Men's Golf Advances to NCAA Championships
May 17, 2014
EUGENE, Ore. - For the first time since 2001, the University of Houston Men's Golf program will end its season at the nation's top collegiate tournament.
Posting the second-best team score (292) during the Final Round, the Cougars broke out of a tie for fifth place to finish fourth with a score of 875 at the NCAA Eugene Regional on the 6,990-yard, par-70 course at Eugene Country Club. Only host Oregon's Saturday score of 285 topped the Cougars' effort during the final 18 holes.
The Cougars entered Saturday's Final Round in a tie for fifth place with North Florida and four strokes behind No. 22 South Carolina for fourth place. However, Houston finished five strokes lower than the Gamecocks and 10 strokes better than North Florida for its final place in the standings.
While Saturday's score wasn't the Cougars' best team total of the Regional, it was still the most impressive effort for Director of Golf Jonathan Dismuke.
"As tough as the scoring conditions were and considering what was on the line, this was our best performance," said Dismuke who is in his fifth season at Houston. "The course was extremely demanding, the greens were firm and fast and the hole locations were extremely difficult."
Senior Curtis Reed and junior Roman Robledo posted their lowest rounds of the NCAA Regional to lead the Cougars and tie for eighth overall at 215. It was the best career finish at an NCAA Regional for each Cougar.
"Roman's round was huge. Shooting under par on this course was quite a feat, and Curtis played a solid round," Dismuke said. "Those guys stepped up and played great today."
The top-five teams and the top individual not on a qualifying team from six NCAA Regionals across the country will advance to the NCAA Championships. The 10th-ranked Cougars join No. 3 Stanford, No. 40 Oregon, No. 15 Oklahoma and South Carolina from the NCAA Eugene Regional.
Stanford's Patrick Rodgers earned medalist honors at 6-under-par 204 to finish six strokes in front of Oregon's Thomas Lim. Liberty's Niklas Lindstrom, and Chattanooga's Chris Robb tied for third at 212, while Pacific's Byron Meth and Cameron Wilson of Stanford tied for fifth at 213.
Rob defeated Lindstrom in a playoff to claim the individual place from the NCAA Eugene Regional.
With his Final-Round 69, Robledo tied for the Cougars' low score of the Regional. The Harlingen, Texas, native finished with four birdies in his round, including three on the back nine, to move into a tie for eighth place at 215.
Reed drained three birdies with only one bogey through his first 13 holes on the way to his career low score and best finish in the NCAA postseason. Junior Kyle Pilgrim, who fired an opening-round 69 on Thursday, tied for 32nd at 222, while senior James Ross tied for 48th at 226. Senior Wesley McClain tied for 59th at 231.
With their play, the Cougars will advance to the NCAA Championships for the first time since 2001. Houston will compete May 23-28 at Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson, Kan.
Teams and individuals will compete in individual stroke-play format with 18 holes each day from May 23 to May 25. The Final Round's participants will be reduced to the top-40 individuals plus ties for the final 18 holes to decide the individual national champion.
The low-8 teams from the 54-hole qualifying will compete in match play in the quarterfinals and finals on May 27. The top two teams advance to the NCAA Championships Finals on May 28 for the team national title.
This will be the 44th time in which Houston has competed at the NCAA Championships. The Cougars have won 16 NCAA team national championships and eight individual national titles during their illustrious history.
While this will be the Cougars' first team berth at the NCAA Championships since 2001, the Cougars have been represented there. In 2003, Brett Callas tied for 133rd after securing an individual place by earning medalist honors at the 2003 NCAA Central Regional at Colbert Hill Country Club in Manhattan, Kan.
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