Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's golf team opened action in the 2015 NCAA Division II Midwest/Central Super Regional on Monday (May 4) in 15th place as competition unfolded at the Cog Hill Golf and Country Club in Lemont, Ill.
The Bulldogs shot a first-round figure of 305 or +17 in the 20-team event, but are presently only 17 strokes off the lead in the super regional event at the Cog Hill Dubsdread Course. Southeastern Oklahoma State holds the first-day lead at 288 overall followed by nationally 12th-ranked Central Missouri (291) in second place along with Southwestern Oklahoma State (292) and 30th-ranked Indianapolis, which are both tied for third at 292 in the event.
Junior Ben Cook and Chris Eaton both paced the Bulldogs as each came in at one-over par 73 in Monday's opening round of the 54-hole event to place tied for 20th individually. Zak Kiefer shot a 79 and is tied for 80th in the field with Tyler Siech in a share of 88th overall with a 80 in the competition. Finally, FSU's Ryan Bayer carded a 84 and is 105th in the draw.
The individual lead following the first round is currently held by Central Missouri's Travis Mays and DJ Vogt of Bellarmine (Ky.) as each posted a five-under 67 score in the opening 18 holes of action.
The Midwest/Central Super Regional is being hosted by Lewis University with teams playing a single round on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday (May 4-6) for a total of 54 holes. Tuesday's tee times start at 8:30 a.m. (ET).
The course features a par 72, 6,869 yards Dick Wilson and Joe Lee design, that challenges golfers with heavily bunkered obstacbles and large undulating greens.
The Midwest/Central Men's Golf Super Regional consists of 10 teams from the Midwest Region along with 10 from the Central Region. Four individuals from each region are also competing.
At a minimum, the top three teams and the top two individuals not affiliated with a team from each regional (regardless of region) will advance to the 2015 NCAA-II Men's Golf Championships slated for May 18-22 at the Rock Barn Golf & Spa in Conover, N.C. The remaining eight berths into the national championships are allocated based on the regions represented in last year's match/medal portion of the championships with the maximum number of teams from a given region capped at seven. The finals will be hosted by Lenoir-Rhyne University.
Along with number seven seed Ferris State, those teams from the Midwest Region who are taking part in the super regional tourney include top-seeded Indianapolis, Grand Valley State, Missouri-St. Louis, Tiffin, Lewis, Lake Superior State, FSU, Malone, Saginaw Valley State and Walsh in respective seeding order.
Central Missouri is the Central Region's top seed and followed by Central Oklahoma, Arkansas Tech, Southwestern Oklahoma State, Henderson State (Ark.), Northeastern State (Okla.), Southern Nazarene, Minnesota State, Washburn (Kan.) and Southeastern Oklahoma State.
Ferris State, under the direction of head coach Mike Mignano, posted a third-place performance at the 2010 NCAA-II Midwest/South Central Super Regional (May 3-5) in Duncan, Okla. The placing was high enough for the Bulldogs to make their 14th appearance at nationals in the program's history as FSU would register a school-best effort by tying for seventh place in the 2010 NCAA-II National Championships (May 18-21) in Noblesville, Ind.
A year ago (2014), FSU finished 13th in the super regional competition and failed to advance to the national championships in action at Eureka, Mo.
Ferris State's current 13-year NCAA Championship appearance streak in men's golf ranks as one of the longest active stretches in the country.