Ducks Fall Three Strokes Shy of NCAA Bid

May 18, 2002

ALBUQUERQUE, N.N. - The Oregon men's golf team shot a 5-over 293 Saturday at the NCAA West Regional and fell three strokes shy of a bid to the NCAA Championships. Adding to the disappointment was senior Aaron Byers' loss in a playoff that would have sent him to the national tournament as an individual.

The NCAA grants two spots to individuals not on teams who advance to the national championships. After 56 holes were completed, Byers was tied at 216 with John Merrick of UCLA and Mark Warman of San Diego State, whose teams also failed to advance. Merrick and Warman then both defeated Byers to move on.

In his final collegiate tournament, Byers countered a double bogey on the 12th with birdies on No. 1, No. 8 and No. 10. The senior from Albany, Ore., also had a pair of bogeys to go with 12 pars for his second straight 73. His even-par 216 total for the tournament was tied for eighth overall, and was his best finish in an NCAA regional.

The Ducks had a three-round total of 885 to tie for 13th. The top 10 teams advance to the NCAA Champions May 29-June 1 in Columbus, Ohio.

Oregon was near par for the second straight round, but was not able to mount a charge into the top 10. Saturday, the Ducks got 73s from Byers, junior John Ellis and senior Brandon Harnden, making his final appearance as a Duck. Oregon also counted a 74 from junior Mike Sica. Ellis was the only other Duck to finish in the top 30, tying for 29th at 4-over 220.

New Mexico and Washington tied for the team title at 872. Also making the trip to the NCAA Championships will be Nevada-Las Vegas, which finished third at 874, Minnesota with an 875, Pepperdine, Arizona, Pacific, and Texas, which all tied for sixth at 878, Fresno State with an 879 and Texas Tech, which defeated San Diego State in a playoff to claim the West's final bid. California was 12th at 883, while Oregon and UCLA tied for 13th at 885

Ricky Barnes of Arizona and Justin Smith of Minnesota shared individual medalist honors at 6-under 210.

NCAA West Regional
South Champions Course
Albuquerque, N.M.
Final Round
7,368 Yards, Par 72

TEAM SCORES - 1 (tie), New Mexico, 293-295-284-872; Washington, 291-293-288-872. 3, Nevada-Las Vegas, 290-292-292-874. 4, Minnesota, 290-298-287-875. 5, Pepperdine, 292-297-288-877. 6 (tie), Arizona, 292-293-293-878; Pacific, 294-295-289-878; Texas, 285-303-290-878. 9, Fresno State, 290-293-296-879. 10 (tie), **Texas Tech, 298-297-287-882; San Diego State, 289-296-297-882. 12, California, 308-286-289-883. 13 (tie), Oregon, 300-292-293-885; UCLA, 296-292-297-885. 15, Ohio State, 295-298-296-889. 16, Nevada, 299-293-298-890. 17, Stanford, 303-297-291-891. 18, USC, 294-303-298-895. 19, Washington State, 302-296-301-899. 20, Arizona State, 304-302-294-900. 21, Brigham Young, 301-301-299-901. 22, UC Irvine, 307-306-290-903. 23, Colorado State, 314-296-301-911. 24, Illinois State, 301-306-306-913. 25, Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis, 315-311-302-928. 26, Detroit, 302-312-319-933. 27, Central Connecticut State, 313-316-308-937.

TOP 10 INDIVIDUALS -- 1 (tie), Ricky Barnes, Arizona, 70-67-73-210; Justin Smith, Minnesota, 70-72-68-210. 3, Nick Watney, Fresno State, 74-69-71-214. 4 (tie), Scott Hailes, New Mexico, 73-72-70-215; Matt Hansen, Pacific, 70-75-70-215; Brock Mackenzie, Washington, 72-76-67-215; Ben Scribner, Pacific, 74-69-72-215. 8 (tie), Jason Allred, Pepperdine, 69-75-72-216; Aaron Byers, Oregon, 70-73-73-216; Brooks Kelly, Texas Tech, 76-70-70-216; **John Merrick, UCLA, 75-69-72-216; Russell Surber, Texas, 70-76-70-216; **Mark Warman, San Diego State, 72-70-74-216.

OTHER OREGON FINISHERS - 29 (tie), John Ellis, 76-71-73-220. 87 (tie), Chris Carnahan, 78-72-77-227. 90 (tie), Mike Sica, 78-76-74-228. 99 (tie), Brandon Harnden, 76-80-73-229.

**advanced to NCAA Championships by virtue of a playoff.

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