College / Men

Louisiana Tech downs UAB in match play for Conference USA men’s title

Louisiana Tech
Louisiana Tech won the 2016 Conference USA Men's Championship, defeating UAB in the match-play final. (Conference USA)

Scores: Stroke Play

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Alabama-Birmingham beat Louisiana Tech by eight shots in 54 holes of stroke play at the Conference USA Men’s Championship.

However, beginning this year, the conference champion was decided by match play, and it was the Bulldogs besting the Blazers, 3-2, in the final to capture its first Conference USA men’s golf title.

Louisiana Tech’s Victor Lange and UAB’s Taylor Eyster, who played off for the C-USA individual title on Tuesday (Eyster won), won their matches in Wednesday’s final. Lange beat John Hayden, 3 and 2, while Eyster topped Chuck Spears, 1 up. UAB’s Will Cannon routed Luke Neeley, 6 and 5, but Louisiana Tech won the other two matches – Jacob Wyatt and Ben Robinson beat Lee Hodges and Martin Rohwer, respectively.

Wyatt won the final four holes in his 1-up victory and Robinson made the title-clinching birdie putt on the 18th hole to beat Rohwer, 2 and 1.

“I remember thinking that if I made the putt then I wanted to maintain my composure to show respect for UAB because they are such a great team,” Robinson said. “But once the ball dropped I couldn’t contain my excitement and I was immediately tackled by the rest of the team.”

UAB, ranked No. 37 by Golfstat, will still make an NCAA regional, but Louisiana Tech’s victory does move the “magic number,” which is now at 65. No. 66 Colorado now is projected to miss the NCAA regional round while No. 65 Campbell is right on the bubble.

Louisiana Tech is ranked No. 123 in the country and would not have made an NCAA Regional had it not earned Conference USA’s automatic bid on Wednesday.

“Nobody believed we were able to do this except for us,” Wyatt said. “When the putt went in UAB was shocked and it was one of the most unbelievable moments of our lives.”

– Information from Louisiana Tech Athletics was used in this report

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MATCH-PLAY RESULTS

Final

  • Louisiana Tech def. UAB, 3-2

Semifinals

  • Louisiana Tech def. North Texas, 3-2
  • UAB def. Texas-San Antonio, 5-0
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