Joel Pietila's GLIAC championship victory will not be the last competitive golf he plays in 2016-17.
Pietila was one of four individuals selected to compete in the 2017 NCAA Division II Regional Golf Championship, being hosted by the University of Nebraska Kearney May 8-10. The event will be held at the Awarii Dunes in Axtell, Nebraska.
This regional tournament combines qualifying teams and individuals from the Central and Midwest regions. Other sports, such as basketball and volleyball, have eight separate regional tournaments held after conference tournament events. But men's golf features four regional events, with different regions being combined based on geographic location.
Eight individuals not on qualifying teams were selected to participate in the regional tournament. Joining Pietila as individual qualifiers are Keenai Sampson from McKendree, Talon Supak from Illinois-Springfield, Craig Stefureak from Drury, Parker Klitzke from Augustana, Patrick McCarthy from Missouri Western, Connor Neil from Missouri Southern and Hayden Easter from Southeast Oklahoma State.
The qualifying teams from the Midwest Region are Missouri-St. Louis, Grand Valley State, Indianapolis, Bellarmine, Ferris State, Saginaw Valley State, Wayne State, Maryville, Tiffin and Trevecca Nazarene. Representing the Central Region are Central Missouri, Arkansas Tech, Central Oklahoma, Lindenwood, Henderson State, Southwest Oklahoma State, Washburn, Northeasters, Harding and Minnesota State-Mankato.
Pietila was the GLIAC medalist by shooting a 220 in Northport, Ohio last weekend. He shot a 72-76-72, playing a very consistent series of rounds to capture the conference title.
A practice round will take place at noon on Sunday, May 7 with the first round of competition starting at 8 a.m. Monday, May 8. There will be three rounds of play at the regional.