Barry Golf Teams to Compete for NCAA Titles

Barry Golf Teams to Compete for NCAA Titles
Barry's golf teams return to the national championships, each seeking a title. Photo by Joel Auerbach



Barry University women's golf team tees off at 9:40 a.m. Wednesday in the NCAA Division II National Championships at LPGA Legends International in Daytona Beach.

Yeah, so what's the rub? Well, coupled with the fact the Buccaneers are competing in their second straight national tournament, having finished fourth in the country in Louisville in 2012, this team is at home so to speak.

"They feel comfortable with the course because they've been here before," Barry coach Shannon Sykora said. "They just have to stay patient, and get themselves in position."

Follow the women's golf national championships HERE.

Barry's men's team will be making its NCAA Division II record fifth straight appearance in the championships. Last year the Buccaneers finished tied for fifth after advancing to the match play portion of a gruelling tournament format. Barry, ranked No. 2 in the country, will play three rounds of stroke play, beginning Monday, at Hershey Country Club in Hershey, Pa., before moving on to match play. The top eight teams after the 54-hole stroke play tournament advance to match play in a seeded bracket-style 54-hole finish over two days.

The Buccaneers men's team won it all in 2007.

"I feel good about the team and the progress we've made through the spring on the golf course, and the mental and physical preparation," Barry longtime coach Jimmy Stobs said. "All we're going to try to do is control our own emotions."

Follow the men's golf championships HERE.

Three of Barry's five women return to a national championship setting after helping the Buccaneers qualify a year ago. Senior Taylor Babcock and sophomores Daniela Murray and Nancy Vergara all competed in the 2012 NCAA Championships. Freshmen Nicky Ferre and Maria Paola Fiorio will be making their first appearance in a national championship setting.

"Honestly, at any time I feel like any one of them can step up," Sykora said. "I feel like they all can do it at the same time, and that's what it's going to take."

Like the women, three men's players are back for another run at a national title. Seniors Simon Forsslund and Marcus Segerstrom and junior Scott Smyers each have NCAA Championship experience. Junior transfer Jared Dalga and freshman Adam Svensson will make their first trip to nationals.

"They're going about their business the last 10 days practicing, and they're very focused about what's in front of them," Stobs said. "We can't control the other teams. That's the most important thing in sports, no matter what sport it is.

"They know what's in front of them. They know what it's all about. It's all about championships. You don't want to be known as the yeah-but coach."

Stobs will never be considered that after winning a title in 2007.

"I want these guys to experience it," Stobs said. "I want these guys to experience victory in national championships. We feel confident, we feel good, and that's it."

And no, just because they're headed to Hershey doesn't mean there will be any trips to the chocolate factory.

"We're not going on vacation," Stobs said.

No, they'd rather be chewing on a championship.