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Lonnie Poole Hosts NCAA Regional

For the first time since it opened in 2009, the Lonnie Poole Golf Course will host an NCAA event this weekend as it welcomes 13 collegiate teams and 10 individual players not on a participating team for the three-day NCAA Raleigh Regional on the Centennial Campus course.

It will be a showcase weekend for the Arnold Palmer Design Group course, which recently added the Carol Johnson Poole Clubhouse to its long list of amenities. Live scoring will be available throughout the 54-hole tournament.

After a rugged winter with lots of snow and ice, the Bermuda fairways are now in good shape to go with greens that are always fast and smooth. The course will play at 7,213 yards at par-71.

“The Bermuda grass was about a month behind because of the weather, but it continues to green up as we speak,” said general manager Chip Watson. “The greens are as good as I’ve ever seen them. There isn’t a lot of rough, so the course is as it is designed to play – firm and fast.

“It’s going to be an awesome event.”

NC State is one of six schools hosting an NCAA regional event, with the five top teams and lowest scoring individual not on any of those teams from each regional advancing to the NCAA Championship May 23-28 at Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson, Kansas.

The Poole course is the home of the NC State men’s and women’s varsity golf teams, as well as the school’s PGA management program and the nation’s top-ranked turfgrass program. The course was designed by Palmer’s group to be a living laboratory to help serve North Carolina’s lucrative golf industry.

That collaborative research will be on display this weekend, as well as next year when the NCAA returns for a similar women’s regional event. After that, NC State can bid to host the NCAA Championship.

While the Wolfpack men’s team did not qualify for regional play, the Wolfpack women advanced from regional action and will be among the 24 teams participating in the NCAA Women’s Golf Championship May 20-23 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

One other NC State team is participating in postseason play this weekend, as the softball teams heads to Athens, Georgia, to participate in the four-team NCAA Athens regional. The Pack, the only NCAA Division I softball team from the state to qualify for postseason play, will face Alabama-Birmingham on Thursday at 2:30 p.m.

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