College Grove Regional: No. 8 seed UCF wins, Dawson Armstrong leads Lipscomb

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College Grove Regional: No. 8 seed UCF wins, Dawson Armstrong leads Lipscomb

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College Grove Regional: No. 8 seed UCF wins, Dawson Armstrong leads Lipscomb

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TOP TEAM: UCF (1-under 863)

TOP INDIVIDUAL: Dawson Armstrong, Lipscomb (8-under 208)

ALSO ADVANCED: Vanderbilt (865), Kennesaw State (865), Clemson (865), Lipscomb (869)

JUST MISSED OUT: Troy (877), Middle Tennessee State (877), Missouri (878)

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CHARGE ON: UCF entered the College Grove (Tenn.) Regional at The Grove Club as the eight seed and Golfweek’s 53th-ranked team. The Knights exited as the top team finisher – and with their first NCAA Championship berth in three years.

The Knights began the day in second on the leaderboard before carding a 3-over 291. Top-seeded Vanderbilt, meanwhile, shot 13 over to fall back to T-2 along with Clemson and Kennesaw State.

Manuel Elvira, whose older brother Nacho Elvira plays pro golf in Europe, led the way for UCF, tying for third at 5-under 211. Kyler Tate, who transferred from Florida after last season, finished solo fifth at 4 under.

No other UCF player finished better than T-39, but Juuso Kahlos and Ryan Stovash shot 72 and 74, respectively, in the final round to contribute to the team score on Wednesday.

The Knights missed out on a regional in each of the past two seasons because they fell below .500 in both seasons. Three years ago, the Knights finished the year ranked ninth in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings.

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AWESOME DAWSON: Lipscomb’s Dawson Armstrong captured medalist honors, capping a 69-65 start with a final-round, 2-over 74 to win by two shots at 8-under 208. More importantly, Armstrong led Lipscomb to a fifth-place showing and an NCAA Championship berth.

The Bisons shot 9-over 297 on Wednesday to fall three spots on the leaderboard, but thanks to a strong first 36 holes, they earned their way with a 5-over performance over 54 holes.

Armstrong is the Atlantic-Sun co-player of the year and his victory not only helped his team but also his own Walker Cup prospects. Armstrong, a junior, was invited to the U.S. Walker Cup practice session last December and is considered among the candidates to make U.S. captain Spider Miller’s team later this year.

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SHORT SHOTS: With No. 8 seed UCF and No. 6 seed Lipscomb advancing, there were three non-top-5 seeds who moved on to the NCAA Championship. No. 7 Kennesaw State was the other team. … Led by Patrick Martin (T-3), Vanderbilt placed four players at T-17 or better. … Troy’s Cam Norman advanced individually, tying for sixth at 3 under. … No. 2 seed Texas Tech made a late charge but ended up shooting 5 over on Wednesday and finishing ninth at 19 over.

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