HERSHEY, Pa. — The nationally third-ranked USC Aiken men’s golf team will open play in the 2013 NCAA Division II Men’s Golf Championship at the par-71, 7,061-yard -yard East Course at the Hershey Country Club today.


The Golf Championship will be held today through Friday and USCA will make its 17th appearance in the event. Ten of the top-12 ranked men’s teams in Division II advanced to the Golf Championship. The top five teams (Nova Southeastern, Barry, USCA, Florida Southern and Lynn) all advanced out of the South/Southeast Regional.


USCA advanced to the Golf Championship by finishing seventh as a team at the South/Southeast Regional with a three-round team score of 891 (295-303-293). National No. 1 Nova Southeastern claimed top team honors at the regional with a three-round team score of 855 (287-284-284), while No. 2 Barry finished second at 871 (284-296-291).


USCA was led in the regional by JP Solis, who finished tied for fourth individually at 1-under 215 (72-70-73). The top-5 finish was the second of the year for Solis.


The Golf Championship, which features 20 teams and eight individuals, will begin with 54 holes of stroke play, running today through Wednesday. Action is scheduled to get underway at 7:30 a.m. each day.


The first Pacer will tee off in round one on hole No. 1 at 12:50 p.m. today. The first Pacer is slated to tee off in round two on hole No. 10 at 8:20 a.m. on Tuesday. Tee times for the third round on Wednesday, May 22 will be determined by team position after round two.


After the conclusion of the 54 holes of stroke play, an individual champion will be declared. The top eight teams will then be put into brackets based on the 54-hole scores. The final eight will then move on to match play. This will be the third year that match play will be utilized in the national championship.


Pairings for the quarterfinals will be seed No. 1 against seed No. 8, seed No. 2 against seed No. 7, seed No. 3 against seed No. 6 and seed No. 4 against seed No. 5.


Each team match will consist of five points, with one point being awarded for each individual match. Winning teams will advance to the semifinals and subsequently the finals. Each individual match will be played to its completion and the first team to win three points within the team match will advance, or in the case of the final match, be declared the national champion.


The match play quarterfinals and semifinals will be contested on Thursday. The national championship match is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. on Friday.


USCA has claimed two team titles this season, winning the Ninth Annual Kiawah Island Invitational and the Peach Belt Conference championship at Mountain View Course at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Ga. The Pacers now have nine PBC team titles and 76 tournament wins in program history.


PBC Player of the Year Matt Atkins is leading USCA this season with a 73.27 scoring average. Atkins has two individual wins in the season and the senior was chosen to the PBC All-Conference First-Team and All-Tournament Team in addition to winning league Player of the Year plaudits. Solis, a senior, was chosen to the PBC All-Conference Team. Fellow senior Mark Dickson was tabbed to the PBC All-Tournament Team.


USCA, under Hall of Fame head coach and 2013 Peach Belt Conference Coach of the Year Michael Carlisle, has three NCAA Division II National Championships (2004, 2005, 2006) and three runner-up finishes (1995, 1996 and 1999).