Texas Tech Begins Regionals on Positive Note|
May 15, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Texas Tech head coach Greg Sands is used to being in the postseason.
To a degree, the postseason is part of the regular season for him since Tech has made it all 12 times since Sands became the school's head coach in 2001.
But now Tech wants it to take it a step further and advance to the NCAA Championship for the first time since 2010.
That road starts at 8:50 a.m. EST Thursday when the seventh-seeded Red Raiders tee off at the NCAA Regional Championship on the Scarlet Course at Ohio State University Golf Club.
It's the first time Tech has played a tournament at the Ohio State course since the 2002 NCAA Championship.
Tech will play alongside Georgia Southern and Chattanooga in the first round. New Mexico holds the top seed followed (in order) by Stanford, Auburn, South Carolina, Missouri, UNLV, San Francisco, Virginia, Charlotte and Valparaiso.
The new motto is simple this time - stay positive.
"I think that's something that we've talked about all week is knowing that we can't control everything out there and to understand that you have to handle bad things in a positive way," Sands said. "We're not going to worry about what the leaderboard says or what the other teams are doing. Just play our game and stay positive throughout the round by carrying ourselves in a different way."
That's a lesson learned by four underclassmen that are helping shape this team with senior Finley Ewing IV. Sophomores Clement Sordet, Matias Dominguez, Henry Todd and Esteban Restrepo will fill the lineup with Ewing just as they did at last year's regional in North Carolina. Tech was in sixth place after two rounds and just one stroke out of the five-team cut before falling to 10th on the final day.
The par 71 course will play at 7,286 yards and features newly redesigned greens that take up plenty of space and have several undulations - making many pin placements difficult.
"You definitely have to be careful about where you place the ball on the greens," Ewing said after his practice round Wednesday. "Par is a good score here. If birdies come, that's great, but we just need to really limit the bogies.
"If we stay focused this week, don't get ahead of ourselves and know that if we just play Texas Tech golf we're good enough and can make it through."