Benjamin Alvarado Holley Wins NCAA West Regional
May 19, 2007
Sun Devil sophomore Benjamin Alvarado Holley took home top individual honors at the 141-player NCAA West Regional held at the ASU Karsten Golf Course (par 72/7,057 yards) with a course collegiate three-round record of 18-under 198 (67-65-66).
'Ben was excellent all weekend, just like he has been the past four tournaments, ' said Arizona State head coach Randy Lein of his sophomore, who is 40-under par in his past 13 rounds. 'He is playing extremely well. Notching 21 birdies and an eagle in 72 holes established him as one to watch in Virginia. A lot of good teams and great players will not get the chance to play in the NCAA championships and we are excited to be a part of it.'
His 18-under 198 topped the 16-under 200 set by Sun Devil Alejandro Canizares (2004) and TCU's Bret Guetz in 2002. Ben Kern of Kansas State also shot a 14-under 199 at Karsten under a par-71 format. All three marks were set in annual ASU's Thunderbird Invitational.
South Carolina, seeded 11th and ranked No. 33 by Golfweek and No. 36 by Golfstat, took home team honors with a 44-under 820 (273-269-278), which also is a Karsten three-round team score record. Its score beat Arizona State's 43-under 821 set in the Thunderbird Invitational in 2004.
'It really helped us that Mark Silvers got off to such a good start,' said Gamecock coach Bill McDonald. 'He made a couple of birdies early and made the turn at 32 (4-under par). I think when our guys started to see the board and we had a lead that really helped. We got a burst of energy on the back nine knowing we had a chance to win. George Bryan IV was able to seal it for us with his eagle on No. 16 and birdie on No. 18.'
The Gamecocks, led by freshman George Bryan IV who shot a 12-under 204 (68-67-69) and tied for ninth, won their first regional in school history and first tournament of the year. They are advancing to the NCAA Championships in back-to-back seasons for the first time since a four-year streak from 1996-1999. South Carolina's best NCAA finish was eighth in 1988.
The top 10 teams of the 27 who competed are advancing to the 2007 NCAA Championships held in Williamsburg, Va., May 30-June 2 at Golden Horseshoe Golf Club (hosted by Virginia Commonwealth). Also advancing as individuals are Daniel Summerhays (72-67-63) of BYU and Chance Pipitone of Penn (67-70-65) at 14-under 202 which tied for fifth.
Second-seeded UCLA, ranked eighth by Golfweek, seventh by Golf World and fourth by Golfstat, finished second with a 42-under 822 (268-273-281). Kevin Chappell tied for second at 15-under 201 (66-68-67) and tied for fifth. The Bruins, with five tournaments on the year at the Husky Invitational, Pac-10/Big Ten Challenge, Cougar Invitational, CS Bakersfield Invitational and the Southern Highlands Collegiate, have now made the NCAA Championship 29 times including each of the past five seasons (2003-07).
Host Arizona State, a five-time champion of the West Regional and national champion in 1990 and 1996, finished tied for third with Pac-10 champion USC (277-273-274) at 40-under 824.
Fourth-seeded USC, ranked fifth by Golfweek, was led by Jamie Lovemark's 15-under 201 (69-63-69) as he tied for second. The Trojans earned their 50th NCAA Championship appearance and their first since a three-year streak from 2003-05.
ASU senior All-American Niklas Lemke tied for 40th at 6-under 210 (71-72-67). Freshmen Tristan Bierenbroodspot finished at 5-under 211 (71-72-68) and tied for 43rd. Freshmen Knut Borsheim tied for 53rd at 4-under 212 (69-66-77). Senior Fredrik Andersson finished at 1-over 217 (68-76-73) after shooting a career-best 4-under 68 with five birdies in the first round and tied for 86th.
Southeastern Conference member Vanderbilt, seeded 13th and ranked 46th by Golfweek, finished fifth by shooting the best round of the tournament (21-under) in the final round and advanced to NCAA championships for the third time in school history (previous 2003 and 2004) with a 38-under 826 (283-276-267). John Curran tied for second at 15-under 201 (71-65-65).
Arizona, the 2006 ASU Thunderbird Invitational champion who also tied with Florida for the 2006 West Regional title held in Tucson, finished sixth with a 36-under 828 (282-275-271). The Wildcats, who won the 1992 national title under current head coach Rick LaRose, have now made 21 straight NCAA championships (1987-2007), the second-best current streak behind Oklahoma State's run of 61 (1947-2007).
