USC, New Mexico to meet in Match Play final

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MARANA, Ariz. – New Mexico freshman John Catlin ran a gauntlet of emotions over the final three holes against Texas A&M sophomore Jordan Russell Monday in the semifinals of the Callaway Collegiate Match Play Championship

Standing on the 18th tee at Dove Mountain’s Ritz Carlton Golf Club, just outside of Tucson, Catlin was on top of the world, leading 2-up with three hole to play. Forty-five minutes later, on the tee at the par-5 second hole, his 18th, Catlin’s world had tumbled. He and Russell stood all square.

Not only was this individual match on the line, but so, too, was the team outcome. New Mexico and Texas A&M had each won two matches, making the Catlin-Russell match the decider.

But Catlin came through, getting up-and-down from a greenside bunker to save par and win the hole, sending the Lobos into the championship match Tuesday against USC.

The Trojans advanced to the title match when they defeated Colorado State, 3-2.

New Mexico, No. 52 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, came into the tournament as the 15th seed in the 16-team field and was one of only two teams outside the top 50 in the Golfweek’s rankings. The 13th-ranked Trojans were seeded eighth.

Regardless of which team wins Tuesday, they will be the lowest seed to ever win this match play crown. The other 14 teams will square off for a definite placing in the final standings.

Texas A&M, the No. 3 seed and defending NCAA champion, jumped out to a 2-0 lead against the Lobos. Conrad Shindler won two of the first three holes and never looked back in beating Brandon Putnam, 4 and 2. Ignacio Elvira was 1 down after four holes, but won four of the next five en route to a 3-and-2 victory over Nick Geyer.

The Lobos charged back to knot the score and set the stage for Catlin. James Erkenbeck went 1 up after six holes and never trailed as he beat Andrea Pavan, 2 and 1. Travis Ross, all square with four to play, won two of the next three to defeat former U.S. Junior Amateur champ Cameron Peck, 2 and 1.

“It’s been exciting so far to say the least,” said New Mexico coach Glen Millican. “All three of our matches have come down to the last hole. It feels like we’ve played three, 36-hole matches. It was so close and exciting it made it feel like you were watching a basketball game, not golf.

“I think it will be much the same tomorrow. USC had a great team and I feel it’s going to be another exciting match,” Millican said.

In the USC-Colorado State match, the Rams went on top first when Riley Arp won the first hole and never trailed as he beat T.J. Vogel, 4 and 3. USC’s Stewart Hagestad won four holes in a five-hole stretch on the back nine on his way to defeating Zahkai Brown, 4 and 2.

Then things got exciting. Steve Lim of USC won the final hole with a par for a 1-up victory over Bryce Hanstad; Dustin Morris of Colorado State was 2-up with three to play, lost the 16th, but halved the last two for a 1-up win over Matthew Giles. And USC’s Martin Trainer won the 16th hole with a par and held on for a 1-up triumph over Ryan Peterson.

“This was as exciting as it gets,” USC coach Chris Zambri said. “We’re fortunate to get by, but we’ve played very good these last two days and I’m really looking forward to tomorrow. New Mexico has a solid team and I wouldn’t be surprised if it came down to the last shot of the last match.”

Other matches:

• Third Place – Texas A&M vs. Colorado State

• Fifth Place – UNLV vs. Iowa

• Seventh Place – Stanford vs. San Diego

• Ninth Place – Arizona vs. Indiana

• 11th Place – UCLA vs. Texas Tech

• 13th Place – Washington vs. Arizona State

• 15th Place – TCU vs. Middle Tennessee State


Results from the semifinals of the Callaway Collegiate Match Play Championship, played March 22 at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club (Dove Mountain) in Marana, Ariz.:

SEMIFINALS

Southern California def. Colorado State, 3-2-0

  • Riley Arp (CSU) def. T.J. Vogel, 4 and 3
  • Steve Lim (USC) def. Bryce Hanstad, 1 up
  • Martin Trainer (USC) def. Ryan Peterson, 1 up
  • Dustin Morris (CSU) def. Matthew Giles, 1 up
  • Stewart Hagestad (USC) def. Zahkai Brown, 4 and 2

New Mexico def. Texas A&M, 3-2-0

  • James Erkenbeck (N.M.) def. Andrea Pavan, 2 and 1
  • Travis Ross (N.M.) def. Cameron Peck, 2 and 1
  • John Catlin (N.M.) def. Jordan Russell, 1 up
  • Ignacio Elvira (T) def. Nick Geyer, 3 and 2
  • Conrad Shindler (T) def. Brandon Putnam, 4 and 2

• • • 

QUARTERFINALS

Southern California def. Standford, 3-2-0

  • T.J. Vogel (USC) def. Sihwan Kim, 2 and 1
  • Steve LIm (USC) def. Steve Ziegler, 4 and 3
  • Martin Trainer (USC) def. Andrea DeDecker, 1 up
  • Joseph Bramlett (S) def. Matthew Giles, 1 up
  • Steven Kearney (S) def. Stewart Hagestad, 3 and 2

