NCAA Men's Golf Regionals: 4 Pac-12 teams, UA's George Cunningham qualify for NCAA Championships
Four Pac-12 teams and one individual – Arizona State, UCLA, Stanford, Oregon and Arizona's George Cunnigham – have qualified for the NCAA Championships as the 2018 NCAA Men's Golf Regionals wrapped up across the country on Wednesday. Teams qualified for the NCAA Championships by finishing in the top five of their respective regionals, while individuals qualified by finishing as the lowest player on a non-top-five qualifying team from his regional.
Eight Pac-12 teams, plus Utah's Blake Tomlinson and Washington's Carl Yuan and Henry Lee, competed in regional action from Monday-Wednesday. The NCAA Championships will be held May 25-30 in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
Raleigh Regional – Lonnie Poole Golf Course at NC State
Arizona State had its best round of the regional, carding a 9-under 275, to edge out Georgia Tech by one stroke and Middle Tennessee State by two strokes to nab the fifth and final qualifying spot in the Raleigh Regional with an 18-under 834 after 54 holes. Trailing the Yellow Jackets by one stroke heading into the 18th hole, Arizona State's Chun An Yu birdied the par-4 ninth, while Georgia Tech's Tyler Strafaci bogeyed the ninth to send Arizona State to Stillwater (both teams started on the back nine).
Stillwater bound! It ain’t over until we say it is...and it wasn’t until the last birdie dropped (which was ours). pic.twitter.com/OjeNNlbmMH
— Sun Devil Men's Golf (@sundevilmgolf) May 16, 2018
While An Yu had the lowest 54-hole score for Arizona State at 9-under (tied for fifth overall), the Sun Devils rode Alex del Rey's 6-under 65 out of North Carolina and into Oklahoma, as the sophomore from Spain played a bogey-free round while carding birdies on Nos. 11, 12, 15, 16, 1 and 2. All four Sun Devils whose scores counted towards Wednesday's team total shot even par or better.
Arizona State has now made the NCAA Championships for the 54th time in program history (fourth most of any program) and for the 32nd time in the last 35 years.
The Golden Bears had their best round of the regional by eight strokes, putting up an 8-under 276 for Wednesday, but they were too far behind the pack to make any real push to the top five. Cal's three-day total of 845 (-7) was good for 10th place and 11 shots off the cut line.
The 2017-18 Cal season has ended at the NCAA Raleigh Regional with the Bears falling short of qualifying for the NCAA Championships. More details on the way.
— Cal Men's Golf (@CalMensGolf) May 16, 2018
Ben Hogan Award finalist Collin Morikawa had his second 68 of the regional and finished in a tie for 10th at 6-under, while Kaiwen Liu also shot 3-under 68 on the day to get to 2-under and finish in a tie for 26th.
Texas, Duke, North Carolina State and Augusta join Arizona State from the Raleigh Regional to advance to the NCAA Championship, while Texas' Doug Ghim takes home individual medalist honors.
Kissimmee (Florida) Regional – Watson Course at Reunion Resort
Arizona made a serious push to crack the top five but fell just short despite having its best round of the regional and the second-best round of the day out of the 14 teams in Florida, as the Wildcats' three-day total of 846 (-18) was good for sixth place, two shots behind fifth-place Kent State.
All is not lost, however, as George Cunningham is off to the NCAA Championships as the lowest golfer not on a top-five qualifying team. Cunningham led the way for the Wildcats at 9-under after a 4-under 68 on Wednesday, birdieing three of his last five holes to get into a tie for sixth. All five Wildcats finished the regional under par, with Brad Reeves and Trevor Werbylo both shooting 69 to finish 4-under for the regional (tied for 14th).
— Arizona Men's Golf (@ArizonaMGolf) May 16, 2018
Florida, UCF, Vanderbilt, North Carolina and Kent State advanced out of the Kissimmee Regional to the NCAA Championships, and Florida's Andy Zhang claimed individual medalist honors by shooting 13-under.
Bryan (Texas) Regional – Traditions Golf Club
UCLA had its first over-par round of the week but cruised its way into the NCAA Championships as its 2-over 866 for the regional was enough for fourth place, eight strokes above fifth-place Kentucky and 11 strokes better than sixth-place Ole Miss. This marks the first time that UCLA has advanced to the NCAA Championships since 2015, when the Bruins were ousted by Illinois 3-2 in the match-play quarterfinals.
