LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – After spending two decades without a postseason berth, Little Rock men’s golf has been selected to the NCAA Regionals for the third consecutive year.
Following back-to-back Sun Belt conference titles, the Trojans took the Ohio Valley Conference championship in April to earn an automatic bid to regionals. On Wednesday Little Rock was assigned as the 9-seed at the Bath Regional in Michigan.
“It’s validation for what we do and what we’ve built here, OVC Coach of the Year Jake Harrington said during practice at Chenal Country Club. “To be going three years in a row to the NCAA regionals is a huge accomplishment for us and the guys are excited about it. They’re eager to get out there and prove that we belong there.”
In 2021 Little Rock placed inside the top 5 at the Stillwater Regional to advance to the 30-team national championship for the first time. In 2022 the Trojans finished sixth in the regional at PGA National, just missing the 5-team cutoff to make nationals.
“Three guys on the team currently made it to nationals two years ago,” OVC individual champion, senior Anton Albers said. “Most of us know what it takes and that gives us the conference to know that we’re good enough to do it again.”
“We know we’re a darkhorse,” fellow all-OVC golfer, sophomore Archie Smith said. “We all know we’re good enough to compete with these top guys. I think that’s how we have to approach regionals. Believe we can beat anyone and see what happens from there.”
One of six sites nationwide, the Bath Regional takes place May 15-17. Little Rock is joined by UAPB and the Razorbacks as Arkansas teams to make the postseason this year.
UALR dominated conference play and capped it off by outlasting SIEU in match play at the OVC championship. Stringing together three conference titles in three years has ended a drought and brought the Trojans program to new heights.
“It’s always an accomplishment to make it back to regionals,” Albers said. “So even though it’s been the third year in a row it’s still something that we’re proud of and what we work towards every year.”
While the team is proud of what they’ve accomplished this season, their job is far from over. The goal is to get back to nationals and make their deepest run yet, going through some of the nation’s most respected programs.
“We knew we could play with anybody. It doesn’t matter what name is on that golf bag,” Harrington said. “We know and we have confidence in each other that we can step up, no matter who it is or where it is, that we can play with the best on any given day.”
“You always want to shock the world going in as a 9-seed when only five make it through,” Albers said. “We don’t just want to come in 5th we want to win every tournament.”
See our full story here and Sunday night on Final Score to hear more from the Trojans ahead of their postseason.