Skip to main content

Oklahoma State Wins NCAA Colorado Regional

May 21, 2011

ERIE, Colo. - No. 1 Oklahoma State basically toyed with the rest of the field here this week, as the Cowboys ran away and hid from the rest of the field in cruising to victory in the NCAA Men's Golf Colorado Regional in advancing to the championship finals for a record 65th consecutive year.

The top-ranked Cowboys topped the field with a 31-under par score of 833, good for a sizeable 18-stroke victory and a record ninth regional title. OSU had never played the 7,758-yard, par-72 Colorado National Golf Club layout before, but certainly played like it was most familiar with it: the Cowboys placed all five of its golfers in the top 13, all were under par, and combined in 270 holes of golf here, scored an eagle, 60 birdies and 181 pars'meaning just 28 holes over par, 24 single bogeys and the other four doubles.

GÇ£This tournament is such a strange feeling, because if you win or finish fifth, you still accomplish the same thing, but you don't want to be on the bubble because that's a very hard place to be," Oklahoma State head coach Mike McGraw said. GÇ£It's no fun and it's a lot of pressure. I was thrilled that they were able to get us into position where today's round wasn't quite as stressful. The guys just went out and took care of business."

The top five teams, plus the top individual from a team outside the top 5 or from 10 competing here as solo performers, advanced to the NCAA Championship Finals in Stillwater, May 31-June 5. With Oklahoma State virtually assured of one of those spots early in round two, the race was for the final four spots. After OSU, Georgia, in third place entering the final round, was the only one of four to hold on to its place in the top five and thus earned the right to advance.

Joining Oklahoma State in moving on was No.11-seeded Colorado State, as the Rams caught fire early and rode it to a second place finish, posting a 9-under 279 for the final round and a 13-under 851 for the three days; CSU jumped from sixth to runner-up in the process. It will be only the second appearance in the national finals for CSU, who finished 24th in 1999. The Rams had a balanced attack Saturday, their four scorers putting a 69 and three 70s into the books to make it a total team effort.

GÇ£We all just played well, our coach (Jamie Bermel) said last night that he needed five guys playing well," said CSU junior Kory Harrell. GÇ£We've actually started to play the way we feel we should have been playing all year. We felt like we've been underachieving all year, and to finally get out here and peak at the right time to make nationals is a great feeling."

CSU lost to New Mexico by one stroke last September in rival University of Colorado's home tournament on the same course, a competition that benefitted the Rams some eight months later.

GÇ£I think it gave us a little bit of an advantage, just to be able to have seen and played the course in competition, especially since for most of the other teams it was their first time seeing it," Harrell said. GÇ£In the fall, when we lost by one, that was kind of a disappointment. We thought we could use this tournament as a little bit of redemption and use that to be able to come out here and play well."

The best team score in the final round was recorded by Northwestern, as the Wildcats moved from eighth into third after a sizzling 12-under 276 for an 855 (-9) total.

GÇ£Obviously, we're all excited," Northwestern's David Lipsky said; the Wildcat senior opened with a 75 but helped rally his team with two straight 68s. GÇ£We played a great round today, the low round of the day (by three strokes), especially coming off the last few days where it looked marginal on if we were going to make it. Putting together this round, we couldn't be happier or more pleased with ourselves."

Georgia slipped one spot into a tie for fourth, as the Bulldogs and Arizona State finished up with identical 7-under par 857 totals. Heartbreak was felt by TCU, Clemson and Auburn, who missed qualifying by one, two and four strokes, respectively.

Oklahoma senior Kevin Tway became the first player in NCAA history to win three regional individual titles, firing a 69 Saturday for a 10-under par 206 total; only four others have won as many as two. Tway also captured regionals his freshman (2008) and sophomore (2009) years. It was the fourth straight regional medalist honor by an OSU golfer (Peter Uihlein won last year) and the ninth overall. Along the way, Tway tied the course record with a second round 65 and tied for the tournament lead with 16 birdies.

