Other WVU Sports, Sports, WVU Sports

WVU golf prepared for first national championship appearance since 1947

MORGANTOWN — The West Virginia University golf team will make its first NCAA Championship appearance since 1947 starting today at 11:30 a.m.

Finals play is three days consisting of 54 holes, then the top 15 teams and nine individuals not on an advancing team will be determined. That is followed by the final day (18 holes) on Monday to determine the top eight teams that will advance to match play as well as a 72-hole individual champion.

The team national champion will be determined by a match-play format that will consist of quarterfinals and semifinals conducted on Tuesday followed by finals on Wednesday.

The five competitors for WVU will be senior Jackson Davenport, juniors Todd Duncan, Max Green and Pierce Grieve and sophomore Kaleb Wilson. Freshman Harrison Thompson will serve as the alternate.

The WVU golf team is making the surprising appearance after the team competed at the Rancho Santa Fe Regional last week and placed third overall, which advanced them into the Championship.

WVU golf’s last appearance in a national championship came in 1947.

Going into the regional round, WVU golf coach Sean Covich knew what he needed to do for the team and came up with a game plan.  

“It became very evident that driving the golf ball was going to be the key to success,” Covich said.

Covich stated the course was difficult with not much room for error, saying, “This was the most challenging regional site out of all of them.”

“We played a really good golf course well — I think playing Pete Dye every day and playing The Pines every day helped us prepare,” Covich said. 

The Mountaineers mainly practice at the Pete Dye Golf Club in Bridgeport and also practice at the Pines Country Club course in Morgantown. 

Looking back on the overall season for the Mountaineers, the team placed in the top five overall five times and won two tournaments at the Mountaineer Invitational and Red Bandanna Invitational, hosted by Boston College. 

“If you’re playing well you’re going to rise to the top,” Covich said. 

Covich built this team from scratch when the program was reinstated in 2015 and has made a name for WVU golf. 

There are 30 teams competing and six individual participants for a total of 156 golfers in the national tournament. The Mountaineers will be with Clemson and Utah on Friday and Saturday. WVU begins the first tee times today at 11:30 a.m. and on Saturday will tee off at 4:50 p.m. Teams will be re-paired according to scores for Sunday’s round. 

TWEET @DomPostSports