Sargent To Compete At Second Straight NCAA Regional As Individual

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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) --- For the second straight season, WKU redshirt senior Billy Tom Sargent will compete in the NCAA Regionals as an individual after being selected for an at-large bid Wednesday night.

Sargent will compete May 13-15 in the Athens (Ga.) Regional at the University of Georgia Golf Course. The top at-large individual from each regional advances to the 2019 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championships on May 24-29 at Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville, Ark.

The announcement was bittersweet for Sargent, who received a bid but said his “heart sank” as teammate and fellow senior Stuart Easton missed the cut by the narrowest of margins.

“Stuart has been such a key player to this team the entire time that he’s been here, and watching him grow over the years has been incredible,” Sargent said. “He gave so much to this program, and I’m glad that I got to be his teammate for four years. He’s made me a better player and I’ll cherish all the times we had together as teammates. I really just wish we had one more go-around together at Regionals although we’d be competing against each other. I know his future is bright and he will succeed in golf.

“As for myself, I’m going to use these next 10 days and prepare the best I can for Regionals on the course and try to get an idea of how the course will play before arriving. I’m excited to have one more go-around at Regionals after playing poorly last year. I now know what to expect, and I feel good about my game.”

Sargent is the first Hilltopper to ever receive an at-large NCAA Regional berth twice. He’s the second Hilltopper to even compete in multiple Regionals – along with Brent Long, who competed in 2008 as an individual and in 2006 with the WKU team.

“Postseason play is very difficult to make in our world, so anytime we can make the postseason as a team or with individuals is very special,” WKU head coach Chan Metts said. “Billy Tom is very deserving of this opportunity because of all the hard work and resolve he has shown this season. It has been a special year and to have this opportunity to play in the postseason is a testament to the leadership he has given this program as a captain.”

Sargent leads the Hilltoppers with a 71.5 stroke average, which would be the lowest single-season mark in the program since at least 1994.

The Georgetown, Ky., native has seven top-20 performances in 10 events this season, including four top-10s, three top-5s and two victories.

Sargent’s most recent win at Vanderbilt’s prestigious Mason Rudolph Championship in April tied the program record for career individual victories at five.

His 201 total tied for the second-lowest 54-hole score in program history – one stroke behind Long's 200 at the 2008 UTSA Roadrunner Intercollegiate. Sargent finished ahead of 12 top-100 golfers in the Vandy tournament, including six in the top 35 and three in the top 25.

He’s the second-ranked player out of Conference USA, according to Golfstat.

Last season, Sargent became just the second Hilltopper to ever receive an individual NCAA Regional berth after Long in 2008. He finished with a three-day total of 227 at the Kissimmee (Fla.) Regional.

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