 

Cal Poly's Geoff Gonzalez matched Tway's birdie total, but did so in amazing fashion'he birdied his last four holes, Nos. 6 through 9, the tougher final four, including a near ace on No. 9 which he put to within three inches. Gonzalez' final round 66 gave him a 210 total, tying him for sixth, but he was the top individual on a non-advancing team and will also travel to Stillwater for the finals later this month.

GÇ£All day, my coach (Scott Cartwright) and I knew that it (the cut) was going to be around five (under), and I actually bogeyed No. 5," Gonzalez said. GÇ£I walked up to the tee (at No. 6), and he just said, GÇÿTake it one by one.' So I said, GÇÿLook, I might as well birdie the last four holes,' and I ended up doing it."

For the first time in four days, there were no delays due to the weather, as heavy rains, wind and/or lightning in the area caused stoppages during the first two rounds as well as Wednesday's practice round.

 

NCAA COLORADO REGIONAL RESULTS

 

ERIE, Colo. ' Saturday's final round team and individual scores in the NCAA Colorado Regional, played at the 7,758-yard, par-72 Colorado National Golf Club (*'denotes qualified for NCAA Championship Finals as an individual):

 

TEAM STANDINGS

 

1. Oklahoma State................................. 276-275-282'833 (-31)

2. Colorado State.................................. 283-289-279'851 (-13)

3. Northwestern.................................... 293-286-276'855 (- 9)

4. Georgia............................................ 294-276-287'857 (- 7)

5. Arizona State.................................... 282-290-285'857 (- 7)

-----did not qualify for NCAA Championship Finals-----

6. TCU................................................ 289-282-287'858 (- 6)

7. Clemson........................................... 289-281-289'859 (- 5)

8. Auburn............................................. 280-287-294'861 (- 3)

9. Chattanooga..................................... 291-288-284'863 (- 1)

10. Denver............................................. 294-289-290'873 (+ 9)

11. San Jose State.................................. 295-287-292'874 (+10)

12. New Mexico State............................. 296-287-295'878 (+14)

13. North Florida..................................... 307-291-295'893 (+29)

INDIVIDUAL STANDINGS

 

