Minot State University sophomore golfer Kowan O'Keefe's latest challenge begins today.
O'Keefe will join 20 teams and seven other individual qualifiers at the NCAA Division II Men's Super Regional at The Club at Strawberry Creek golf course in Kenosha, Wisc.
O'Keefe, the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference champion, has played in big tournaments, including the 2011 Canadian Amatuer Championship. This will be his first appearance at a major NCAA tournament. The field includes teams and qualifiers from the Central and Midwest regions and the tournament runs through Wednesday.
"Any time you can play at the next level for the first time is a pretty cool feeling and you just try to make the best of it," O'Keefe said in a phone interview following Sunday's practice round.
"The practice round went really well. (I was) just trying to see what I can get away with off the tee and get a good feel for the green, and I think I did that today. It's a tough course, but I think you can score if you play well."
The 18-hole links course is 7,113 yards with par at 36 on the front and back nines. The longest hole is the par-5 7th at 546 yards and the shortest hole is the par-3 4th at 147 yards.
"It's a pretty long course, but it's fairly wide open," O'Keefe said. "The greens are really challenging. They're really fast and there's a lot of slope."
O'Keefe said there are no trees on the course and the greens are the fastest he has seen this spring. He expects to tee off late this afternoon.
Kenosha is expected to reach a high of 65 today with a 20-percent chance of rain. Forecasts show high temperatures at 67 for Tuesday and Wednesday with a 10-percent chance of rain.
The top two golfers without a team will advance to the NCAA finals May 20-24 at Hershey Country Club in Hershey, Penn.
- Daily News Staff