Stanford, the West Regional top seed and second-ranked team in the nation by the three major polls, finished at 33-under 831 (277-280-274. The Cardinal, with six tournament wins on the year, advance to the NCAA Championship for the second time in the past 10 seasons (2005). They are a seven-time NCAA champion with most recent coming in 1994. Joseph Bramlett led the Cardinal with a 12-under 204 (71-67-66) and tied for tenth.
New Mexico finished eighth at 31-under 833 (275-282-276). The Lobos, ranked No. 52 by Golfweek and seeded 17th, earned their 40th appearance in the NCAA finals. Lobo senior Charlie Beljan finished at 13-under 203 (65-68-70) and tied for seventh. Beljan shot a 15-under 201 (66-67-68) to win Karsten's ASU Thunderbird Invitational on April 13-15.
East Tennessee State (278-277-284), Oregon State (281-275-283) and Wake Forest (285-277-277) tied at 25-under 839 and had a playoff with ETSU and Wake Forest advancing to the NCAA Championships.
Fifth-seeded and 2007 Atlantic Sun Conference champion East Tennessee State has now advanced to the final 16 times in its history and made back-to-back showings for the first time since an eight-year streak from 1994-2001.
Eighth-seeded Wake Forest, the winner of the past two East Regionals and ranked No. 21 by Golfweek, won the national titles in 1974, 1975 and 1986 and finished tied for third at last year's NCAA Championship. They is the third straight finals appearance after posting four straight trips from 2000-03. Chris McCartin shot a 13-under 203 and tied for seventh.
NCAA MEN'S GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP ACTIVE CONSECUTIVE APPEARANCESOklahoma State, 61, 1947-2007Arizona, 21, 1987-2007Georgia, 10, 1998-2007Georgia Tech, 10, 1998-2007Florida, 7, 2001-2007Arizona State, 5, 2003-2007UCLA, 5, 2003-2007
WEST REGIONAL NOTES: Arizona in 1992 won the West Regional and then won the NCAA title...nine Pac-10 schools competed in the West Regional...Golfweek rankings had nine of the top 22 teams playing in Tempe...the nation's top three players were in the field according to Golfweek with top-ranked Jamie Lovemark (USC), second-ranked Niklas Lemke (Arizona State) and third-ranked Rhys Davies (East Tennessee State).
NCAA WEST REGIONAL CHAMPIONSYear-Champ, Individual Champion1989-Arizona, Robert Gamez (Arizona)1990-UNLV, Hub Goyen (UNLV)1991-ASU/UA, Warren Schutte (UNLV)1992-Arizona, Harry Rudolph (Arizona)1993-Arizona, Manny Zerman (Arizona)1994-UNLV, Edward Fryatt (UNLV)1995-ASU, Mike Sauer (New Mexico)1996-Stanford, Tiger Woods (Stanford)1997-UNLV, Aaron Oberholser (San Jose St.)1998-Arizona State/New Mexico, Paul Casey (ASU) (@ASU)1999-ASU, Jeff Quinney (ASU)2000-Arizona, Michael Beard (Pepperdine)2001-ASU, Matt Jones (ASU) and Kyle Thompson (South Carolina)2002-New Mexico/Washington, Ricky Barnes (Arizona) and Justin Smith (Minnesota)2003-UCLA, Michael Letzig (UNM)2004-UCLA, Travis Johnson (UCLA)2005-UNLV, Rob Grube (Stanford)2006-Florida/Arizona, Billy Horschel (Florida) and Casey Watabu (Nevada)2007-South Carolina, Benjamin Alvarado Holley (ASU)
ASU'S BEST: After 11 tournaments this year, both Niklas Lemke and Benjamin Alvarado Holley have a chance to move up the top-10 in terms of single-season scoring average in ASU history. Lemke now has a 69.88 mark, while Alvarado Holley has a 70.74 average after the NCAA West Regional.
ASU MEN'S GOLF SCORING AVERAGES (1987-2007)Rk. Name, Events, Year, Average1. Paul Casey, 10, 1999-2000, 69.872. Niklas Lemke, 11, 2006-07, 69.883. Phil Mickelson, 12, 1991-92, 69.954. Phil Mickelson, 11, 1990-91, 70.085. Billy Mayfair, 13, 1986-87, 70.596. Benjamin Alvarado Holley, 11, 2006-07, 70.747. Phil Mickelson, 14, 1989-90, 70.828. Chez Reavie, 14, 2003-04, 71.059. Alejandro Canizares, 13, 2005-06, 71.2210. Alejandro Canizares, 14, 2003-04, 71.3811. Chris Hanell, 13, 1996-97, 71.44
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