FORT MYERS, Fla. - The FGCU men's golf team will be in the field of 11 at the 2009 A-Sun Championship when play begins on Monday from The Creek Course at Keith Hills Country Club in Buies Creek, N.C.
The field for the Men’s Golf Championship will expand to its largest since 2005 as FGCU and USC Upstate will compete for the first time since joining the league. Both are still completing the four-year transition to Division I so should either win the team event, the highest finishing, eligible, team would earn the league’s automatic bid to the NCAAs. Josh Gallman, a 2008 First-Team All-Atlantic Sun performer, leads the Spartans who feature four golfers from the squad that finished second at the 2007 NCAA Division II National Championship.
Seven times in the 30-year history of the Atlantic Sun Men’s Golf Championship, the host has emerged victorious, however you have to go back to 1999 to find the last time a school won as the host, the longest such drought in league history. Ten years ago, Campbell won its only A-Sun title, pulling out a four-shot victory against Jacksonville State. That year marked the end of a run of three straight hosts winning the league title as Campbell followed the lead of Georgia State in 1998 and Jacksonville State in 1997. Previous hosts to win include Centenary, led by Hal Sutton, in 1979 and 1980; Georgia Southern in 1987 and Houston Baptist in 1988.
The conference’s two longest-standing members, Mercer and Stetson have shown potential to move up in the standings. The Bears, led by Bill Jones III (March’s Golfer of Month), have cracked the top 100 in the national rankings; Stetson has won three team titles, including the Larry Nelson Collegiate Invitational - an event that featured seven A-Sun schools. Mercer has never won the A-Sun Championship, finishing second in 1993. Stetson owns one team title, winning 1990.
Keith Hills Country Club has long been a hidden treasure in the Southeast. It has been rated as high as the seventh best public golf course in North Carolina by Carolina Magazine. This Ellis Maples designed championship golf course offers a complete and exciting challenge to the golfing enthusiast. With large bent grass greens and rolling, plush fairways, Keith Hills is fun for all players. The par 72-6703 yard layout winds through a golfing community set on the Cape Fear River, which makes Keith Hills one of the most picturesque settings in North Carolina.
Voted as one of the top 100 values in the country and as a 5 Star Award Winner by Golf Digest, Keith Hills has hosted the 1998 &1999 North Carolina Senior Amateur, the 1999 TAAC Championship, the 2004 Atlantic Sun Conference Championship, the 2007 Atlantic Sun Woman’s Conference Championship, and the 2007 US Woman’s Open Sectional Qualifier.
The Atlantic Sun Conference is an 11-member league committed to Building Winners for Life. The A-Sun stands for achievement with integrity in both the academic and athletic arenas, with a focus on the balance between the two for our student-athletes. Headquartered in Macon, Ga., the A-Sun boasts six of the top eight media markets in the Southeast. The A-Sun includes a blend of the most prestigious and dynamic private and public institutions in the region: Belmont University, Campbell University, East Tennessee State University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Jacksonville University, Kennesaw State University, Lipscomb University, Mercer University, University of North Florida, University of South Carolina Upstate and Stetson University.