PANORA - The road to the national tournament for the NIACC men's golf team begins on Saturday.
The NJCAA Region XI golf tournament is set for Saturday and Sunday at Lake Panorama Golf Course. The tournament begins at 10 a.m. both days.
The top three teams and the next two individuals not on the top three teams qualifies for the NJCAA Division II national tournament in Foley, Ala. on May 21-24.
"This has been a great change for our region as we have an extremely competitive league and our top three schools will easily compete at the national tournament," NIACC coach Chris Frenz said.
NIACC placed sixth at the NJCAA Region XI preview meet with a 322 at Lake Panorama Golf Course last month.
"It's always beneficial to play on the golf course you're going to play," Frenz said. "We played pretty well when we went there for the regional preview and could have played better.
"Again, playing the course should give you a better sense of how to manage the course. This is not a big risk taking course, or at least it shouldn't be for them. They have to realize that par is a good score."
Despite the inclement weather conditions this spring, the NIACC men's team was able to play in six tournaments. Frenz said he liked what he saw out of his team in the short spring season.
"The biggest positive from this spring is that everyone has a great attitude toward playing this weekend," he said. "It's a challenge for us to get inside that top three and if they don't believe in themselves, it's going to be a long weekend.
"I've said it all year, that we haven't all clicked at the same time. On Monday at Iowa Central we were close, but we have room to improve, and the guys are working hard to make that happen."
Frenz said this weekend's tournament is wide open.
"Our league is really balanced this year, I believe anyone could win it," Frenz said. "Kirkwood and DMACC have posted the best scores in our region, but Iowa Lakes, Iowa Central, SWCC and NIACC could make some noise as well with two good rounds of golf."