May 26, 2014
HUTCHINSON, Kan. - The 10th-ranked University of Houston Golf team saved its best for last, posting a team score of 279 in NCAA Championships Final Round on Monday morning and finishing 10th at their first NCAA Championships team appearance since 2001.
With rain playing havoc with the tournament schedule all week, the Cougars started their Third Round on Sunday afternoon and had played about eight holes before lightning suspended play. Houston returned to the course early Monday morning and immediately put up a slew of birdies to rise in the standings.
Playing his final stroke-play collegiate event, senior James Ross was the Cougars' steadiest performer throughout the Third Round. The Edinburgh, Scotland, native drained five birdies over the final 18 holes, including three on the back nine, and moved into a tie for the NCAA Championships individual lead with a birdie on the 523-yard,par-5 17th hole.
Unfortunately, his lone bogey on his final hole of the day pushed him back into a tie for second with the completion of the morning wave. He would eventually finish in a tie for third with a score of 5-under-par 205.
Ross' 66 was the lowest 18-hole score by any Cougar at an NCAA Championships since Chris Morris and Andy Sanders each posted Fourth-Round 66s at the 2000 NCAA Championships at Grand National Lake Golf Club, in Opelika, Ala.
With his high finish, Ross also became the first Cougar to receive All-America honors since Jordan Irwin received Honorable Mention accolades in 2007.
Junior Roman Robledo, who won four tournaments in 2013-14, jumped out on a great start with four birdies on his front nine, including three over a four-hole stretch. However, the Harlingen, Texas, native endured three bogeys on his back nine and finished at 1-under-par 209 to tie for 19th.
Ross and Robledo became the first Houston teammates to finish among the top-20 individual leaders at the NCAA Championships since Morris (2nd) and Sanders (t-7th) accomplished the feat at the 2000 postseason event.
Following their round in the morning, the Cougars watched the afternoon session from the clubhouse. The Cougars flirted with finishing among the top-8 team leaders, while Ross was tied for the individual lead midway through the final round.
The top eight teams advanced to Match Play and will square of Tuesday morning. No. 1 Stanford will face No. 9 Illinois, No. 2 Alabama will face No 28 SMU, No 16 LSU will face No 21 UCLA and No. 2 Oklahoma State will face No. 4 Georgia Tech.
Individually, Stanford's Cameron Wilson earned the NCAA individual national championship on the third hole of a playoff against Georgia Tech's Ollie Schniederjans. Both players tied at 6-under-par 204 through 43 holes.
Ross joined Alabama's Robby Shelton and Stanford's David Boote in a tie for third at 205.
Fans can receive live scoring updates by following @UHCougarGolf on Twitter and catch up with the latest news and notes on the team by clicking LIKE on the team's Facebook page at HoustonCougarGolf.