Akron makes its 25th appearance at the MAC Championship, and the Zips have placed in the Top 5 nine times, including two program-best second place finishes in 2007 and 2014. Last season, Akron finished fifth overall, and junior George Baylis became the first Akron men's golfer in program history to win medalist honors at the Mid-American Conference Championship. Baylis carded a 4-under par 67 final round score en route to a 1-under par 283 stroke tournament win at the par 71, 6,712-yard Highland Meadows Golf Club. Baylis currently owns a second-best 74.81 stroke average in 11 events and 32 rounds played to date.
The 2017 MAC Championships lineup for the Zips includes sophomore Elliott Grayson, Baylis, senior Yann Pfeiffer, senior Zach Gollwitzer and sophomore Jacob Appleby.
Ball State Cardinals
Ball State's lineup will feature four golfers with MAC Championships experience – juniors Johnny Watts, Michael VanDeventer and Michael Makris plus sophomore Timothy Wiseman.
Each of those four has been the Cardinals' top finisher in at least two events this year. Sophomore Colin Proctor, who has played each the past three events leading up to this week, will make his first appearance at the league tournament to round out Ball State's lineup. He will lead the Cardinals off the 10th tee Friday at 8:30 a.m.
Watts won the MAC Championships as a freshman in 2015 at the Mayfield Sand Ridge Club to earn an NCAA Regional berth. He leads the Cardinals this year with a 73.17 scoring average and four top-10 finishes.
Bowling Green Falcons
The Falcons will send out a lineup led by senior Jose Narro, followed by senior Brett Rinker, sophomore Pablo Heredia Iglesias, redshirt sophomore Max Rispler, and rounded out by sophomore Trey Walker.
Continuing to lead the Falcons lineup will be senior Narro, who is coming off of a 237, +24 performance at the Robert Kepler Intercollegiate. Earlier this spring, the Tampico, Mexico native carded a score of 215, -1 at the Lone Star Invitational, an event in which he totaled a team-leading 36 par scores. On the season, Narro has started at the number one spot all year, and finished on top of the Bowling Green leaderboard with an even score of 213 at the Ka'anapali Collegiate Classic in November.
Eastern Michigan Eagles
Playing this weekend for Eastern Michigan will be Rodes, senior Jared Multer, junior Nic Ross, sophomore Beau Breault, and senior Philippe Weppernig.
The Eagles finished fourth at the 2016 MAC Championship posting a three-day cumulative score of 1,172 (288-295-296-293). Senior Kyle Rodes (Plymouth, Mich.-Plymouth) paced the Green and White with a three-over par 287 (70-77-70-70) to finish in a tie for second with KSU's Ian Holt and NIU's Joo-Young Lee.
Kent State Golden Flashes
As the 12th ranked team in the nation, Kent State enters the tournament as the favorites to repeat and go on to contend in the NCAA Tournament.
The Golden Flashes have reached their elite national ranking through the team's depth. All five golfers in the lineup are ranked in the national top-200, and all five players have led the team at some point this season.
The group's credentials are undeniable, and a postseason run starting this weekend would put the cap on a historically dominant year. If the season ended today, Kent State's scoring average of 284.61 would beat the previous low mark by four strokes. This year's team also owns the records for: An 87.2 finish percentage, 22 eagles, as well as average scores for par 3's, 4's and 5's. By round, the three lowest team scores in program history were set this season.
Head coach Zac Zedrick’s line-up will consist of junior Patrick Flavin, redshirt sophomore Brian Ohr, senior Greg Conrad, freshman Cam Solomon, and freshman JD Fletcher.
“The thing I liked about our schedule this spring is that we have competed the last two weekends, so competitively I feel like we are really sharp and the guys are really confident,” Zedrick said. “Those are the two things you really want heading into your conference championship”.
Northern Illinois Huskies
In the last two seasons, the Huskies have finished fourth at MAC Championship. Salvador Rocha is the lone Huskie that played in last year's championship with the then-freshman finishing tied for 31st, counting three of his four scores towards.
NIU's final tally Northern Illinois University is coming off of a 14th place finish at the Robert Kepler Intercollegiate, falling one spot in the final round after entering the round just five strokes shy of the top-10. However, Jordan Less continued his strong freshman campaign at Ohio State's Scarlet course, tying for 14th to record his second top-20 finish in the Huskies last three tournaments. The Elmhurst, Ill. native entered the Kepler with the best scoring average by a freshman in the MAC.
As a team, NIU enters the tournament with a 298.53 stroke average per round, its first sub-300 average for the Huskies entering the postseason since the 2012 MAC Tournament.
Senior Peyton White, senior Ty Herriott, senior Tom Nettles, junior Grant Engel and sophomore Ben Sattler will represent the Bobcats at the 2016 MAC Championships under the guidance of 29th-year head coach Bob Cooley.
White enters the weekend ranked third in the MAC with a 71.44 scoring average and is on pace to break the program's record for best single-season scoring average. He posted a pair of tournament wins during the 2017 spring season, capturing medalist honors at the Mission Inn Spring Spectacular (March 18-19) at the Mission Inn Golf Resort in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla., and at the Rutherford Intercollegiate (April 15-16) at the Blue Course in University Park, Pa. He has finished in the top six in five events in 2016-17 and has been named MAC Golfer of the Week three times this year, bringing his career total to seven. White has garnered Second Team All-MAC honors each of the last two seasons and was named to the All-MAC Tournament Team in 2015 after tying for fourth place. He is making his fourth and final appearance in the MAC Championships this weekend.
Toledo's lineup at the MAC Championships will consist of junior co-captain Stephen Watts, freshman Thomas Thurloway, freshman Joe Bryce, sophomore Spencer Shoemaker and junior co-captain Colin Joseph. Thurloway and Watts currently lead the Midnight Blue & Gold with 74.3 and 74.8 stroke averages, respectively.
UT is coming off a 14th-place finish at the Boilermaker Invitational on April 15-16. The Rockets fired a team score of 46-over par 910 (307-309-294) to find themselves 14th among 15 squads at the Kampen Course (Par-72, 7,423 Yards).