— UCLA Men's Golf (@uclamensgolf) May 16, 2018
Devon Bling was the low Bruin on the day and regional, firing a 3-under 69 to get to 5-under for 54 holes, good for a tie for eighth. He was the only Bruin to shoot under par, with Cole Madey registering an even-par 72 to remain at 2-under and finish tied for 11th.
Texas A&M, Clemson, Baylor and Kentucky join UCLA from the Bryan Regional in the NCAA Championships, with Texas A&M's Chandler Phillips (-11) winning individual medalist honors.
Pacific Regional (Stockton, California) – The Reserve at Spanos Park
The Cardinal had the best team round of the day in Stockton and darn near won the regional, falling one stroke short of first-place Kansas. As it is, the second-place Cardinal is NCAA Championships-bound after ripping an 11-under 277 to elevated it to 19-under for the regional. This is the 11th time in the last 14 years that Stanford will be in the NCAA Championships.
— Stanford Men's Golf (@StanfordMGolf) May 16, 2018
Brandon Wu, who was the 36-hole leader in Stockton, wound up in second place after a 4-under 68 got him to 14-under, one shot off the lead. Isaiah Salinda and David Snyder followed with a pair of 69's, while Franklin Huang carded a 71 to nullify Jeffrey Swegle's 1-over 73.
The Ducks had the second-best round of the day at 8-under, allowing the Ducks to hop above the cut line and advance to the NCAA Championships by finishing in fifth at 12-under with 54 holes in the books. The other big news on the Duck front is that Norman Xiong won individual medalist honors, sliding past Stanford's Brandon Wu (14-under) to take the regional at 15-under.
Just unbelievable. Six individual titles on the season now for @NormanXiongGolf as he claims medalist honors at the Stockton Regional, finishing 15 under for a one-shot victory. #GoDucks pic.twitter.com/LggZMWcVUn
— Oregon Men's Golf (@OregonMGolf) May 16, 2018
Xiong, who is turning pro after the season, went birdie-eagle to start his final round, propelling the sophomore to a Wednesday 66 and finish one stroke lower than Wu. Xiong's final-round 66 was matched by Ryan Gronlund, who came out the gates scorching with an unreal 29 on the back nine (his first nine of the day) and got up to 8-under before a double-bogey on the par-4 seventh. Gronlund finished the regional at 4-under.
The Buffs' season is over after their final-round 2-over 290 left them in seventh place at 2-under, 10 shots off the top five. Colorado had one golfer shoot under par on Wednesday, as Daniel O'Loughlin carded a 71 to get to 3-under for the regional (tied for 16th), while Yannik Paul was the lowest 54-hole Buff at 4-under and finished tied for 12th. Spencer Painton also registered a top-20 finish at 2-under and would have been even higher on the player leaderboard were it not for a quadruple-bogey on the par-4 17th.
— Brian Howell (@BrianHowell33) May 16, 2018
Pac-12 champion USC shot even par on Wednesday to finish a disappointing regional in ninth place with a 54-hole total of 867 (3-over). Pac-12 individual champion Justin Suh led the way on the day and regional with his final-round 69 getting him to 2-under for the regional, good for a tie for 19th. Cheng Jin also finished the regional under par (1-under) despite shooting 75 (3-over) on Wednesday.
He didn't do enough to advance to the NCAA Championships, but Utah's Blake Tomlinson had another solid round to finish his Stockton stay at 5-under and tied for ninth on the player leaderboard. Tomlinson was 1-under on Wednesday but was 4-under through 16 and 8-under for the regional before a double-bogey on 17 and bogey on 18 erased any shot of finishing as the top individual, not on a top-five qualifying team. He fell four strokes shy of UTEP's Charles Corner, who is off to Stillwater after shooting 9-under in Stockton.
The season is also over for Washington's Carl Yuan and Henry Lee, but both finished the regional under par. Yuan bounced back from a Tuesday 77 to card his second 68 of the regional and get to 3-under (tied for 16th), while Lee shot 1-under on Wednesday, three shots better than Tuesday, getting himself back to 1-under for the regional (tied for 23rd).
— Washington Men's Golf (@UW_MGolf) May 16, 2018
Kansas, Iowa State and Alabama will join Stanford and Oregon from Stockton at the NCAA Championships.