Cavalier Golfers Advance to NCAA Championships
Galloway, NJ For the second year in a row the Virginia men’s golf team made an incredible run at an NCAA Regional event to earn a berth to the NCAA Championships. Unranked and seeded ninth in the 14-team field, the Cavaliers finished fourth among 14 teams to earn one of the tournament’s five spots into the national tournament.
“It is pretty amazing when you stop to think about it,” said Virginia coach Bowen Sargent. “Once again, we managed a way to get through. These guys played so solid this week on a very difficult golf course. I’m very proud of their effort. These guys put a lot of hard work into their preparation for this tournament and they got the result they knew they could achieve.”
Virginia shot 16-over 300 during Saturday’s final round to finish the three-day 54-hole tournament at 889. Alabama, ranked No. 10, took top honors at 874 while No. 20 Tennessee was second at 878. Also advancing to the national championships were Illinois (887) and Wake Forest (890). Four ranked teams failed to qualify out of the tournament including No. 3 Clemson, the regional’s top seed. The Tigers were ninth at 908.
In late March, with a second place effort at the Hootie @ Bulls Bay tournament, Virginia finished ahead of Clemson for the first time in 29 meetings. The NCAA Regional marked the second time in six weeks the Cavaliers managed to place ahead of their ACC rival.
The Cavaliers were led at the regional by freshman Ben Kohles, who finished 11th overall at 221, including a 5-over 76 during the final round.
“Ben’s play was indicative of what he did in the fall,” said Sargent of his first-year player who led the team in scoring in three of four fall tournaments. “He struggled a bit to get back to that level this spring, but we had hopes he would bounce back. His game seems to be suited for tough golf courses and he managed this one very well.”
Kyle Stough and Conrad Von Borsig tied for 14th at 222. Stough finished with a 77 while Von Borsig shot 74 Saturday. Will Collins led UVa during the final round with a 2-over 73 to finish 19th at 224. Bruce Woodall, the second freshman in the UVa lineup, was 61st at 238. He carded a 77 during the final round.
For Von Borsig, the lone senior in the UVa lineup, it will mean he finishes his career by playing at the NCAA Championships for the first time.
“It was the best feeling in the world,” Von Borsig said. “It took a lot of hard work and that made it all really satisfying. It was the best thing I could have hoped for. To tell the truth, this whole semester I felt we could do this. I felt like we were doing all the right things for a pretty long time and it would pay off for us. I felt we were destined to make it.”
Von Borsig’s performance was especially meaningful to Sargent. Last year he decided not to include him on the roster for the NCAAs after a poor showing at the regional.
“For me, that was the most satisfying part of it all,” Sargent said. “We didn’t take him last year and that really weighed on my mind at times. It was the right decision and I would make it again if I had to. Conrad was my first recruit and he has put a lot of work and effort making this program what it is now. He has always done things the right way and it is very gratifying for me to see him finally get to play at highest level of our game. He deserves it.”
“Coach told me before this week that I needed to buy stock in myself,” Von Borsig said. “He told me to just trust my game and that I would be fine. This week, I just did that. I trusted myself and my teammates and we got it done.
“Seeing this team go from where it was my first year to now is pretty incredible. I don’t want to say that it was easy this week, but we kind of made it look effortless. We played steady all week. It was kind of special to be out there on those last couple of holes, knowing you had a cushion, and to be able to soak it all in.”
Alabama’s Hunter Hamrick shot 1-under 212 to take medalist honors among the individual players. In addition to the five teams that qualified for the NCAAs, Kent State’s John Hahn and Clemson’s Kyle Stanley advanced as individual competitors.
The NCAA Championships will take place at Inverness Country Club in Toledo, Ohio May 26-30. Last year Virginia, the lowest seeded team from any regional and the only unranked team in the field, finished 26th. This year’s NCAA Championships appearance will be the 12th in school history.
NCAA East Regional Championship
Galloway National Golf Club
Par-71, 7,022 yards
1. Alabama (10) 303-285-286-874
2. Tennessee (20) 296-287-295-878
3. Illinois (15) 307-288-292-887
4. Virginia 298-291-300-889
5. Wake Forest (27) 297-297-296-890
Top Five Teams Advance to NCAA Championships
6. Colorado State (34) 311-290-297-896
7. Minnesota 314-293-298-905
8. Kent State (39) 312-289-305-906
9. Clemson (3) 310-299-299-908
10. Penn State 319-301-290-910
11. Coastal Carolina (47) 319-303-293-915
12. VCU 315-306-320-941
13. Sacred Heart 322-311-313-946
14. Columbia 355-317-326-998
Number in parenthesis is Golfstat ranking
1. Hunter Hamrick, Alabama 74-71-67-212
2. David Holmes, Tennessee 73-73-67-213
3. Bud Cauley, Alabama 79-67-71-217
3. John Hahn, Kent State 75-67-75-217
3. Kyle Stanley, Clemson 72-72-73-217
6. Dan Woltman, Wisconsin 74-69-75-218
7. Brendan Gielow, Wake Forest 73-73-74-220
7. Dustin Groves, Wake Forest 74-73-73-220
7. Scott Langley, Illinois 74-71-75-220
7. Darren Renwick Tennessee 71-72-77-220
11. Ben Kohles 74-71-76-221
14. Kyle Stough 72-73-77-222
14. Conrad Von Borsig 75-73-74-222
19. Will Collins 77-74-73-224
61. Bruce Woodall 87-74-77-238