SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – The No. 16 Virginia men’s golf team finished seventh in stroke play Sunday at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz., to advance to the match play portion of the NCAA Championships. It marks the first time since the NCAA switched to a match play format in 2009 to decide the team champion that UVA has advanced this far in the tournament. The Cavaliers’ previous best finish was 10th in 2017.

Virginia shot 3-under 277 during Monday’s final round, its best 18-hole score during the four rounds of stroke play. The Cavaliers 72-hole total was 11-over 1131.

It was a nerve-wracking finish as Stanford and Arizona State battled with the Cavaliers for the final position to advance. A couple of costly bogeys by each of those squads on their closing holes dropped them one shot behind UVA and put them into a tie for eighth place.

If there was a key score down the stretch for Virginia it came when sophomore Deven Patel rolled in a 20-foot birdie putt on his final hole to give the Hoos a one-stroke advantage on the leaderboard.

UVA’s 3-under team score was the third best among the 15 teams competing during the fourth round.

“Holy cow did those guys battle down the homestretch,” said 19th-year head coach Bowen Sargent. “It’s pretty cool. It is definitely pretty cool.

“We did a lot of work and put in a lot of preparation and we felt we knew this place pretty well before we even got here. Ben James, Brian Lee and Deven all played here during their junior golf careers so I think we knew what we were getting into. With the preparation the team put in, I don’t think we saw many surprises out there this week. We just needed to play consistent golf to advance and we did.”

UVA was led during the fourth round by a 2-under performance of freshman Ben James. He shot 4-under 276 for the tournament to place sixth. That is the second-best finish by a Cavalier at the NCAAs, matching current PGATour professional Denny McCarthy’s 2014 performance.

Virginia freshman Bryan Lee and senior Pietro Bovari both shot 1-under 69 during the final round, their best scores of the week. Lee was 22nd overall at 2-over 283 while Bovari was 58th at 290.

Patel was UVA’s other counting player, shooting 1-over 71 to place 52nd at 288. His final round score was also his lowest 18-hole total during the event. George Duangmanee carded a round of 78 and was 79th overall at 297.

It marked the 11th time in 13 tournaments this season James has posted a top-five finish. James was the top freshman finisher in stroke play while Lee tied for the third best performance by a freshman.

“We’ve felt this was how both of those guys were capable of playing this year,” Sargent said. “Ben has performed like this all season and we feel like Brian is of the same ilk. He’s played at this level his whole life. Unfortunately, due to injuries, we were not able to see as much of him this year as we would have liked. But we knew he had the ability and that was the kid we recruited. There’s no doubt we have the two best freshmen in the country. That’s very exciting for our program.”

UVA will face Florida in the quarterfinals of match play.

North Carolina finished first in stroke play at 6-under 1114. Florida’s Fred Biondi won the individual title at 7-under 273.

The other teams to advance to match play were Florida (1118), Illinois (1118), Pepperdine (1120), Georgia Tech (1126) and Florida State (1126). The winner of the playoff between Stanford (1132) and Arizona State (1132) will be the eighth team to advance.

“I’ve told the guys already, there’s no scheming it,” said Sargent of reaching match play. “Everybody’s got to play good. You look at the other seven teams in the field. They’re all good. They’ve all got five good players and ultimately, it’s going to come down to who plays best golf and, and that’s how it should be.”

Match play gets underway at 6:20 a.m. MST on Tuesday. The Golf Channel coverage of the event begins at noon ET until 2:30 p.m. ET and then again from 5-9 p.m. ET. Both the quarterfinals and semifinals will be contested Tuesday. The NCAA Championships match is set for 1:35 p.m. MST on Wednesday.

NCAA Championships
Grayhawk Golf Club
Scottsdale, Ariz.
Par 70, 7,289 yards
Final Stroke Play Results

Team Results
 1. North Carolina     282-284-275-273-1114
 2. Florida            283-278-278-279-1118
 2. Illinois           285-273-276-284-1118
 4. Pepperdine         281-287-269-283-1120
 5. Georgia Tech       280-286-276-284-1126
 5. Florida State      284-287-282-273-1126
 7. Virginia           290-281-283-277-1131
 8. Arizona State*     291-281-279-281-1132
 8. Stanford*          290-286-274-282-1132
Top 8 teams advance to match play
10. Auburn             288-286-282-282-1138
11. Vanderbilt         282-288-283-288-1141
11. Alabama            290-282-289-280-1141
13. Texas A&M          289-285-283-287-1144
14. Georgia            285-291-288-285-1149
15. Ohio Staten        287-295-284-294-1160
*Playoff for eighth place 

Individual Leaders
1. Fred Biondi, Florida         69-68-69-67-273
2. Jackson Buchanan, Illinois   71-68-68-67-274
2. Ross Steelman, Georgia Tech  64-69-68-73-274 

Virginia Results
 6. Ben James         71-68-69-68-276
22. Bryan Lee         72-70-71-69-282
52. Deven Patel       72-73-72-71-288
58. Pietro Bovari     75-72-74-69-290
79. George Duangmanee 77-71-71-78-297