JONESBORO, Ark. (5/2/18) – Arkansas State senior and two-time All-Sun Belt Conference selection Tanner Napier was selected Wednesday 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 14-16, marking the second consecutive year the Red Wolves will have a player participate in NCAA postseason competition.
Napier will tee off with four other individuals and players from 14 teams at the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club in Norman, Okla., in the three-day event hosted by the University of Oklahoma. The low five teams and the low individual not on those teams from each regional will advance to the finals.
“This is a great accomplishment, and I’m excited for Tanner to close out his senior year on top and get to the NCAA postseason,” said A-State head men’s golf coach Mike Hagen. “He’s competing as an individual, but I think this is really big for our program to send players to the NCAA Regionals in back-to-back years. This is a testament to how hard he works and how well he has competed.”
While A-State competed as a team in the 1997 and 2000-02 NCAA Regionals, Napier becomes just the fourth A-State men’s golfer to ever compete as an individual. Napier’s selection comes one year after teammate Zan Luka Stirn played as a freshman in an NCAA Regional in Baton Rouge, La., giving A-State two different players in a regional in back-to-back years for the first time in school history. Lloyd du Preez participated in the 2010 NCAA Regionals and Zoltan Veress participated in both 1998 and 1999.
The Paris, Texas, native competed in all 11 tournaments this season for the Red Wolves, compiling a 72.86 stroke average in 32 rounds of competition. He collected five top-10 showings and recorded 18 rounds with a score of 72 or lower.
Napier is the third highest nationally-ranked player (No. 198) in the Sun Belt Conference by GolfStat, and his scoring average and score vs. par are both the fourth highest in the league. He holds a 71-3 record versus Sun Belt players.
Napier shot a 67 at the Bubba Barnett Intercollegiate for his lowest single-round score of the season, while his top 54-hole score was a 212 at the Bayou City Collegiate. He finished tied for fifth place among 84 players at the tournament, which was one of 10 where he placed among the top 25 players.
An A-State Athletics Director’s Honor Roll and Sun Belt Conference Commissioner’s List member, Napier will earn his bachelor’s degree in finance from Arkansas State University this spring.
The NCAA Championships’ finals will be conducted May 25-30 at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla. Oklahoma State University is the host institution for the 2018 championships.