WALTHAM, Mass. – The field for the 2018 NCAA Division II regional golf tournaments was announced late Friday afternoon with Bentley University included for the eighth consecutive year and the 13th time in the last 17 years. The Falcons received the Northeast-10 Conference's automatic berth by virtue of winning the conference championship back in October.
The East and Atlantic regional tournaments will be held jointly at The Resort at Glade Springs in Daniels, W.V. May 7-9. The top three teams (regardless of region) and the top two student-athletes not with a qualifying team will advance to the finals, which will be held May 21-25 at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail and the Shoals Fighting Joe Course in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.
The other automatic qualifier in the East Region was Wilmington University (Ohio) from the Central Atlantic Athletic Conference.
The at-large selections from the East were Southern New Hampshire University, Le Moyne College, St. Thomas Aquinas College, Dominican College (N.Y.), Roberts Wesleyan University, Franklin Pierce University, Concordia College (N.Y.) and Post University.
Four of the ten teams are from the Northeast-10, four are from the CACC and both St. Thomas Aquinas and Roberts Wesleyan are from the East Coast Conference.
The ten teams out of the Atlantic Region include automatic qualifiers Charleston (Mountain West Conference), Indiana University of Pennsylvania (Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference) and Livingstone (Central Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
Bentley was ranked seventh among the ten East teams while Southern New Hampshire, Le Moyne and St. Thomas Aquinas were the top three. Charleston, Indiana (Pa.) and California (Pa.) were at the top of the Atlantic Region rankings.
Bentley, which has secured an NCAA bid in each of coach Mickey Herron's eight years at the helm, won two tournaments during the fall portion of the schedule, the New England Intercollegiate Golf Association Division II Championships as well as the Northeast-10. The season has also included top three showings in four tournaments, including the California (Pa.) Coaches Intercollegiate Classic last month.
Freshman Tommy Ethier (Nashua, N.H./Bishop Guerin HS) and senior Cal Meyers (Richfield, Wisc./Slinger HS) have powered the Falcons this season with Ethier entering the NCAA regional with a 74.0 stroke average and Meyers a tenth-of-a-point behind him. Both have turned in a 68 this year and they finished the regular season strong with Meyers posting a 71 and Ethier a 72 in the final round of the Bentley-hosted Newport Classic.
Meyers will be competing in the regional for the fourth straight year while Bentley's lineup at the NCAAs will also include a pair of juniors who'll be making their third appearance, Chris Simione (Cheshire, Conn./ Cheshire HS) and Doug Kulikowski (Pittsford, N.Y./Pittsford Sutherland HS). Simione owns a 75.2 stroke average and Kulikowski follows at 76.6.
Bentley's final player is still to be determined.
The Falcons finished 12th of 20 last year with Kulikowski the team's top individual (28th, 228). Two years ago, Meyers tied for tenth with a 224.