May 7, 2012
CHICAGO - The Loyola University Chicago men's golf team will travel to Norman, Okla., as one of 14 teams selected to compete in the NCAA Regional hosted by the University of Oklahoma at the Jimmie Austin Golf Club, May 17-19. The Ramblers, who won the Horizon League Championship, are making the first-ever NCAA Regional appearance in program history. In fact, this marks the first time any Loyola spring sport team has reached the postseason.
Loyola is joined by four nationally ranked teams, including No. 1 Texas. The regional field also includes Georgia Tech (No. 10), Washington (No. 13), Florida State (No. 24), Oklahoma, Saint Mary's, Illinois, Middle Tennessee State, South Carolina, San Diego, Arizona, Sacramento State and IUPUI.
Thirteen teams and 10 individuals not on those teams will compete at each of three regionals, while the other three will have 14 teams and five individuals not on those teams. The low five teams and the low individual not on those teams from each regional will advance to the NCAA Championship, which will be held May 29 - June 3 at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif.
The teams will play 18 holes each day at each of the six regional sites, which also include Greensboro, N.C., Athens, Ga., Bowling Green, Ky., Ann Arbor, Mich., and Palo Alto, Calif.
A young lineup that feature only one upperclassman, senior Erik Hoops (76.3 avg.), has received contributions from each player, most notably sophomore Alex Cusumano and freshman Nick Dennis, who were named to the All-Horizon League Team. Cusumano leads the team with a 75.1 average, while Dennis ranks second on the squad with a 76.0 mark. Dennis became the first Loyola freshman since Sean Bidzinski in 2006 to achieve All-Horizon League status.
Loyola claimed the Horizon League Men's Golf Championship for the first time ever, April 27-29 at Mission Inn Resort in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla., by rallying from a 13-stroke deficit after one round, to finish two shots ahead of runner-up Green Bay. A trio of Ramblers - Cusumano, Dennis and Nick Willenborg - were named to the Horizon League All-Tournament Team as each finished among the top six spots, with Cusumano tying for second place with a 54-hole of 224 (78-76-70).