Coach Thurmond's NCAA Blog - Final Day Report

May 31, 2008

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Washington men's golf coach Matt Thurmond is writing a daily blog during the Huskies' run in the NCAA Championships this week. Today, Coach Thurmond writes his final entry about his thoughts on Nick Taylor's runner-up finish and the team's seventh place finish...

I was going to be happy with anything today. We started in 9th place with hopes of a miracle win, but judging how I feel now and how the team feels, we are very proud of our 7th place finish. We were probably in a much worse placing most of the day if you watched the live scoring because we started first. So I saw our score climbing, but I really felt like we were doing pretty well. In the end, our 18-over par round was one of the best rounds of the day. I'm especially proud of the way we played our final holes. Without looking I'd be surprised if many other teams had four scores at 78 or better like we did. The guys hung in there on a day with the winds blew 20-30 mph in a different direction than we had seen all week on an already amazingly difficult course.

Nick Taylor! How about Nick Taylor? After a solid season Nick finished 2nd in the NCAA West Regional to help us get here and then finishes 2nd in the NCAA Championship. Many will congratulate me on our performance as a team and I certainly tried my best and all of our players and staff did as well, but we all know that Nick Taylor is the biggest reason for our team's success. He was absolutely remarkable over the past month. I look forward to more of this over the next couple years.

With this seventh place finish we have now finished in the top-10 four of the last five years and the top 11 six of the last seven years. There have been different casts of players each year and one generation of Husky golfers has moved on and been replaced by another. The tradition, however, of playing great when it matters most continues on. It has become what we are known for to all those in college golf. That is something good to be known for.

UCLA won the championship by one over Stanford and two over USC. Garrett said to me, 'We finish 7th in the Pac-10 and 7th at Nationals, how about that?' I responded, 'Yeah, but we still finished only 4th in the Pac-10 this week. It pays to play against great teams all the time.

I'm so proud of these guys and they way they came together as a group. The energy among them has been powerful over the past couple of months and it had a crescendo here at the NCAA Championships. They played hard for each other and their coaches and for their University. They have been great Huskies. Special congrats and thanks to Zach Bixler for all of his success and contributions to our golf program. He will be missed as a player, but will always be part of our family.

-Matt

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