Golf Headed to NCAA National Championship
This is the fourth team advancement to nationals for Georgia Southern under head coach Larry Mays and the 19th overall, including individual and team appearances. The last advancement to the championship occurred in to 2005.
"It was a special day and it feels great," said Mays. "I challenged the guys last night and told them we needed all of them in the ballgame today. And they all stepped up. We've been talking about having that special round all year and to do it on a day we needed it more than ever was extremely special."
On the final day of competition, Georgia Southern shaved 11 strokes off its second round score and jumped from eighth place into a highly sought-after top five finish. The Eagles, teeing off on the back nine for the final round, were led by a senior, junior and freshman over the final 18, each carding even par 70s. The final two Eagles rounding out the lineup posted 2-over 72s for the best GS round of the tournament at the Capital City Crabapple Golf Club, a par 70, 7,137 yard course.
For the tournament, Georgia Southern collected a team total 863 (+23). Tying with Arizona State for fourth, the Eagles and Sun Devils will be joined by No. 1 seeded Oklahoma State, Clemson and host Georgia Tech, advancing to the national stage in Chattanooga.
Contending for the top spot on the individual leaderboard all tournament, Logan Blondell (Lakeland, Fla.) took second place with a 2-under par 208. Going off the tenth tee, Blondell took the turn at 1-under using two bogeys supplemented with three birdies. The junior moved to even with a bogey on hole three and parred the remainder of the course for a solid finish. Blondell finished only two strokes behind the top individual, Peter Uihlein of Oklahoma State, using rounds of 69-69-70.
Senior Spence Fulford (Rocky Mount, N.C) claimed part of 27th place using three rounds of 2-over 72s. Fulford carded his final round with a 2-over front nine and even back nine after swapping a birdie and bogey on holes five and six. He launched birdies on holes five and 13.
Recording a nearly flawless round, freshman Florian Sander (Bregenz, Austria) improved each round, slicing five strokes from day one. Sander hit a birdie on 13 before moving back to even with a bogey two holes later. The Eagle then parred the next seven holes before trading a birdie and bogey on five and six, remaining even. The freshman closed out the round with three pars to finish tied for 36th.
Matt Deal (Statesboro, Ga.) sandwiched two rounds of 2-over 72 around a second round 79. Deal fired a birdie on 13 and recorded two bogeys over the final three holes on the front nine for a 2-over tally. The senior proceeded to par the course for his final score and a tie for 58th.
The final competitor for Georgia Southern finished tied for 65th showing the most improvement on the final day. Senior Ryan Zabroske
"A lot of teams faltered today, but we stayed strong. We had a nice crowd here supporting us and we put together one of the best rounds as a team this tournament," stated Mays. "We have a special group of guys this year and I'm extremely proud of them. We've accomplished so many things both on and off the course -- it feels great to bring this team to nationals. We've been close all year to getting that special round and today it all came together."
(Alpharetta, Ga.) shaved 10 strokes off his second round with a 70 on the day three. Zabroske owned three birdies and three bogeys on the round. Standing at even through two holes on the back nine, the senior erased consecutive bogeys with consecutive birdies on holes five and six to move back to even par.
- Category: Golf
- Published on Saturday, 22 May 2010 18:19