Kevin Tway, Oklahoma State...................... 72-65-69'206

Scott Pinckney, Arizona State..................... 69-70-68'207

Talor Gooch, Oklahoma State ..................... 70-71-68'209

Harris English, Georgia............................... 72-70-68'210

Sean Einhaus, Oklahoma State.................... 66-71-73'210

*Geoff Gonzalez, Cal Poly.......................... 72-72-66'210

David Lipsky, Northwestern........................ 75-68-68'211

Crawford Reeves, Clemson........................ 72-69-70'211

Peter Uihlein, Oklahoma State..................... 70-68-74'212

Blayne Barber, Auburn................................ 72-67-73'212

T.J. Mitchell, Georgia................................. 69-68-75'212

Niclas Carlsson, Auburn............................. 67-71-74'212

Morgan Hoffmann, Oklahoma State.............. 70-71-72'213

Corbin Mills, Clemson................................ 73-69-72'214

Russell Henley, Georgia............................. 74-68-72'214

Jack Perry, Northwestern........................... 71-74-70'215

Kory Harrell, Colorado State........................ 72-73-70'215

Stephan Jaeger, Chattanooga...................... 73-71-71'215

Mike Sorenson, Colorado State.................... 75-70-70'215

Phil Francis, Arizona State.......................... 74-73-68'215

Ryan Peterson, Colorado State.................... 71-70-74'215

Tom Hoge, TCU........................................ 72-74-69'215

Michael Whitehead, Rice............................ 74-68-73'215

Zahkai Brown, Colorado State..................... 65-82-69'216

Daniel Jennevret, TCU............................... 77-70-69'216

Chris Robb, Chattanooga............................ 70-69-77'216

Jesper Kennegard, Arizona State................. 69-72-75'216

Jay Myers, San Jose State......................... 75-72-69'216

Michael McGowan, North Carolina............... 72-71-73'216

Gabe Maier, Wyoming................................ 73-68-75'216

Nick Losole, Northwestern.......................... 74-72-71'217

Eric Chun, Northwestern............................. 73-72-72'217

Eli Cole, TCU............................................ 72-71-74'217

Pontus Gad, TCU...................................... 72-68-77'217

Chun-Ji Kim, Denver.................................. 75-72-70'217

Troy Anderson, Denver............................... 70-75-72'217

Matt Hovan, San Jose State....................... 73-71-73'217

Mark Hubbard, San Jose State.................... 72-68-77'217

Tim Madigan, New Mexico State................. 72-71-74'217

C.G. Mercatoris, Robert Morris.................... 69-75-73'217

Jacob Burger, Clemson.............................. 72-72-74'218

Dominic Bozzelli, Auburn............................ 74-75-69'218

Andrew Wyatt, Nebraska............................ 70-72-76'218

Steven Fox, Chattanooga........................... 75-77-67'219

Benni Weilguni, Chattanooga....................... 73-74-72'219

Ole Ramsnes, Denver................................ 73-71-75'219

Gaston De La Torre, New Mexico State........ 75-73-72'220

Zach Fullerton, New Mexico State............... 76-70-74'220

Steven Lecuyer, Central Arkansas............... 72-74-74'220

Josh Dupont, Northwestern......................... 79-75-67'221

Johan de Beer, TCU.................................. 73-73-75'221

McCuen Elmore, Clemson.......................... 77-71-73'221

Hudson Swafford, Georgia.......................... 79-70-72'221

Chris Kennedy, North Florida....................... 77-70-74'221

Joseph Byun, North Florida......................... 72-75-74'221

Kirby Pettitt, Colorado State........................ 76-76-70'222

James Byrne, Arizona State........................ 70-75-77'222

Thomas Bradshaw, Clemson....................... 72-77-74'223

Michael Hebert, Auburn.............................. 71-74-78'223

Klinton Krieger, Denver............................... 76-74-74'224

Collin Pratt, New Mexico State.................... 73-73-78'224

Kyle Kopsick, Auburn................................. 70-76-78'224

Kevin Aylwin, North Florida......................... 78-72-74'224

Davis Bunn, Chattanooga........................... 77-74-74'225

Oscar Arvidsson, Denver............................ 79-72-74'225

Justin Shin, New Mexico State.................... 76-74-75'225

Cody Schweinefus, Drake........................... 72-79-75'226

Bryden Macpherson, Georgia....................... 79-72-76'227

Thomas Buran, Arizona State...................... 80-75-74'229

Jarred Bossio, Idaho.................................. 79-74-76'229

Derek Plucienski, Southern Miss.................. 74-76-79'229

Daniel Semmler, San Jose State.................. 75-76-79'230

Jacob Davidson, North Florida..................... 80-74-77'231

Justin Estrada, San Jose State.................... 80-79-73'232

Joey Marino, North Florida.......................... 80-80-73'233

 

SATURDAY QUOTES

 

Kevin Tway, Sr, Oklahoma State (Edmond, Okla.) (72-65-69'206; -10)

On His Individual Win- "It feels pretty good, it's the third regional that I have won, but hopefully I can win the NCAA and we can get the NCAA team title. But yes, this feels pretty good."

On OSU's Team Performance This Week'GÇ£We played pretty solid. I think this golf course suits us pretty well. We all hit it pretty long, so it feels like if we don't get in our way, we play pretty well. Most everyone finishes pretty well."

On Preparing For The National Championships'GÇ£We've got it at our home track, so I'll go home and play the course every day to get used to the greens and used to the conditions. It's a big advantage because we'll probably play there for 10 days straight before anyone else does."

On The Best Part Of His Game Today- "I stayed pretty patient. I started off well, but then hit sort of a hiccup on nine (double). I didn't let it bother me, and I just kept plugging along."

