UVa Men Begin Play at NCAA Championships on Friday
May 28, 2015
Bradenton, Fla. – The No. 25 Virginia men’s golf team opens play at the NCAA Championships Friday, May 29 at the par-72, 7,483-yard Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Fla. The Cavaliers tee off starting at 7:20 a.m. from the first tee and are paired with No. 13 USC and No. 19 Oklahoma State. Those same schools will play the second round starting from the 10th tee at 12:40 p.m. Saturday.
This year’s championship features a new format to determine the eight teams that will advance to the match play portion of the event.
All 30 teams and six individuals will complete 54 holes of stroke play (Friday-Sunday). Following 54-holes of Competition, the top 15 teams, along with the top nine individuals not on an advancing team, will advance for one additional day (Monday) of stroke play to determine the eight-team field for match play. The NCAA individual champion will be determined after 72 holes of stroke play.
The top eight teams after 72 holes of stroke play will be placed into a bracket for the match play portion of the tournament, which takes place Tuesday (quarterfinals and semifinals) and Wednesday (finals).
UVa advanced to the NCAA Championships after finishing fifth at the NCAA Regional site in Rancho Sante Fe, Calif. It marks the 15th time the Cavaliers have advanced to the NCAA Championships. In its last NCAA appearance, UVa placed 22nd in 2012. The team finished 11th in 2010, which matched the best showing in the program’s history. Former Virginia golfer Dixon Brooke won the NCAA individual crown in 1940, the second year of the championship. The Cavaliers finished 15th at that year’s tournament.
Virginia’s lineup features the same five golfers who competed at the NCAA Regional site. Seniors Denny McCarthy (Rockville, Md.) and Ji Soo Park (Clifton, Va.) are joined by junior Kyle Kochevar (Glen Ellyn, Ill.) and sophomores Derek Bard (New Hartford, N.Y.) and Jimmy Stanger (Tampa, Fla.).
McCarthy and Bard, who were named to this year’s All-ACC team, lead the Cavaliers in stroke average. McCarthy is first on the team at 70.62 while Bard is second at 70.17. They have combined to be UVa’s top finisher in seven of 12 tournaments this season. Kochevar, Stanger and Park have all led the team in scoring at least once this year. McCarthy was UVa’s top finisher at the ACC Championships (seventh) and the NCAA Regional (fourth).
McCarthy is playing in the NCAA Championships for the fourth time in his career. He was 77th as a freshman, 22nd as a sophomore and sixth last season. He played as an individual competitor the past two years. Park is the only other Cavalier with NCAA Championship experience. He placed 140th as a freshman in 2012.
The field for this year’s tournament includes: Arizona State, Auburn, Charlotte, Clemson, Duke, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Houston, Illinois, LSU, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oregon, San Diego State, SMU, South Carolina, South Florida, Stanford, TCU, Texas, Texas Tech, UAB, UCLA, UNLV, USC, Vanderbilt, Virginia and Washington.
Alabama won the 2014 tournament, defeating Oklahoma State 4-1 in the final round of match play competition to win its second consecutive national title. Cameron Wilson of Stanford University was the individual medalist. Wilson birdied the third hole of a playoff to win over Georgia Tech’s Ollie Schniederjans. The finals were held at Prairie Dunes Country Club, in Hutchinson, Kansas.
The Golf Channel will provide extensive live coverage starting Monday. June 1 – Final Round, Individual Stroke Play – 4-7 p.m. ET June 2 – Quarterfinals, Match Play – 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. ET June 2 – Semifinals, Match Play – 3:30-7 p.m. ET June 3 – Finals, Match Play – 3-7 p.m. ET
Live scoring of the NCAA Championships is online at NCAA.com.