, No. 51 Virginia Tech, and No. 77 Winthrop. The event also features several of the nation’s Top-50 golfers including Virginia Tech’s Scott Vincent, North Florida’s Maguire and Phelan, Georgia State’s Jonathan Grey, and Temple’s Brandon Matthews.

ETSU joins the Ospreys in Greenville, looking to build on the momentum of its top-five finish at the General Hackler Invitational last week. Gudmundur Kristjannson leads the Bucs with a Top-10 and four Top-25 finishes. The Bucs’ highest ranking this week comes from Golfstat, up three spots to No. 69. ETSU finished 14th in this event last season, while the Ospreys last played in the tournament in 2009.

Jacksonville, Mercer and Kennesaw State also moved up in the rankings this week, just in time to join a fantastic field at the Linger Longer Invitational, March 23-24, at the Great Waters Golf Course in Greensboro, Ga. Mercer and KSU co-host the tournament that is loaded with some of the nation’s best teams including four Top-25 squads in No. 2 Alabama, No. 12 Georgia, No. 10 Georgia Tech, and No. 14 Oklahoma State. Top-100 teams also include No. 67 Charlotte, No. 40 Liberty, No. 81 Michigan State, No. 31 Oklahoma, and No. 66 South Florida. The Big 10’s Penn State and Minnesota round out the field.

Jacksonville’s freshman Cyril Suk has a pair of Top-10 finishes this season to lead the Dolphins, who finished second in their last tournament, the Bash at the Beach, March 10-12. Trey Douglas has JU’s best individual finish of the season, a sixth-place finish in the Raines Development Group Intercollegiate in September.

Mercer has finished sixth or better in five of its seven tournaments this season, led by James Beale and Hans Reimers, who both own a pair of Top-10 finishes. Last year Mercer finished 11th, and the Bears’ best finish of late in the Linger Longer was a fourth-place finish in 2009.

Along with Beck, Peder Hermansson and Ben Greene lead the way for the Owls, comprising nine Top-10 finishes between them. KSU finished fourth in the Linger Longer last season, shooting a nine-over par 873. Beck placed 40th last year, also firing a 225.

Northern Kentucky tees it up in the Jim Bishop Toyota Classic, March 25-26, in Muscle Shoals, Ala. The Norse have finished fourth or better in three of their last four tournaments. The duo of Corey Richmond and Jones Brown leads the Norse, Richmond with a win and four Top-25 finishes and Brown with a pair of Top-10s and six Top-25 finishes.

Follow the Furman Intercollegiate and the Linger Longer Invitational live at www.Golfstat.com.