NOTE: Tway had seven birdies, eight pars, two bogeys and the double on No. 9 in the final round; for 54 holes, he scored 16 birdies, 34 pars, two bogeys and two doubles.

 

Mike McGraw, Head Coach, Oklahoma State

On Team's Regional Performance'GÇ£This tournament is such a strange feeling, because if you win or finish fifth, you still accomplish the same thing, but you don't want to be on the bubble because that's a very hard place to be. It's no fun and it's a lot of pressure. I was thrilled that they were able to get us into position where today's round wasn't quite as stressful. The guys just went out and took care of business. We are probably going to be okay."

On Kevin Tway'GÇ£I'm really, really proud of what he's done this year. He's matured from one year to the next more than any other player I've ever seen. His talent has always been there, but he's never really achieved the level that he can. Now we're starting to see this guy as going to play this game for a living. I'm real proud of him, and he if he has an off tournament this week, then we're right back in the pack, we'd be right there fighting for our lives. The fact that he stepped up, and Talor Gooch today shooting four under, and Sean Einhaus got two or three over par real early but came back. There was some gritty stuff going on, which is good, but you have to.

On The Golf Course'GÇ£I was thrilled that the wind blew on the back nine, because I felt like the golf course was just too easy on the front because there was just no defense. If they got a little bit of rough out here, because when you're playing from the rough it's like you're playing from the fairway and there weren't any problems. That's all you need is a little bit of rough, and speed the greens up just a touch, and you've got a championship course. It wouldn't take much at all. It's a really nice layout, it's a good golf course."

On Preparing For The NCAA Championship- "We just need to keep on preparing the same way we've been preparing every week. We obviously know the golf course and that's going to be a huge advantage. It's definitely an advantage playing at home, no question. We had several goals planned this year, and we've achieved just about every one of those. There's one more obvious goal that remains, and that's winning the national championship. Now the challenge is trying to get yourself in the right mindset to play championship golf and achieve that final goal. We just need to prepare like we have been and get out there and play next week."

 

Geoff Gonzalez, Sr., Diablo, Calif. (Cal Poly) (72-72-66'210; -6)

NOTE: Gonzalez started on No. 10, birdied the last four holes of his round and in the process became the individual to advance to the NCAA Finals. He put it to within three inches of the hole on No. 9, that 3-inch putt securing his NCAA berth.

On His Final Round- "It was so up and down. I had 10 birdies, I played well all day, and I'd keep making some birdies and then would kind of hit a roadblock and get a couple of bogeys. I just kept telling myself that I'm playing good and to just keep going because you never know."

On Birdying The Last Four Holes- "All day, my coach (Scott Cartwright) and I knew that it (the cut) was going to be around five (under), and I actually bogeyed No. 5. I walked up to the tee (at No. 6), and he just said, GÇÿTake it one by one.' So I said, GÇÿLook, I might as well birdie the last four holes,' and I ended up doing it. I was about half-an-inch from making a one on 9; it was a good finish."

On The Best Part Of His Game Today- "I made a lot of putts; I didn't have a lot of long putts, I was just getting it close. My driver was okay, and I just kept giving myself a lot of good looks."

On Qualifying For Nationals- "It's huge, especially coming from such a small school. We're not a perennial power, but it shows that you don't have to play on a big team to accomplish something.

 

Kory Harrell, Jr., Colorado State (Colorado Springs, Colo.) (72-73-70'215; -1)

On CSU's Team Performance Today- "We all just played well, our coach said last night that he needed five guys playing well. We had four guys playing well, and we were finally able to pick up the slack for the senior (Ryan Peterson) who's been carrying us all season. So it was nice to be able to carry him to nationals for his senior year here."

On Being Second After Coming In As The No. 11 Seed- "We've actually started to play the way we feel we should have been playing all year. We felt like we've been underachieving all year, and to finally get out here and peak at the right time to make nationals is a great feeling."

