For the second consecutive season, USC Upstate senior Ryan Cornfield is heading to the NCAA Men’s Golf Championship as he was selected as an individual participant Thursday morning to compete in the Franklin, Tenn. Regional.
Cornfield became the first Upstate golfer last season, male or female, to advance to the NCAA Regionals since the Spartans moved to Division I in 2007-08. He would finish in a tie for 23rd place at the Chapel Hill, N.C. Regional after totaling 40 pars over 54 holes to tie for second in regional play.
“I am very excited for Ryan,” said head coach Todd Lawton. “He continues to play the game at the highest level and that is a testimony to his talent and, more importantly, hard work. Playing in Nashville will be a strong test and great experience. I know he will use last years’ experience at the NCAA’s as a tune up for this year.”
Cornfield will play in the Regional hosted by Vanderbilt at the Vanderbilt Legends Club in Franklin, Tenn. May 16-18. He is one of ten individuals who will participate in the Regional along with 13 teams. The participants will play 54 holes with the low five teams and the low individual not on those teams advancing to the finals. The finals will be played May 27-June 1 at Eugene Country Club in Eugene, Ore.
“It is nice to be rewarded for a season of hard work,” Cornfield said. “Although I would like to be playing with my team, I am still going to play with the determination and sense of representation as I have done during my career at Upstate.”
Cornfield, who was a unanimous A-Sun First Team All-Conference selection last week, was a two-time A-Sun Men’s Golfer of the Week this season and received All-Tournament Team accolades at the conference tournament following his tie for fourth place performance, second-best in program history behind Josh Gallman.
The Dudley, England native led the team this season with a 71.44 stroke average to also rank third in the conference, while tying for the team-lead playing in all ten events and appearing in 27 rounds. He had 15 rounds of par or better, and logged five top-10 and three top-5 finishes, while registering one victory. Cornfield finished the season with four top-10 performances in his final five events, including three straight at the Furman Intercollegiate, Coca-Cola Wofford Invitational and A-Sun Championships. Cornfield compiled three of the lowest rounds on the team this season of 64, 67 and 69 twice.
“I am setting my sights on winning the regional championship and advancing to the national championship as this is my senior year, so I would like to extend it as much as possible,” added Cornfield. “I am looking forward to preparing to face the challenge ahead.”
He earned his second career victory at the Furman Intercollegiate where he tied a tournament record of 13-under par. His round of 64 at the Furman Intercollegiate tied for the lowest round of any A-Sun golfer this season and also set a new school record.