Husky Golfers Survive the Cut to Advance to NCAA's Final Round

May 29, 2003

Stillwater, OK - When the teams arrived at the Karsten Creek Golf Club Thursday for their third round of play at the NCAA Golf Championships they were welcomed with the surprising news that the NCAA committee that governs the event had made the decision to cut the field down to 18 teams after the day's play.

'The decision was based upon the pace of play for the first two rounds which far exceeded what we anticipated and would jeopardize a timely completion of the championship,' said men's golf championship chairman Mike Carter. 'We have Saturday but it was reserved as an extra day for weather delays, not as an extra day for a playoff caused by pace of play problems.'

Despite the added pressure, the Huskies responded with a 13-over round of 301 to finish tied with North Carolina for 12th place after 54 holes of play. Both teams are at 51-over 915 on the leaderboard. Clemson posted a third-round score of 1-under 287, for a three-day total of 24-over 888, to hold a one-stroke lead over Oklahoma State heading into Friday's finale. UCLA, which lead after three rounds, shot 301 and fell 11 strokes behind the Tigers into third place.

Washington entered the third round in ninth place, even with Arizona State and Minnesota at 38-over 614. Those teams were just six strokes out of 19th place. The Golden Gophers, the defending NCAA Champions, shot 306 and failed to make the cut at 920 overall, just one stroke behind Texas. Duke, which posted its best score of the tournament, shooting 294, also missed the cut by one stroke.

The Huskies were led by junior All-American Brock Mackenzie who shot even-par 72 and junior Dan Potter who posted a 1-over score of 73 that included a self-imposed one-stroke penalty. The Huskies performed well under the pressure of the day and rebounded with solid play after several stretches of poor play.

'Throwing the cut in threw everyone for a bit of a loop,' said Husky coach Matt Thurmond. 'You don't need any more pressure out here and all of the sudden it was like being at a regional and you're trying to qualify to keep playing. I don't think our players let it bother them at all. Still, it is something that looms out there and if you start playing poorly, it takes on a lot of significance.'

Potter admitted that the news of a cut caught him off guard.

'Usually, if there is a cut, it will be after 36 holes,' Potter said. 'It did add a little pressure because it was unexpected. You just can't think about it. The golf course commands so much attention on every shot, you can't be thinking about that kind of stuff even if you wanted to.'

Potter was two-under par until recording a triple bogie on his 16th hole. He would have finished at even par but penalized himself one stoke when his ball moved while he addressed it for a putt.

Mackenzie opened his round with back-to-back bogies and needed an 80-foot shot to post par on his third hole. After that, he put together four birdies over his next four holes.

'I had a stretch there where I didn't miss a shot,' said Mackenzie. 'I actually started taking a different mindset about halfway through the round. I went for both of the par fives with three woods where earlier in the week I would have just laid up.'

At one point during the afternoon, Mackenzie had moved into the top five on the leaderboard before finishing the day in ninth place at four-over 220 for 54 holes. Auburn's Lee Williams has a five-stoke lead for the individual championship at four-under 212.

John Robertson, who shot 79, stands 65th at 231 while Derek Berg carded a 77 to enter the final round in 81st place at 233. Potter's round moved him up to 107th at 238 and Conner Robbins shot 84 to stand 149th at 257.

'I think the team did a great job of responding to some tough breaks,' Thurmond said. 'I'm proud of Dan for calling a penalty on himself. I was proud of John for playing even par on 15 holes after going double, triple and double bogie during one stretch. He did not let that one stretch get to him. Brock had a great round and Derek Berg was solid.'

Trailing the top six teams by 12 strokes, the Huskies have little hope of finishing that high on the leaderboard. Washington's best finish at the event was fourth place in 1942 and 1999.

'It's a matter of pride now and we have a lot of that' Thurmond said. 'We want to finish as high as we possibly can. We were 11th last year and we would like to beat that.

'I think tomorrow the attitude will be, 'Let's go out and see how well we can shoot,'' Potter said. 'It's kind of icing on the cake at this point. So let's see how much we can pile on.'

Washington will be paired with Wichita State and Georgia Tech during the final round. The team's pairings will start at 8 a.m. CST from the first tee.

NCAA Men's Golf Championships
Karsten Creek Golf Club
Stillwater, OK
Par 72, 7095 yards

Team Results

 1   Clemson              299   302   287   888 2   Oklahoma State       299   300   290   889 3   UCLA                 303   295   301   899 3   Florida              302   300   297   899 5   Wake Forest          304   306   290   900 6   Auburn               299   303   301   903 7   UNLV                 313   300   294   907 8   Southern California  300   311   298   909 9   Augusta State        311   306   294   911 9   Arizona State        306   308   297   91111   North Carolina State 299   317   296   91212   North Carolina       308   308   299   91512   Washington           314   300   301   91514   Wichita State        308   309   299   91615   Georgia Tech         310   306   302   91815   Georgia              315   306   297   91815   Arizona              307   308   303   91818   Texas                306   314   299   91919   Duke                 300   326   294   92019   Minnesota            305   309   306   92021   Illinois             304   320   297   92122   Oregon               323   300   301   92423   Tennessee            320   310   295   92524   New Mexico           309   314   305   92825   Vanderbilt           320   313   297   93026   Kentucky             309   323   310   94227   Arkansas             314   326   307   94728   SMU                  316   319   318   95329   South Carolina       313   331   311   95530   San Diego State      323   327   315   965

Washington Results

  9   Brock Mackenzie    +4   77   71   72   220 65   John Robertson    +15   75   77   79   231 81   Derek Berg        +17   79   77   77   233107   Dan Potter        +22   90   75   73   238149   Conner Robbins    +41   83   90   84   257

Individual Leaders

 1   Lee Williams, Auburn                -4   69   72   71   212 2   John Holmes, Kentucky               +1   72   76   69   217 2   Hunter Mahan, Oklahoma State        +1   73   71   73   217 2   Chris Stroud *, Lamar               +1   70   77   70   217 5   Alejandro Canizares, Arizona State  +2   77   70   71   218 5   Matthew Rosenfeld, Texas            +2   71   76   71   218 7   Ricky Barnes, Arizona               +3   75   74   70   219 7   Jason Hartwick, Texas               +3   77   70   72   219 9   David Denham, Georgia               +4   74   73   73   220 9   Judd Easterling, Wichita State      +4   78   72   70   220 9   Brock Mackenzie, Washington         +4   77   71   72   220 9   Jason Moon, North Carolina State    +4   72   73   75   22013   Jack Ferguson, Clemson              +5   73   76   72   22113   Ryan Moore, UNLV                    +5   76   71   74   22113   Chez Reavie, Arizona State          +5   74   77   70   22113   Mike Sica, Oregon                   +5   73   74   74   22113   Brent Wanner, Wake Forest           +5   75   75   71   221

Note: Complete results are available at golfstat.com

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