On Making Nationals- "It's actually really exciting. It hasn't really sunk in. I really don't know what to think yet."

On If Playing In CU's Tournament Last September On This Same Course Helped- "It gave us a little bit of an advantage, just to be able to have seen and played the course in competition, especially since for most of the other teams it was their first time seeing it. In the fall, we lost by one (to New Mexico, 859-860), so that was kind of a disappointment. We thought we could use this tournament as a little bit of redemption and use that to be able to come out here and play well."

 

David Lipsky, Sr., Northwestern (La Canada, Calif.) (75-68-68'211; -5)

On Northwestern's Comeback And 12-Under Round- "It's hard to describe because it's been a couple of years since we've made the national championship. Obviously, we're all excited. We played a great round today, I think it was the low round of the day (276, by three strokes), especially coming off the last few days where it looked marginal on if we were going to make it. Putting together this round, we couldn't be happier or more pleased with ourselves."

On His Second Straight 68- "I hit it poorly my first round, but then I got my swing going. I've been hitting it really well and I gave myself a lot of opportunities. That's what you have to do out here, make some birdies."

 

FRIDAY QUOTES

 

Niclas Carlsson, Fr., Auburn (67-71-138; -6)

On What Was Different For Him In The Second Round Than Thursday- "I didn't drive the ball very well today. I missed a couple of fairways, even though they're kind of wide here. My approach shots to the green weren't as close as yesterday. I also wasn't able to make any putts today, but I just stayed patient and ended up with a 71."

On Being One Shot Behind The Leaders- "I probably need to shoot pretty low, there are a lot of good players up there. Kevin Tway and Sean Einhaus are really good players, so I'll most likely have to shoot a pretty good score tomorrow to have a chance. I just have to stay patient as always, and hopefully I'll get a low score."

On Auburn's Team Performance- "Overall, we didn't play very well today. Blayne (Barber) shot five-under, so that was obviously pretty good, I shot one-under, and that's okay, but our other three guys had a rough day, but that's golf. They're going to play better tomorrow."

 

THURSDAY QUOTES

 

Sean Einhaus, Soph., Oklahoma State (34-32'66; -6)

On The Best Part Of His Game In The First Round- "Definitely my irons. I hit my irons really well. I seemed to get the distance right every time, even with the elevation. It was good, I hit my irons close and I gave myself a lot of birdie opportunities and capitalized on the back nine (32, four birdies/five pars)."

On If The Weather Affected His Game- "Not too much. We knew what was coming. We expected the weather to be what it is. It's not too big of an adjustment. You just take whatever it is and try to play with it."

On Areas To Work On Over The Next Two Days- "I feel like I can drive it a bit better. If I just keep doing what I'm doing, I think I'll be good.

On The Length Of The Course (7,758 yards)- "It's definitely not short, but it's fairly wide off the tees so you can try to hit your driver out there pretty far and not be too worried about where it's going. The course plays a bit shorter when you hit it further."

 

Niclas Carlsson, Fr., Auburn (36-31'67; -5)

On The Best Part Of His Game In The First Round- "My putting felt pretty good, ball striking was okay. It's pretty cold weather, so you've got try sometimes to just play it to the middle of the green. But I made some good putts today, and putting is always the key. My short game overall was pretty good, too."

On Adjusting To The Weather Conditions- "Because of the height, we hit it a lot further, but the cold and rain makes it a little tougher because you have to wear more clothes. Other than that, it's not a big difference. I'm from Sweden, so I am used to the cold and the rain."

On Colorado National's Course Length- "It's not a big difference because of the altitude. It plays a lot shorter. I hit it pretty far, sometimes you've got to play for par if you have a 5-iron into the green, you have to hit it to the middle of the green and play it for a par instead of going for the pin and trying for a birdie every hole."

On What He Can Improve On In The Final Two Rounds- "I probably just need to hit the driver better. I missed quite a few fairways today, but ended up making pars and birdies anyway. So trying to hit more fairways."