Tech Golfers Finish Third at NCAA Regional, Advance to Finals
May 22, 2010
ALPHARETTA, Ga. - Oklahoma State, paced by individual medalist Peter Uihlein, played consistent golf for the third straight day to win the NCAA Southeast Regional here Saturday at the Capital City Club's Crabapple Course.
The Cowboys, the regional's No. 1 seed, won an NCAA regional for a record eighth time and lead a group of five teams from the Southeast Regional that will advance to the NCAA Championships June 1-6 at The Honors Course in Chattanooga, Tenn.
Oklahoma State shot a 54-hole cumulative total of 841 (+1) on the par 70, 7,182-yard layout about 20 miles outside of Atlanta to hold off Clemson (+3) and regional host Georgia Tech (+5) for the regional crown. Arizona State (+23) and Georgia Southern (+23) tied for fourth. All five teams earn automatic berths to the NCAA Championships.
The Cowboys shot a final round of 277 (-3) to overtake Clemson and to hold off hard-charging Georgia Tech, which shot the best score on Saturday - an 8-under 272.
"In the five years that I have been head coach we have only come from behind to win a tournament twice," Oklahoma State coach Mike McGraw said. "We haven't had a history of doing that so I am very happy that it happened. The golf course I thought held its own and played really tough the whole week. Our guys played our best round today so I was real happy with that for sure."
While the final round turned into a three-team race, there was a close battle for the all-important fifth-place finish. Arizona State and Georgia Southern finished one shot ahead of Brigham Young (+24), South Alabama (+26) and Arkansas (+27). The remainder of the 13-team field included Wake Forest (+29), Mississippi (+33), Furman (+34), Coastal Carolina (+34) and Towson (+37).
The Southeast Regional is one of six regionals across the country scheduled to finish on Saturday.
Oklahoma State was remarkably consistent throughout the week. Of the five Cowboy golfers, only one posted a score higher than 72 in any single round. Four OSU players finished in the top 20, but the week belonged to Uihlein, who shot 68-70-68--206 (-4) to win by two strokes.
Uilhlein was consistent throughout the tournament, including a 3-birdie, 1-bogey round on Saturday. He finished two shots ahead of Georgia Southern's Logan Blondell (-2) and three shots in front of a group of five players tied for third.
"I positioned the ball pretty well," Uihlein said. "At the tee, I really made sure to see where the pins were before I teed off and tried to position myself so I had the best angle coming in. I was able to execute and do that. I might not have hit every fairway but I was on the right angles so I was able to attack all of the flags."
The biggest suspense in the individual race came once the team and individual champion had been determined. Brigham Young's Robbie Fillmore beat Mississippi's Jonathan Randolph on the fifth hole of a sudden death playoff to advance as an individual to the NCAA Championships. The top individual from each regional, from a team that did not qualify, advances to the NCAA Championships.
Clemson held a three-shot lead in the team race after 36 holes, but could not keep up with Oklahoma State on Saturday. Georgia Tech, the ACC champion, briefly overtook Clemson for second place on Saturday, but ultimately finished in third place.
"I am very proud of this team," Clemson coach Larry Penley said. "Overall it has made great progress over the course of the season and we should go to the Honors Course with confidence. We played just about even with the number-one team in the nation over three days."
Georgia Tech, which will play in the NCAA Championships for the 24th time, was led by John-Tyler Griffin, among the golfers tied for third place overall at 209 (-1). Griffin and teammate Chesson Hadley both shot 2-under 68s on Saturday. Hadley overcame a 73 on the first day to finish with an even par 210 for the tournament.
"We got better every day, and today was really good, everybody was in the game," Tech coach Bruce Heppler said. "We had five guys under par for most of the day.
"You are moving on, you would like to win, but that's not really the point. I think you try to (win), and when you try to you get closer to the front and you don't have to worry about it. I think this was a good round to go into Chattanooga with."
"I thought Georgia Tech did a great job hosting," OSU's McGraw said. "It was a great place to have the tournament."
For complete individual and team scores, go to www.golfstat.com.
Oklahoma State 282-282-277-- 841 (+1)
Clemson 283-278-282-- 843 (+3)
Georgia Tech 287-286-272-- 845 (+5)
Georgia Southern 288-293-282 -- 863 (+23)
Arizona State 290-288-285 -- 863 (+23)
Brigham Young 289-287-288 -- 864 (+24)
South Alabama 292-284-290 -- 866 (+26)
Arkansas 296-282-289 -- 867 (+27)
Wake Forest 292-291-286 -- 869 (+29)
Mississippi 301-285-287-- 873 (+33)
Furman 292-294-288-- 874 (+34)
Coastal Carolina 293-302-279-- 874 (+34)
Towson 308-282-287-- 877 (+37)
Peter Uihlein, Oklahoma State 68-70-68--206 (-4)
Logan Blondell, Georgia Southern 69-69-70--208 (-2)
Robbie Fillmore, BYU 68-69-72--209 (-1)
John-Tyler Griffin, Georgia Tech 68-73-68--209 (-1)
Morgan Hoffman, Oklahoma State 71-69-69--209 (-1)
Jonathan Randolph, Mississippi 68-72-69--209 (-1)
Ben Martin, Clemson 71-69-69--209 (-1)
Chesson Hadley, Georgia Tech 73-69-68--210 (E)
*Jeff Karlsson, Kennesaw State 75-68-67--210 (E)
Scott Pinckney, Arizona State 69-71-71--211 (+1)
Marc-Ettienne Bussieres, S. Alabama 71-71-69--211 (+1)
(*Played as an individual)