Borsheim Leads Late Men's Golf Rally As Sun Devils Reach NCAA Championships

May 22, 2010

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Junior Scott Pinckney tied for tenth at the NCAA Southeast Regional held in Atlanta at the Capital City Club's Crabapple Course (par 70/7,182 yards) that finished Saturday afternoon, and the Sun Devils, ranked 14th in the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings and ninth by Golfstat, staged a furious rally to keep a pretty impressive streak intact.

And although Pinckney carried the Sun Devils throughout the three-day affair, it was a stretch of holes by senior Knut Borsheim (71-73-70) that sealed the deal and allowed ASU to advance to the NCAA Championship in Chattanooga held at The Honors Course, the site of Arizona State's 1996 national title under Randy Lein.

After Borsheim three-putted his 13th hole (the fourth hole, as ASU started the day on the back nine) and was 4-over on the round, he made 15-foot birdie putt to start a his rally. He birdied the next three holes and then Pinckney notched his only birdie of the round on his final hole, as the Sun Devils tied for fourth with Georgia Southern and clinched their 17th NCAA appearance in Randy Lein's 18 seasons as the Sun Devil mentor. Pinckney had to hit a 6-iron over 180 yards to about six feet and made a birdie putt.

ASU shot 23-over 863 (280-288-285) led by Pinckney's 1-over 211 (69-71-71), which tied for tenth. Borsheim tied for 21st with his 4-over 214 (71-73-70). BYU finished one shot back at 24-over par.

'It was the purest 6-iron I ever hit,' Pinckney would say after the round.

Pinckney, from Anthem, Ariz., opened this season with three straight top-10 finishes, as he tied for eighth at the Olympia Fields Invitational, tied for sixth at the NCAA Preview and then tied for seventh at the Isleworth Invitational. He also tied for seventh at the Illinois Invitational in the fall of 2008 and tied for third at the 2009 ASU Thunderbird Invitational and tied for tenth at the 2009 U.S. Intercollegiate.

Junior Jesper Kennegard tied for 34th at 8-over 218 (75-71)-72 while senior Braxton Marquez finished at 12-over 222 (75-73-74). Junior James Byrne finished at 13-over 223 (76-75-72) and tied for 58th.

ASU has now made the NCAA Championship in the past eight seasons and in 17 of 18 seasons under Randy Lein, but it sure isn't getting easier with the 30-team, three-round regional format. Using Golfweek's rankings prior to the 2009 NCAA Championship, nine top 30 teams did not go to the NCAA Championships in 2009, a list that included seventh-ranked Clemson, No. 18 LSU, No. 21 Indiana, No. 23 UNLV, No. 24 NC State, No. 25 San Diego State, No. 28 Ole Miss, No. 29 Colorado State and No. 30 Florida State.

Of the 30 teams that made the 2009 NCAA Championships, only 15 played in the 2008 championship: UCLA, Stanford, USC, Oklahoma State, Washington, Georgia, Florida, Texas A&M, Alabama, Arizona State, Illinois, Texas, Wake Forest and Oregon.

Back in 2002, Randy Lein saw ASU's 18-year NCAA championship consecutive streak snapped in a season that had injuries and bad luck. ASU is back in the saddle with eight straight, and to show you how competitive the NCAA men's golf championships is, that streak already is tied for the third-best active streak, as Georgia's 12-year streak ended this season and Wake Forest also had a five-year run snapped. Only four teams have made the NCAAs in each of the past six seasons, and each of those streak is at at least eight.

1. Oklahoma State, 1947-2010, 64
2. Florida, 2001-2010, 10
T3. Arizona State, 2003-2010, 8
T3. UCLA, 2003-2010, 8

ASU has made 17 NCAA Championship appearances in Randy Lein's 18 years (1993-2010), tied for the second-best mark in the nation. Oklahoma State leads the way with 18, while Florida also has 17 in that time just ahead of Arizona's 16. Clemson, and Georgia Tech have made it 15 times, while Wake Forest, North Carolina and Texas have 14 each. Auburn, Georgia, New Mexico and UNLV have done it a dozen times. UCLA is next with 12 appearances.

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