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Charlotte 49ers golfers head to Japan

There are road trips, then there are road trips.

Charlotte’s golf team embarked Saturday for Japan, where the 49ers will play in the Topy Cup in the small city of Tanagura next week. The 49ers will be joined by Washington, Alabama-Birmingham and Texas Christian and eight Japanese college teams in the 54-hole tournament that runs from Tuesday through Thursday at the Tanagura Country Club.

The 49ers had a six-round qualifying tournament to determine which five golfers would make the trip. Senior Franco Castro, sophomores Thomas Rowland, Daniel Brantley, Dan Hendry and freshman Seth Gandy made it. Raoul Menard, a two-time Atlantic 10 medalist (the 49ers are now in Conference USA), did not.

The 49ers are scheduled to arrive in Tokyo on Sunday afternoon, then take a three-hour bus ride to Tanagura. After a practice day Monday, the three-day tournament begins Tuesday. The 49ers will spend Friday sight-seeing in Tokyo before returning to Charlotte Saturday.

“I heard from one coach last week, who said, ‘Tell me how it is, because we’re never doing that,’ ” said coach Ryan Cabbage. “But most people tell us that you’ve got experience something like this because you may never get the chance again.”

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