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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) released the qualifiers for the 2011 NAIA Men's Golf National Championships on Thursday. The 60th annual event will take place at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Ill., May 24 - 27. Pairings will be announced Friday by 3 p.m. CDT. Cornerstone is making its first appearance at the NAIA National Championships as the automatic qualifier as the WHAC tournament champions.
The 156-player field for the National Championships is comprised of 20 automatic qualifying teams from conferences/independents/unaffiliated group tournaments and eight at-large selections, which were determined using the final NAIA Men's Golf Coaches' Top 25 Poll released on Thursday. St. Ambrose (Iowa) was awarded the host berth.
Among the qualifying teams is defending national champion Oklahoma City. The Stars won the Sooner Athletic Conference Tournament title with an eight-stroke advantage on runner-up Oklahoma Christian. Oklahoma City rallied from a three-stroke deficit in the first round with back-to-back low rounds to finish with a 287-279-292-858.
Eleven individuals earned a spot in the championship field, six of which qualified as the medalist at their respective conference/independent/unaffiliated group tournament. Holy Names' (Calif.) Stephen Edman and Zach Lindsey of Reinhardt (Ga.) each were awarded an at-large invitation. Brett Quitiquit of Madonna (Mich.), Wayland Baptist's (Texas) Michael Loppnow and J.D. Nash of William Woods (Mo.) qualified as returning 2010 All-Tournament Team members.
Over the past 12 years, the banner has been taken home by Oklahoma City, Texas Wesleyan, British Columbia, Johnson & Wales (Fla.), Malone (Ohio) or Oklahoma Christian. All six of these teams will be in action at TPC Deere Run vying for another title.
Reigning individual national champion Justin Lower of Malone will look to become the fifth player in the event's history to win consecutive medalist honors.