Two Maine natives are advancing to the NCAA Division I Championship golf tournament after their showings at two regional tournaments this week.
Topsham’s Caleb Manuel and Camden’s Cole Anderson and their respective University of Georgia and Florida State University teams qualified for the tournament. Georgia won the Bath Regional in Michigan, and Florida State was third at the Morgan Hill Regional in California.
The top five teams from each of the six regionals qualify for the NCAA Championship tournament at the Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona, from May 26-31.
There were 77 golfers at each of the Bath and Morgan Hill regionals.
Manuel will be making his first ever appearance in the NCAA Championship Tournament, while Anderson competed with the Seminoles last year. The team finished 21st a year ago, and Anderson tied for 40th among 169 golfers with an 11-over-par 291. He had the lowest score for the Seminoles.
Manuel, who is in his first year at Georgia after transferring from the University of Connecticut, finished tied for second in the Bath Regional at the Eagle Eye Golf Club with a 7-under-par 206, three shots behind winner and Georgia teammate Ben van Wyk.
Manuel entered the tournament with just one top-10 finish in nine previous tournaments, and that was a ninth at the Southwestern Invitational in Westlake Village, California. He had just two rounds in the 60s.
He had two rounds in the 60s at the regional (66-68-72). He was one of three golfers tied for second.
Anderson tied for 37th at the Morgan Hill regional held at the Institute LLC Golf Course in Morgan Hill, California.
He shot a seven-over par 223. One of the golfers he tied with was freshman teammate Jack Bigham.
FSU teammate Luke Clanton became the first freshman Seminole to ever win a regional as he shot a six-under-par 210. He was one of just six golfers who finished under par.
FSU’s Fredrik Kjettrup shot a five-over 221 and the other Seminole golfer, Brett Roberts, shot a six-over par 223.
This will be Florida State’s third consecutive appearance in the NCAA Championship tournament.
The NCAA Division Championship tourney involves three days of stroke play after which the 15 teams with the lowest scores advance. There is one more day of stroke play after which the final eight teams will advance to a match play format, where two teams square off against each other in quarterfinals and semifinals to determine the two finalists who will square off for the title on the last day.
An individual champion will also be crowned and that is based on four rounds of golf.