JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – ETSU men’s golf advanced to a third-straight NCAA Championship last week, but not without some drama.

The Blue and Gold won a playoff victory over Northwestern by three strokes in the Las Vegas Regional, securing the final bid to the big dance.

One of the key contributors to the Bucs’ regional run was Bristol native, Jack Tickle.

The sophomore has been an alternate for much of the season, but was called upon to start for the squad in Las Vegas. He finished all three of his rounds under par, carding a 209 (-7) to finish the week tied 30th on the individual leaderboard.

Tickle is already in the transfer portal, however, and has decided to take his clubs to the College of Charleston in the fall. But, he won’t leave for his new school until the job is finished in Johnson City.

And his coach and teammates wouldn’t want it any other way.

“Me and the guys on the team are close, so, they understood kind of my reasons behind [entering the transfer portal],” Tickle said. “Nothing has really changed between me and the guys, so they all had my back and I was there for them.”

“Jack is one of my favorite people I ever coached,” ETSU head men’s golf coach Jake Amos said. “The guys, they love him to death and even though he went into the portal – they requested, a lot of my senior guys said Jack fits in great. We want him here and we want him to play postseason.”

Tickle could figure into the Bucs’ NCAA Championship lineup at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona come First Round action on Friday, May 26.