Woodstock, GA – After a week to digest earning an individual NCAA Golf Championship berth, Dustin Korte is prepared to represent Austin Peay State University, beginning 1:20pm (CT), Tuesday, at the Capital City Club Crabapple Course, outside of Atlanta.Korte earned the berth by being the highest finisher in the Tempe Regional exclusive of the Top 5 qualifying teams. Shooting a career-low 6-under 204, including a school record-tying 64 on the first day, Korte finished eighth in Tempe. Korte is the No. 2 seed of the six individual qualifiers.
“I can sit here and tell you where I want to finish because you just can think like that,” Korte said. “I just want to represent the school and the (Ohio Valley) Conference as best I can. It’s not too many who get the opportunity and I just want to play the best I can.”
All 156 golfers—30 teams and six individuals—practiced from a shotgun start, Monday morning. It took close to 6 ½ hours for the practice round to be completed.
“It’s probably the hardest course I have played,” Korte said. “It definitely is going to be a challenge. The course is just in great shape. Everything is just perfectly manicured from the entrance to the clubhouse.”
The par-70, 7137-yard course, a Tom Fazio-designed layout, plays extremely long, featuring narrow Bermuda unforgiving fairways nestled between lines of trees. The undulating greens are bent grass and play extremely fast. The course average is 75.1 with a slope rating of 143.
“The key is going to be hitting the driver solid,” Korte said. “The course has no room for error with the driver. You really have to be sharp with the tee shot, but with every club for that matter.
“I think if I hit my driver well, I should play well.”
APSU coach Kirk Kayden agrees with his senior from Metropolis, IL, who is APSU’s first individual representative at the NCAA Championship since the late Craig Rudolph did so in 1987.
“It looks like to me you have to have good wedges and a good short game—Dustin certainly has that. If you can do that it is going to be to your advantage to have a solid short game this week. The greens are fast and firm.”
The format for stroke play is each team fields five players, with the low four scores each day counting toward the team score. After 54 holes on Thursday, the individual national champion will be crowned, and the top eight schools in terms of team score are seeded for match play competition beginning Friday. California is the tourney’s No. 1 team seed, followed by Alabama, UCLA (Tempe Regional champ) and Texas.
“It is a wonderful golf course and everything is set up for major championship caliber (golf),” Kayden said. “It should be great week.”