Bowling Green, Ky. (WBKO) --- WKU Hilltopper Golf seniors Billy Tom Sargent and Stuart Easton have a unique opportunity this week.
As the only pair of teammates competing in different NCAA Regionals, they make WKU the only school with the opportunity to advance two individuals to the 2019 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championships.
“The fact that we’re going to get to share the experience – even though we’re at different sites – the fact that we’re both there is going to be phenomenal,” Easton said. “No other school in the country has the opportunity to have two players represent the school in the nationals, so we’re both looking forward to it.”
The Hilltopper seniors will go their separate ways this week for NCAA Regional competition Monday through Wednesday.
Sargent will compete at the University of Georgia Golf Course in Athens, Ga., while Easton will compete at TPC Myrtle Beach in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
The rare circumstance occurred when Sargent was first chosen to compete in the regional field as an individual on the night of the selections last week.
Easton was the first player left out of the field, but after another individual had to drop out, he got a surprise call the next day from WKU head coach Chan Metts letting him know the spot was his.
“It was a bit of an emotional rollercoaster, the night before my name not being called and kind of thinking, ‘Well, that’s my season done,’ ” Easton said. “Then I got a call from Coach Metts the next day saying, ‘Actually, you’re not done.’ It was a crazy 12 hours, but just delighted to get a chance and can’t wait to get started on Monday.”
It will be a somewhat unusual situation for the two – Metts will move back and forth between the two sites, which are about five hours apart – but once they hit the course, it’s business as usual.
For Sargent, this is his second straight NCAA Regional appearance after competing in the Kissimmee (Fla.) Regional a year ago. He’s the first Hilltopper to ever compete in multiple regionals as an individual.
Sargent’s journey this year begins Monday at the par-71, 7,253-yard University of Georgia Golf Course.
“Having one year under my belt at a regional, I know what to expect and how the tournament is going to run,” Sargent said. “I feel pretty good about my game right now. I’m just going to stick to my game plan – just work hard, play relaxed and play patient golf.”
Easton will take on his first NCAA Regional experience at the par-72, 6,950-yard TPC Myrtle Beach.
The top five teams and the top individual not on those teams from each regional advance to the 2019 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championships on May 24-29 at Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville, Ark.
This is the first time in program history that the Hilltoppers have had two players competing in the NCAA Regionals as individuals in the same year.
“We’ve pushed each other on the course every day, pretty much,” Sargent said. “We’ll have a chipping and putting contest, and he’ll beat me and I’ll get upset. We go back and forth all the time, and we push each other to be better golfers. To end our careers like this is pretty special.”