Missouri men's golfers earn spot in NCAA tournament

Monday, May 6, 2013 | 9:39 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — The Missouri men's golf team is headed back to the NCAA tournament after a one-year absence, receiving an at-large berth to regional competition. The Tigers have been slotted to play in the Columbus, Ohio, regional set for May 16 to 18 at the Scarlet Course at the Ohio State University Golf Club. 

After being one of the last two teams left out of the NCAA tournament last season, the Tigers are looking to make up for lost time.

"We're going try to win the NCAA regional," Missouri coach Mark Leroux said. "We were on the bubble last year, and we got a bad deal, so we want to go back there and we want to make amends right now."

Leroux and his team, led by senior captain and All-Southeastern Conference standout Jace Long, were happy when they found out they'd be staying in the Midwest. 

"We were excited," Leroux said. "There were places that we wanted to go and places we didn't want to go, and as coaches and players, we all wanted to go to Arkansas or Ohio State. It's like what we're used to playing." 

For Leroux and Long, the trip to Columbus will have a more personal meaning. Long committed to his coach and Missouri during an American Junior Golf Association tournament there, and Leroux was "amazed" to see everything come back "full-circle" in Long's final year as a Tiger. 

"This is the real start for Jace and myself," Leroux said with a laugh. "That (tournament) was the first start, but here we are again, heading into his last NCAA tournament, and this is the real start right now."

The team will hold individual workouts throughout the week before traveling to the regional site May 14. Tee times will be released in the coming week.

The top five teams at each NCAA regional advance to play in the NCAA championships set for May 28 to June 2 in Atlanta, Ga.

Supervising editor is Grant Hodder.

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