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Point men's golf team competes at the NAIA Men's Golf National Championships, May 16-19, at the TPC Deere Run
Men's Golf - Tue, May 9, 2017

WEST POINT, Ga. – The Point University men's golf team begins play at the NAIA Men's Golf National Championships, May 16-19, at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Ill.  The Skyhawks earned a bid to compete in the tournament after winning the NAIA-AAC Direct Qualifier at Governor's Towne Club in Acworth, Ga., April 24-25.  Point enters the tournament ranked number 15 in the Bushnell Golfweek NAIA Coaches' Poll.

 

This is the sixth time that the Quad Cities and TPC Deere Run have welcomed the NAIA Men's Golf National Championships.  TPC Deere Run, a member of the Tournament Players Club network of courses operated by the PGA Tour, is featured as number 42 amongst America's 100 Greatest Public Golf Courses by Golf Digest.  In addition to the NAIA National Championships, TPC Deere Run hosts the annual John Deere Classic, a PGA Tour event that occurs the week before the British Open.

 

Point's appearance in the National Championships comes as no shock to head coach and Appalachian Athletics Conference Coach of the Year, Steven PainePaine commented about his team reaching the National Championships, saying, "In my very first meeting with these guys three years ago, I told them that I had three major goals for this program:  to win a Conference Championship, to make it to the NAIA National Championships and to win an NAIA National Championship.  These guys have done a great job of accomplishing the first two on the list a lot sooner than we expected."

 

In order for the Skyhawks to achieve that final goal of winning a national title this season, they will have to make the cut after the first three rounds of golf next week.  The championship is a four-round tournament consisting of a maximum of 156 golfers.  Competition is stroke play.  Each team competes with five golfers (minimum of four) and the top four scores posted each day are counted toward the team standings.  The tournament field is cut after 54 holes from 29 teams to 15.

 

Francisco de Oliveira (JR/Algarve, Portugal) leads the Skyhawks into the NAIA championships.  He boasted a 4.02 stroke average per hole in 414 holes in 23 rounds and has three first-place finishes and one second-place finish and has been Point's individual leader in six of the eleven tournaments in which it competed during the combined fall and spring season.  De Oliveira's season awards include two AAC Men's Golfer of the Week selections, the AAC Player of the Year,Award, and he also was named a semifinalist for the Jack Nicklaus Award for the NAIA.

 

Paine knows that it will take more than just the play of one golfer, and when asked about the amount of preparation needed to be successful, he commented, "In order to get ready for the National Championships we have stuck to what works best for us.  One of the challenges with coaching college golf is that, although it is a team sport, golf is still very much an individual sport at the end of the day.  One thing that I have tried to ensure is that each individual player is able to prepare in a way that will allow him to perform at his best."

 

First-round play begins Tuesday, May 16, at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time, with last year's champion Oklahoma City, Johnson & Wales (Fla.) and last year's national runner-up British Columbia starting on the front nine.  Point tees off next Tuesday at 1 p.m. along with Madonna (Mich.) and Embry-Riddle (Ariz.) on the front nine.  The start times flip on day two (Wed., May 17) for second-round play with Point, Madonna, and Embry-Riddle teeing off at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time.

 

IMPORTANT LINKS:

To follow Point Athletics on Twitter for daily results, click here.

To access the NAIA Men's Golf Championships website, click here.

For the complete schedule and results, click here.

To visit the TPC Deere Run website, click here.

 
 
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