PGATOUR.COM went behind the scenes with members of the University of Washington men's golf team as they pursue their first-ever NCAA Championship, led by senior and top-ranked amateur player Chris Williams. This is the first of a series of episodes.
Chris Williams recently won the Ben Hogan Award, while Cheng-Tsung Pan was individual medalist at the Tallahassee Regional last week.
Joel Stalter of the California Golden Bears is a junior from Amneville, France. He is No. 12 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings.
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I am not very surprised about the rule on anchoring even with the negative backlash the ban received. I used a short putter for my most of my career and then switched to a belly putter for eight months last year. While the belly putter definitely helped my putting, I do not necessarily believe that the anchoring method is an advantage over conventional putting. It is simply not for everyone. Using a belly putter is actually a different skill that players have to spend many hours practicing, just like short putters.
The main reason I switched back to the short putter was that I realized the anchoring stroke was inhibiting my natural stroke and instincts on the course that I have practiced my whole life playing the game, though it certainly helped my mechanics become more consistent.
My main issue with the ban is that no scientific, concrete evidence has been used to show that the anchoring method is an advantage. I do however understand the concern of the R&A and the USGA that belly putters ...
Washington senior Chris Williams is the 2013 Ben Hogan Award recipient.
Williams, of Moscow, Idaho, is the world’s No. 1-ranked amateur in the World Amateur Golf Rankings. He won the 2012 Mark H. McMormack Medal as the world’s top-ranked amateur. With the McMormack Medal, Williams clinched berths into the 2013 U.S. Open and the Open Championship. He won both the 2012 Western Amateur match play and stroke play titles and was a quarterfinalist at the U.S. Amateur.
He played on Team USA at the World Amateur Team Championships in Turkey and also competed on Team USA in the Palmer Cup and the Copa de las Americas.
For the Huskies, Williams had seven top-10 finishes in 11 events during the 2012-13 season. He was a first-team All-Pac-12 selection with a 71.06 stroke average.
Williams is the second Husky to win the award, joining Nick Taylor (2010). He is the second straight winner from the Pac-12 Conference (Patrick Cantlay, UCLA).
By claiming the Ben Hogan Award, Williams was presented an exemption into the PGA Tour’s 2014 Crowne Plaza Invitational.
Information from the Ben Hogan Award was used in this release
Central Florida’s Greg Eason became the first Knight to win an individual regional title in Tempe, Ariz., on May 18. Eason, a junior, shot 65-63-70 to win four shots at Karsten Creek GC, and led Central Florida to a T-2 finish behind UCLA. Eason is ranked No. 22 by Golfweek.
California won its 11th tournament of the season May 18 at the NCAA Pullman Regional. The team tied the unofficial NCAA record of 10 victories in a season earlier this month at the Pac-12 Championship and now they have broken the unofficial record. Cal, No. 1 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, tied the team’s second-best total of the season at 43 under.
Team winner: California (43-under 821)
Individual winner: Sam Smith, USC, and Michael Weaver, Cal (14-under 202)
Also moving on: Teams – 2. TCU (841), 3. St. Mary’s, Calif. (842), 4. USC (844), 5. Ball State (856); Individual – Rodolfo Cazaubon, North Texas (7-under 209)
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That makes 11
Cal’s 20-shot victory at Palouse Ridge in Pullman, Wash., is the Golden Bears' 11th season victory. Cal already tied the unofficial NCAA record of 10 with its victory earlier this month at the Pac-12 Championship.
Cal led St. Mary’s (Calif.) by only two shots after the first round, but pulled away in the second round. Cal’s 43-under total ties the team’s second-best total this season. The Golden Bears also were 43 under at the Fresno State Lexus Classic, which was victory No. 7 for Cal and a play-six-count-five tournament. The team shot 46 under to win its own Alister MacKenzie Invitational at the par-71 Meadow Club in Fairfax, Calif.
In Pullman, Cal’s Michael Weaver earned co-medalist honors with USC’s Sam Smith. Both shot 14-under 202. Weaver’s teammate Joel Stalter was third, followed by another teammate, Brandon Hagy, in fifth.
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Ball State advanced to ...
Team winner: UCLA (30-under 810)
Individual winner: Greg Eason, Central Florida (12-under 198)
Also moving on: Teams – T-2. Georgia (827), T-2. Central Florida (827), 4. Texas A&M (829), 5. Arizona State (832); Individual – Dustin Korte, Austin Peay State (6-under 204)
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In winning its third stroke-play title of the season at the NCAA Tempe Regional, UCLA also claimed its fifth regional title in the past decade.
The Bruins won wire-to-wire, and after building their lead to 11 shots in Round 2, brought the same level of intensity to Saturday's final round. UCLA posted an 11-under 269 at the par-70 Karsten Golf Course, the lowest final round by three shots.
Credit Jonathan Garrick for widening UCLA’s margin of victory even more Saturday. The freshman shot a final-round 64, which was the third 64 posted by a UCLA player over the 54-hole event. Senior Pontus Widegren posted that number in Round 1, followed by fellow senior Pedro Figueiredo in Round 2.
