GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - And then there was one.
The 2011-12 year in Green Bay Athletics has featured conference regular season and tournament championships, trips to an NCAA tournament by both teams and individuals, and most recently the graduation of 41 student-athletes this past weekend.
With the dust beginning to settle on the year, one Phoenix student-athlete still stands.
Junior Chad Ebert (Kenosha, Wis.) won the individual title at the Horizon League men's golf championship in late April by two strokes, becoming the first Green Bay golfer to do so since 2001. The first win of his collegiate career earned Ebert a trip to the NCAA Regionals.
Ebert will become the first Phoenix golfer to compete in an NCAA Division I golf championship on Thursday when he tees off at 9 a.m. CT at the University of Michigan Golf Course in Ann Arbor, Mich. The 54-hole event will consist of 18 holes Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Fans will be able to follow Ebert at the tournament with live scoring via GolfStat.com.
Ebert played a practice round on the course on Wednesday, and he knows the par-71, 6,723-yard course will challenge him to execute his game plan effectively.
"There's extremely fast greens so putting will be important," said Ebert. "There'll be pins that are tucked on hills and big slopes, and bunkers that will come into play if you're going for the pins; it's also going to be very important to figure out what clubs to hit off the tees."
Having the first Phoenix golfer compete at the NCAA Championships is important to Phoenix head coach Bill Lindmark, who knows that the appearance will have a positive impact not only on Ebert's career but also on the program and the University.
"It's a great honor for the school, especially now that we get to move on to regionals," said Lindmark, a UW-Green Bay alum who is in his second stint as the program's head coach. "It gives us a lot of notoriety so it's a big thing for us. Having Chad out on the course with a chance to go to nationals will show recruits that you can really make a name for yourself as a golfer at Green Bay."
The regional consists of 13 teams and 10 individuals competing for the chance to play in the NCAA Championships at Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles. With only one available spot for the low individual not on one of the five advancing teams, the odds are stacked against Ebert. However, he hopes to still be the lone Phoenix athlete competing in 2011-12 come Saturday night.
"You really just have to go out there and give it your best shot," said Ebert. "I'll try to play my best golf, and [I'll] let the cards fall wherever they may."
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