JONESBORO, Ark. (5/4/17) – A First Team All-Sun Belt Conference selection and freshman on the Arkansas State men's golf team, Zan Luka Stirn was selected Thursday by the NCAA Division I Men's Golf Committee to compete as an individual in one of the six NCAA Regional golf tournaments set for May 15-17.
The Sun Belt Conference Newcomer and Freshman of the Year will tee off with four other individuals and players from 14 teams at The University Club in Baton Rouge, La., in the three-day tournament hosted by Louisiana State University. The low five teams and the low individual not on those teams from each regional will advance to the finals.
“I am really excited for Zan Luka,” said A-State head men's golf coach Mike Hagen. “He worked extremely hard for this by putting in countless hours, and now he's being rewarded for his performance this season. We've been close to winning the conference championship and had several guys named to the All-Sun Belt Team the last couple of years, so to at least get an individual through to an NCAA Regional I think is a good stepping stone for our program.
“I think for (Zan Luka), or for anyone, you have to approach it as you have all year and as just another event,” continued Hagen. “He has played in a lot of big events this year and had a lot of success, so he needs stay consistent with what he's been doing and not change anything.”
While A-State competed as a team in the 1997 and 2000-02 NCAA Regionals, Stirn will become just the third A-State men's golfer to ever compete as an individual. Lloyd du Preez participated in the 2010 NCAA Regionals and Zoltan Veress participated in both 1998 and 1999.
A two-time Sun Belt Conference Player of the Week, Stirn is currently ranked as the No. 188 player in the nation by GolfStat. He made an immediate impact for the Red Wolves this season with seven top-25 and three top-10 finishes, including an individual title at the Bob Sitton Invitational and runner-up showing at the Tiger Invitational. The Kranj, Slovenia, native played in nine tournaments, compiling a 72.93 stroke average over 27 rounds that ranked second on the team and 10th in the Sun Belt Conference.
The NCAA Championships' finals will be conducted May 26-31 at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill. Northern Illinois University is the host institution for the 2017 championships.