Colorado State def. Iowa, 3-2-0

  • Brad Hopfinger (I) def. Riley Arp, 2 and 1
  • Bryce Hanstad (CSU) def. Vince India, 2 and 1
  • Barrett Kelpin (I) def. Ryan Peterson, 1 up
  • Dustin Morris (CSU) def. Chris Brant, 6 and 5
  • Zahkai Brown (CSU) def. Brad George, 3 and 2

Texas A&M def. UNLV, 4-1-0

  • Andrea Pavan (T) def. Derek Ernst, 4 and 2
  • Cody Smith (UNLV) def. Cameron Peck, 1 up
  • Jordan Russell (T) def. Brett Kanda, 5 and 4
  • Ignacio Elvira (T) def. Eddie Olson, 2 and 1
  • Conrad Shindler (T) def. Jeremiah Wooding, 1 up

New Mexico def. San Diego, 3-2-0

  • James Erkenbeck (N.M.) def. Scott Brace, 1 up
  • Travis Ross (N.M.) def. Kenneth McCready, 1 up
  • Alex Ching (S.D.) def. John Catlin, 2 up
  • Nick Geyer (N.M.) def. Jason Shano, 2 and 1
  • Gunner Wiebe (N.M.) def. Brandon Putnam, 6 and 4

• • • 

FIRST ROUND

Stanford (1) def. Indiana (16), 3-2-0

  • Sihwan Kim (S) def. Alex Martin, 2 and 1
  • Steve Ziegler (S) def. David Erdy, 3 and 2
  • Chase Wright (I) def. Andre DeDecker, 2 up
  • Brant Peaper (I) def. Joseph Bramlett, 3 and 2
  • Steven Kearney (S) def. Ren Han, 1 up

Southern California (8) def. TCU (9), 4-1

  • T.J. Vogel (USC) def. Johan de Beer, 2 up
  • Steve Lim (USC) def. Travis Woolf, 3 and 2
  • Martin Trainer (USC) def. Tom Hoge, 2 and 1
  • Matthew Giles (USC) def. Daniel Jennevret, 4 and 3
  • Pontus Gad (T) def. Stewart Hagestad, 2 and 1

Iowa (13) def. Arizona State (4), 3-2

  • Brad Hopfinger (I) def. Jesper Kennegard, 1 up
  • Vince India (I) def. Scott Pinckney, 2 and 1
  • Barrett Kelpin (I) def. Knut Borsheim, 1 up
  • James Byrne (A) def. Chris Brant, 6 and 5
  • Braxton Marquez (A) def. Brad George, 3 and 1

Colorado State (12) def. UCLA (5), 2-2-1

  • Riley Arp (CSU) def. Alex Kim, 2 and 1
  • Pontus Widegren (U) def. Bryce Hanstad, 3 and 2
  • Pedro Figueiredo (U) def. Ryan Peterson, 3 and 1
  • Dustin Morris (CSU) def. Connor Driscoll, 4 and 3
  • Mario Clemens (U) vs. Zahkai Brown, halved

Texas A&M (3) def. Arizona (14), 3-2-0

  • Tarquin MacManus (A) def. Andrea Pavan, 3 and 2
  • Cameron Peck (T) def. Jonathan Khan, 2 and 1
  • Rich Saferian (A) def. Jordan Russell, 5 and 3
  • Ignacio Elvira (T) def. Trent Redfern, 5 and 4
  • Conrad Shindler (T) def. Philip Bagdad, 4 and 3

UNLV (6) def. Middle Tennessee State (11), 3-1-1

  • Derek Ernst (UNLV) vs. Kent Bulle, halved
  • Cody Smith (UNLV) def. Jason Millard, 1 up
  • Hunter Green (MYSU) def. Brett Kanada, 2 and 1
  • Eddie Olson (UNLV) def. Craig Smith, 8 and 7
  • Jeremiah Wooding (UNLV) def. Brad Simons, 4 and 3

San Diego (10) def. Texas Tech (7), 3-2-0

  • Nils Floren (T) def. Scott Brace, 3 and 1
  • Chris Ward (T) def. Kenneth McCready, 2 and 1
  • Alex Ching (S.D.) def. Matt Smith, 1 up
  • Jason Shano (S.D.) def. Brian Scherer, 1 up
  • Gunner Wiebe (S.D.) def. Tyler Weworski, 4 and 3

New Mexico (15) def. Washington (2), 3-2-0

  • Nick Taylor (W) def. James Erkenbeck, 4 and 3
  • Travis Roos (N.M.) def. Richard Lee, 2 up
  • John Catlin (N.M.) def. Chris Williams, 2 and 1
  • Nick Geyer (N.M.) def. Charlie Hughes, 2 and 1
  • Chris Killmer (W) def. Brandon Putnam, 4 and 2
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