South Central: Chattanooga, Jaeger take top spots
A breakdown of the third and final round of the NCAA South Central Regional, played at The Club at Olde Stone in Bowling Green, Ky.:
Team winner: Chattanooga (5-under 859)
Individual winner: Stephan Jaeger, Chattanooga (13-under 203)
Also moving on: 2. Texas A&M (860), 3. UCLA (863), 4. Virginia Tech (874), 5. Memphis (874)
Individual advancing: Nate McCoy, Iowa State (4-under 212)
Rally cap: Chattanooga spent the first two rounds quietly stalking UCLA and Texas A&M before makings its big move Saturday. The Mocs posted a 4-under 284 in the final round, the best team score of the day, to overtake Texas A&M by one shot and UCLA by four.
With the victory, Chattanooga also earned a spot in the NCAA Championship for the first time since 2009.
Chattanooga’s Stephan Jaeger also did well for himself. The senior closed with a 6-under 66 to finish at 13-under 203 and earn medalist honors by four shots.
Just enough: Memphis’ national championship berth didn’t come easy. When Arkansas started making a charge in the final round, it knocked Memphis out of the top 5. The Tigers rallied, however, to take the last team spot out of the South Central Regional.
“I’m just so proud of the guys for hanging in there and showing toughness down the stretch,” head coach Grant Robbins said. “That was a pretty clutch performance over the last few holes. We had an idea of where we were and knew every shot counted.”
Memphis, ranked No. 39 by Golfweek, earned its second national championship ticket in program history, and for the first time since 1988. It called for a realignment of team goals.
“We’ll get back to work Monday,” Robbins said. “Our goal is now to finish in the top eight at nationals and make match play.”
Short shots: Arkansas charged mightily in Round 3 but was unable to make up enough ground to qualify for the national championship. The Razorbacks finished in sixth, three shots out of the top 5. . . . UCLA’s Patrick Cantlay, last year’s Player of the Year, opened strong with a 3-under 69, but fell to T-19 with rounds of 75, 76.