KANSAS CITY, Mo. – For the third time in the last four years, the UMKC Men’s Golf program will participate in the NCAA Regional. This time, the 12th-seeded Roos travel to Austin, Texas, for the three-day event hosted by the University of Texas, which runs May 13-15. There will be 14 teams in the Texas Regional, led by top seeded Texas, No. 2 Southern California and No. 3 Pepperdine. There will also be five individual golfers competing.
UMKC earned the NCAA bid by virtue of winning its fifth overall conference championship April 27-29 in Lakewood, Wash.
Overall, 81 teams and 45 individuals will compete at one of six regional championship sites. Thirteen teams and 10 individuals not on those teams participate at each of the three regionals while the other three regionals will have 14 teams and five individuals not on those teams.
The low five teams and the low individual not on those teams from each regional will advance to the NCAA Championship, May 24-29 at Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville, Ark.
The Roos return to a familiar setting, where the guys have competed at a high level. Three of the five golfers on the roster have experience on the regional scene: Paul Foulquie, Francois Lagraulet and McCain Schellhardt. Foulquie returns to the regional as the top Roo performer from a year ago, firing an-even par 216 (71-71-74) to take 21st (tie) overall. Lagraulet shot a one-over 217 (73-75-69) and Schellhardt was two-over (71-75-72/218).
“I really feel strongly about the team’s ability to compete at that level (NCAA Regionals) after what I saw at last year’s event with a relatively young team,” said head coach J.W. VanDenBorn, who is in his 16th year as head coach at his alma mater. “We are still not extremely veteran as we are playing three sophomores. But I think we are as good as a lot of those teams.
“I think my guys know, that with the schedule that we put together, we play a lot of Power 5 programs. They have seen a lot of teams in this region and know they can play with them. We are certainly not in that category of being happy to be in the NCAA tournament and enjoying the experience… no, we are going there to compete. That is the attitude that we have and now it’s time for us to build off of last year. I feel like we have that mindset.”
Schellhardt, who ended the conference season leading all WAC golfers in stroke average (71.3), owns five top-five finishes on the year. He has been the top Roo finisher in six of 10 events overall and leads the team with 18 rounds at-or-below par. The junior recently earned WAC Player of the Year accolades for his strong performance all year long.
A pair of semester transfers – sophomores Maxence Catherine and Vitek Novak – have added depth to the line-up. Catherine ranks third in the conference in stroke average (72.2) and Novak is 10th (72.7).
WAC Coach of the Year VanDenBorn talks about the recognition his team has achieved with the five NCAA Regional appearances, all coming since 2011.
“The respect the team has garnered in college golf not only regionally, but nationally, has helped our recruiting. These young people want to be a part of a program that is successful and they can come in as a freshman and sophomore and be a part of that experience.”
The Roos are searching for their first NCAA Regional team championship, with their highest finish being 11th place in the 2018 event. Individually, Antoine Rozner (2016) and Robert Russell (1997) are the two golfers in UMKC men's golf history to ever appear in the NCAA Championship.
The Course: The University of Texas Golf Club and Academy | Austin, Texas | Par 71 | 7,355 yards
Projected UMKC Line-Up:
1. McCain Schellhardt (71.27 stroke average)
2. Paul Foulquie (72.63 stroke average)
3. Maxence Catherine (72.17 stroke average)
4. Francois Lagraulet (73.23 stroke average)
5. Vitek Novak (72.67 stroke average)
The Tournament Schedule: The tournament will be a 54-hole, three-round event with the first round taking place on Monday, the second on Tuesday and the third and final round on Wednesday. The Roos are paired with Sam Houston State and Saint Mary’s and are scheduled to tee-off Monday beginning at 8:55 a.m. CT.
Live Scoring: Golfstat.com
Season Results and Averages: UMKCkangaroos.com
UMKC Men’s Golf NCAA Regional History
- 2019 Regionals (Austin, Texas) – TBD out of 14 teams
- 2018 Regionals (Norman, Okla.) - 11th out of 14 teams
- 2016 Regionals (Stillwater, Okla.) - 12th out of 14 teams
- 2013 Regionals (Fayetteville, Ark.) - 12th out of 14 teams
- 2011 Regionals (Zionsville, Ind.) - 13th out of 14 teams
UMKC Season Facts: Three different individuals have finished first on the team in an event this year: McCain Schellhardt (6 times), Paul Foulquie (3 times) and Francois Lagraulet (1 time)… Foulquie claimed the lowest round of the fall and spring season with a 66 at the fall-opening Northern Intercollegiate in Sugar Grove, Ill., Sept. 15-16, 2018… Schellhardt had the highest overall individual finish tying for first place (69-68-68=205) at the Grand Canyon Invitational, March 15-16… The best finish for the Roos as a team was the top position at both the WAC Championship (290-278-285=853) and the Grand Canyon Invitational (282-271-276=829)… UMKC fired a 271 in the second round of the Grand Canyon event, which is the lowest round of the year… The Roos have finished in the upper half of the team finishes in eight-of-10 events this year.