Bruins Capture NCAA Central Region Title
May 16, 2009
The 19th-ranked UCLA men's golf team surprised the field and won the NCAA Central Regional Championship Saturday at The Olde Stone Golf Club in Bowling Green, KY.
With the victory, the defending national champions advanced to their seventh consecutive NCAA Championship, a school record.
On Friday, play was suspended due to inclement weather, and the Bruins and 13 other teams were forced to complete the second round early Saturday morning. UCLA trailed fourth-ranked Washington by 10 strokes at the end of play on Friday, but posted a team score of 285 (-3) to cut the gap to seven strokes entering the final round. In round three, the Bruins carded a score of 286 (-2) while the Huskies ballooned to 300 (+12) and lost their lead.
Over the last two rounds, UCLA not only posted the best scores in the field, they played final 36 holes in five-under par.
The victory was UCLA's first of the season and its third regional championship in the last seven years.
The other qualifiers in the field were Georgia Tech and Ohio State, which tied for third at 880 (+16) and 42nd-ranked Duke at 881 (+17).
Overall, the Pac-10 qualified seven of the nine teams it sent to regional competition, including Arizona State, which won the West Regional title, Oregon (2nd, West) and USC (5th, West), Arizona (T2, Southeast) and Stanford (4th, Southwest).
Individually for the Bruins, senior Erik Flores continued his hot play, grabbing sixth place and jumping 14 spots up the leader-board with a final round score of 69 (-3). He finished at one-under par 215, his fourth straight under par result.
Sophomore Philip Francis entered the third round in second place, but finished in a tie for third after a final round 74 (+2). His second round score of 69 (-3) had put him three strokes off the lead after 36 holes.
Freshman Gregor Main posted a second-round 70 (-2) and was tied for fourth place at 143 (-1) entering the final round. After posting a 74 (+2), he fell into a tie for 11th at 217 (+1).
Freshman Alex Shi Yup Kim improved 20 spots on the leader-board with a cool, final round 70 (-2) and tied for 20th overall at 221 (+5).
Sophomore Connor Driscoll posted a score of 75 (+3) in the final round and tied for 34th at 225 (+9), an improvement of two spots.
For complete scores and tee times, click here.