By: Tim Andrzejewski (firstname.lastname@example.org)
HOUSTON, Texas -- Following their appearances on the All-Conference USA teams, senior golfers Mitchell Meissner and Mario Carmona were selected to participate in the NCAA Bryan Regional, which takes place May 14-16.
It is the first time that Rice has had an individual selected since Michael Whitehead in 2011 and the first time with multiple golfers since at lead 1985.
Meissner is the No. 2 individual seed in the regional while Carmona is the No. 5 seed.
"(Meissner and Carmona) played fantastic all year," said Rice head coach Justin Emil. "They deserve it. They carried the team. I'm pretty excited for them to get the opportunity to play in the postseason and represent Rice. They are two fine young men and I'm really excited for them."
Meissner earned an automatic bid to the Regionals by winning last week's Conference USA Championship. He led Rice with a 71.82 stroke average, the second lowest since 1991-92. He had three top five, five top 10 and seven top 20 finishes. The San Antonio native recorded 17 rounds of par or better with a team-high six rounds in the 60's.
He joined Christopher Brown in 2010 as the only golfers to win the C-USA Championship. He also joined Brown in winning two tournaments in a season, also taking home medalist honors at the Ryman Hospitality Intercollegiate. With the victories, he became the first golfer since 1985 to win consecutive tournaments and three tournaments in a career.
"It was cool to see both us end up in the same region," said Meissner. "Mario and I both had a pretty good idea that that is where we were going to end up. There are some teams and some players that we're both comfortable competing against."
Carmona earned an at-large berth into the Regionals. He is second on the squad with a 72.18 stroke average, the third lowest since 1991-92. He has two top five, five top 10 and eight top 20 finishes. He leads the team with 18 rounds or par or better while also recording five rounds in the 60's. The Houston native earned his first career victory at the ORU/SFA Spring Break Challenge.
"It's exciting," said Carmona. "It's great to experience it with Mitchell. It feels like a long time coming for us. We've had pretty good careers here at Rice and it's cool to move on and play at College Station."
Along with College Station, the other regionals include Kissimmee, Fla., hosted by UCF, Raleigh, N.C., hosted by North Carolina State, Columbus, Ohio, hosted by Ohio State, Norman, Okla., hosted by Oklahoma and Stockton, Calif., hosted by Pacific.