Michigan, Kim rally for Central Regional titles
Team winner: Michigan, 11-under 841
Individual winners: Luke Guthrie, Illinois, Lion Kim, Michigan; 8-under 205
Also moving on: 2. Illinois (843), 3. Alabama (847), T-4. Tennessee, Iowa (865) . . . .Individual: Lee Bedford (Wake Forest), 212
No surprise here: Often playing in the shadow of defending NCAA champion Scott Langley, Luke Guthrie continued to lead Illinois, closing in 65 to claim co-medalist honors.
Guthrie, ranked No. 18 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, has now won four times this season, including the Big Ten Championship. Illinois finished second individually, giving up the 36-hole lead but advancing comfortably to its fourth straight NCAA Championship appearance. Guthrie made two eagles and two birdies in his final nine holes, shooting 5-under 31 to make a charge to the top of the leaderboard.
Langley, who also held the 36-hole lead, shot 75 Saturday at Wolf Run to finish T-9 at 1 under.
Ninth-seeded Michigan claimed the team title, shooting 9-under 275 in Saturday’s final round – the day’s best round by six shots. U.S. Amateur Public Links champion Lion Kim led the way for the Wolverines, closing in 65 to tie Guthrie for medalist honors. Joey Garber (T-4) also finished in the top five for Michigan.
Led by Bud Cauley (T-3), top-seeded Alabama easily advanced to the NCAA Championship, finishing T-3. It’s the Tide’s fifth trip to the NCAAs in the past seven years.
Stop the presses: Despite having second-ranked Andrew Yun and U.S. Amatuer runner-up David Chung on its squad, fourth-seeded Stanford failed to advance to nationals.
Chung was the Cardinal’s top finisher at T-11, while Yun was never a factor in the tournament, finishing T-34 (74-72-76).
Stanford began the final round in coveted fifth place, but the Cardinal shot 9 over as a team Saturday to fall behind Tennessee, which rallied back from seventh place to advance.
Short shots: Lion Kim eagled the par-5 17th to join Guthrie at the top of the leaderboard. After making five bogeys in his opening 71, Kim made just one bogey in his final 36 holes and played bogey free in his closing 65. . . . After finishing in the top 10 at the SEC Championship, Alabama’s Hunter Hamrick followed with a T-4 showing at Wolf Run. Freshman Cory Whitsett (T-16) also finished in the top 20 for the Crimson Tide. . . . Wake Forest’s Lee Bedford (T-9) advanced as an individual, closing in 2-under 69. Bedford won the season-opening Carpet Capital Collegiate and the Irish Creek Collegiate. Stanford’s David Chung was the next highest individual from a non-qualifying team (T-11). . . . Danny Keddie made six birdies on his closing nine to help Tennessee move into the top five. Keddie rebounded from a second-round 75 with a Saturday 66.
– D.J. Piehowski