PROVIDENCE, RI – The last time Johnson & Wales University men's golf coach Lou Parente took his team to the NCAA Tournament, his son Alex was in the sixth grade. Now he's a sophomore on this year's squad that is ready to tee it up against the nation's best starting Tuesday.
The championship, which will be held May 15-18 at Grandover Resort, in Greensboro, NC, will be hosted by Guilford College and the Greensboro Sports Commission. Forty-two teams will take part in the event. The field will be cut to 18 after 36 holes.
Johnson & Wales tees off Tuesday at 12:50 p.m. on the West Course. The Wildcats are paired with St. John Fisher and Greensboro. Wednesday, the Wildcats go off at 8:25 a.m. on the East Course.
The last time JWU competed in the NCAA Championships it fired a two-day total of 686 in 2010. The year prior, the Wildcats carded a 655.
The Wildcats tallied a two-day total of 601 (297-304) to win the GNAC Championships, the lowest score in relationship to par in the history of the championship. JWU's 16-stroke victory over host Rhode Island College was the second-largest margin of victory. The conference championship is the fifth under head coach Lou Parente and the first since 2009 when the Wildcats won four-straight.
Leading the way this season has been sophomore Christian Maselli as he claimed GNAC medalist honors with a two-day, one-under total of 143. Named GNAC Player of the Year, Maselli is the first player in the history of the tournament to finish under par.
Johnson & Wales could be poised to make several future appearances in the NCAA Championships. All five of JWU's entries into this year's championships are freshmen and sophomores. Rookie Claudio Soukamneuth tops the team with a 77.79 average.