Radford, VA -
The 21st-ranked Virginia men's golf team could not recover from its poor first round performance and finished eighth at the NCAA East Regional held in Radford, Va. at the Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech. The Cavaliers shot 10-over 298 during Saturday's final round for a three-day total of 36-over 900. The top five teams from the regional advanced to the NCAA Championships. UVa was seven shots behind fifth place Kent State (893).
Senior Will Collins led the Cavaliers with a 72 during the final round and finished 14th overall at 4-over 220. Henry Smart was 32nd at 225 including a 74 Saturday. Ben Kohles posted a 73 in the final round and was 37th at 227. Bruce Woodall shot 79 Saturday to place 45th at 230. Ben Rusch carded an 81 during the final round and was 63rd overall at 235.
The Cavaliers failed to extend their streak of NCAA Championship appearances. UVa advanced out of regional play in each of the past three seasons. Virginia opened the tournament Thursday by shooting 17-over 305. That marked the first time since the opening tournament of the season UVa posted a single-round score over 300. Over the final two rounds the Cavaliers shot 595, the fifth best final 36 holes among the 13-team field.
"We just dug a hole and couldn't get out of it," said Virginia coach Bowen Sargent. "The guys battled the final two rounds, but it is hard to make up that type of deficit. We have managed to pull off some good finishes the past couple of years in regionals. This year it was just was not our turn. This was probably the best team we have had in the past four years and for them not to be playing in the national championships is difficult.
"We will be back next year. Three of the five players who played here return and we're adding one of the top five junior players in the nation next fall. I hope this motivates our guys to have a great summer of golf and come back hungry to start a new streak of going to the NCAAs next season."
Duke overcame a three-shot deficit to beat conference rival Georgia Tech for the regional title The Blue Devils shot 8-under 280 during the final day to finish at 865. The Yellow Jackets were second at 869 followed by Oklahoma at 875 and LSU at 880. Oklahoma's Abraham Ancer took medalist honors at 6-under 210.
NCAA East Regional
The Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech
Par-72, 7,400 yards
1. Duke 295-290-280-865
2. Georgia Tech 289-293-287-869
3. Oklahoma 296-292-287-875
4. LSU 305-291-284-880
5. Kent State 296-296-301-893
6. Virginia Tech 300-300-296-896
7. Coastal Carolina 299-300-299-898
8. Virginia 305-297-298-900
9. East Carolina 302-304-300-906
10. Ole Miss 311-306-299-916
11. UNC Wilmington 304-314-300-918
12. Lamar 311-301-309-921
13. Yale 313-305-305-923
1. Abraham Ancer, Oklahoma 70-71-69-210
2. Kyle Scott, Georgia Tech 68-73-71-212
2. Sebastian Soderberg, Coastal Carolina 73-73-67-212
2. James White, Georgia Tech 73-71-68-212
5. Julian Suri, Duke 76-70-68-214
6. Josh Brock, UNC Wilmington 71-73-71-215
6. John Peterson, LSU 75-72-68-215
6. Tim Gornik, Duke 75-75-66-215
6. Payne McLeod*, UNC Wilmington 71-74-71-215
* Competing as an individual
14. Will Collins 77-71-72-220
32. Henry Smart 74-77-74-225
37. Ben Kohles 79-75-73-227
45. Bruce Woodall 76-75-79-230
63. Ben Rusch 78-76-81-235