BLAINE, Wash. - Maintaining the No. 2 slot in the nation for the third Nike Golf/Golf World NCAA Division II Poll, the Georgia College & State University linksters and head coach Jimmy Wilson begin play at the NCAA Finals tomorrow (May 18). Twenty Division II teams converge on the Loomis Trail Golf Club, vying to be the nation's best.
The Bobcats took fourth overall in 2008, and return four of the five starters from last year's squad. The fifth, junior Pedro C. Lima (Sao Paulo, Brazil) fired a final-round 69 at the NCAA Southeast/South SuperRegional last time out. Lima took sixth overall, earning GCSU Athlete of the Week status.
Lima has a 73.2 stroke average and four top-10s in 10 starts. His average is third behind a pair of All-Americans, including junior Niclas Johansson (Skanor, Sweden). The 2008 NCAA Regional Medalist and two-time All-American owns a 72.3 average and has been out of the top-20 just twice this season, carding six top-10 finishes.
Sophomore Joe Young (Cochran, Ga.), an All-American in 2008, is second on the team with a 72.9 average, finishing in the top-10 three times among his six top-20s.
Junior Francisco Bide (Buenos Aires, Argentina) won the ultra-competitive Bobcat Invitational, besting some of the nation's top golfers. He also posted a 69 in the final round of the regional, helping the Bobcats leap to fifth place, qualifying for these finals. His average is an even 74, with four top-20s in 11 tries.
Sophomore Billy Shida (Berkeley Lake, Ga.) owns a 74.5 stroke average and five top-20s. He led the charge in the first round of the regional, posting a three-under 69.
This marks the eighth time the Bobcats have made the NCAA Finals, including each of the last three seasons. GCSU took a school-best finish a year ago at fourth.
The Bobcats take to the links tomorrow, May 19 with Bide teeing off first at 8:20 a.m. Bobcat fans can follow the action with live statistics at www.GolfStat.com .
Visit www.GCSUBobcats.com to nominate your favorite former Bobcats and Colonials to the GCSU Athletics Hall of Fame. The GCSU Department of Athletics sponsors 10 varsity athletic programs at the NCAA Division II level. As a Division II program, GCSU prides itself on balancing the life of the student-athlete, evidenced by the Bobcats' multiple appearances in post-season competition as well as documented academic success and community-service involvement. Sign up at Twitter.com username GCSUSID for up-to-the-minute reports.