Cougar Golfers Advance to NCAA Championships

VICTORIA, Texas (May 20) - Battling one day of wind, one day of rain and a final day of saturated greens, the University of Houston golf team finished fourth at the NCAA Central Regional here, thus advancing to the NCAA Championships for the 44th time in school history. The Cougars will vye for their 17th national championship on May 31 through June 3 at the Grand National Golf Club in Auburn, Ala.

The Cougars carded a final round 279, their best round of the tournament, but it was not enough to offset the 272 fired by the University of Texas who captured first place at 847. U of H recorded a three-day total of 851, barely missing out on both second and third place. Kent shot a three-round total of 849, including a final round 273, to finish second, while Oklahoma State, who was paired with the Cougars for all three rounds, shot a 283 in the final round to finish at 850 and in third place.

Minnesota was fifth at 852, while Northwestern, another three-round partner of the Cougars and Oklahoma State, carded a 854 for sixth, followed by TCU and Oklahoma in a tie for seventh at 859 and Kansas at 860 for ninth. The top nine finishers in each regional qualify for the NCAA Championships.

One round removed from a disqualification for signing the wrong scorecard, sophomore Wade Ormsby carded the best round for the Cougars on Saturday with a three-under, 68. His teammate, junior Andy Sanders, also made a charge on the final day, shooting a two-under, 68. Sanders finished with Houston's best total for the tournament, shooting a 211 after two days of par.

The senior tandem of Chris Morris and B.J. Staten helped their team's cause today with par rounds of 71. Morris completed the tournament with a one-over, 214, while Staten finished at 219 and six over. Another senior, James Edmondson, struggled on the final day, finishing with a 76 but a 217 overall.

The Cougars fourth-place finish is the fourth straight Top Five performance for Houston at the Central Regionals. After not qualifying in 1996, the Cougars have finished 5th (1997) and tied for fifth (1999), as well as capturing the regional title in 1998. Last season the Cougars finished in a tie for eighth at the 1999 NCAA Championships in Chaska, Minn.

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