They seem to consistently struggle at the Regional tournaments and undershoot potential or expectations. Even their best team when Leonie was a freshman choked the 6th spot away on the 18th hole by losing 4 strokes on that hole to BYU to a dissappointing 7th place finish when they had qualifying for the NCAA Championship in their back pocket.
This week they go in ranked 31st and seeded 8th (similar to previous years) and they shoot +18 1st round, +5 2nd round, and +11 today for a +34 for the tournament well behind their 31st ranking and 8 seed.
Although they ended up blowing away everyone at the conference championship again, two of the teams they kicked good at the conference championship out perform them in the Regionals with non-ranked ECU just missing qualifying with a poor 3rd day after riding the 5 hole the first 2 days and UCF qualifying in the 6th spot in another regional. Seriously, ECU should have never beat the Coogs by 17 strokes at this tournament. UCF sure got the pub on the Golf Channel this afternoon after that big surprise of capturing that prise to the NCAA Championships.
You are right, they have a ways to go to be an elite program and this was a very senior heavy squad with 3 RS seniors, 1 senior who will be the best golfer in program history for quite some time, and a junior. They do have 2 very promising freshman with lots of experience to re-build. But overall, they need to start playing better at Regionals. What ever that Regional formula is for success, they need to find it or discover it and apply it.
Winning conference championships are great, but performing at Regionals and beyond is the goal, certainly not underperforming at Regionals.