Garrick, who tied for second at 8-under 202, was the low Bruin. Three teammates also finished inside the top 10.
UCLA’s 30-under 810 total is the team’s lowest this season. The Bruins finished 17 shots ahead of runners-up Georgia ...
Team winner: Illinois (1-under 863)
Individual winner: Mario Clemens, SMU (3-under 213)
Also moving on: 2. Arkansas (866), 3. Texas (880), 4. Oklahoma State (882), 5. Kent State (892)
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'This is pretty cool'
6 and 1. Those were the key numbers for Illinois when all the dust had settled at Blessings Golf Club at the Fayetteville (Ark.) Regional.
Not only did the Fighting Illini earn their sixth consecutive trip to the NCAA finals, they did so by winning the program’s first regional championship. With a closing round of 1-over 289, Illinois, coming off its fifth consecutive Big Ten Championship, finished at 1-under 863 to overtake host Arkansas. The Razorbacks led by one going into the final round, but shot 5-over 293 Saturday and finished at 2-over 866.
“This is pretty cool,” said Illinois coach Mike Small shortly after the win. “It shows these guys are really buying into what we are trying to do at Illinois. This is a young team, but they showed a lot of maturity this week and when faced with adversity, (they) handled it well. This was a total team effort and they came in here and took care of business.”
Sophomore Brian ...
Team winner: Alabama (4-over 868)
Individual winner: Scott Strohmeyer, Alabama (4-under 212)
Also moving on: Teams – 2. Florida (874), 3. LSU (890), 4. Tennessee (892), 5. Coastal Carolina (894). Individual – Tyler Klava, South Alabama (2-over 218)
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Rolling, rolling, rolling
After a slow start in Cajun Country, the Alabama men – arguably college golf's hottest team this spring – found its way and continues to impress. The Crimson Tide won the Baton Rouge Regional to capture their fifth tournament in a row and sixth of their last seven. It’s Alabama's seventh victory overall.
The Crimson Tide posted the low score of the tournament Saturday, 6-under 282, good for a six-shot victory over first- and second-round leader Florida.
“We were only eight shots back (heading into the final round), and we knew it was doable,” said sophomore Justin Thomas. “With Bobby (Wyatt) shooting low and Scott (Strohmeyer) shooting a 69, we played solid.”
Strohmeyer won the individual title by two shots over teammate Wyatt. Strohmeyer posted a 3-under 69 in the final round to pick up his first collegiate victory. Wyatt, a junior, shot the low score of the tournament with a 6-under 66 Saturday. In the team’s ...
Team winner: 1. New Mexico (18-over 870)
Individual winner: James Erkenbeck, New Mexico (3-under 210)
Also moving on: Teams – T-2. Auburn (872), T-2. South Carolina (872), 4. UNLV (878), 5. Texas Tech (879). Individual – Denny McCarthy, Virginia (1-over 214)
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Rising to the top
New Mexico, the top seed in the Columbus Regional, played like the best team on a day when it mattered the most. New Mexico improved each day – not only in total score but in position on the leaderboard – to win the regional by two shots over Auburn and South Carolina.
Led by senior James Erkenbeck’s 3-under 68, New Mexico won for the fifth time this year. Erkenbeck, who is ranked No. 17 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, was the only player in the 75-player field to finish 54 holes under par. Erkenbeck’s 3-under 210 was better than a trio of players – Auburn’s Dominic Bozzelli, Virginia’s Denny McCarthy and South Carolina’s Matthew NeSmith, all of whom finished at 1-over 214.
“Everything you can hope for, they did it today,” New Mexico head coach Glen Millican said of his players.
The fifth-ranked Lobos' worst individual score in the final round was ...
Team winner: North Florida (34-under 830)
Individual winner: Cheng-Tsung Pan, Washington (15-under 201)
Also moving on: Teams – 2. Washington (833), 3. Florida State (836), 4. Georgia Tech (849), 5. Oklahoma (854). Individual – Daniel Walker, Richmond (12-under 204)
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North Florida won its first NCAA regional title in school history Saturday, finishing three shots ahead of top-seeded Washington at Golden Eagle Country Club in Tallahassee, Fla.
The Ospreys led wire-to-wire and will advance to the NCAA Championship for the third time in the past four seasons and the fourth time overall.
Paced by Cheng-Tsung Pan’s 5-under front nine, Washington pulled ahead of North Florida midway through the final round. North Florida’s M.J. Maguire, the first- and second-round leader, made two double bogeys on his front nine, and only Taylor Hancock was under par through his first nine holes.
But the Ospreys closed strong. Sean Dale went 3 under on his back nine to finish off a 3-under 69. Kevin Phelan made three birdies in his final nine holes to wrap up a 70. But it was Maguire who had the most impressive close to his round.
Maguire made five birdies, including four in a row ...
Alex Mahlik and Andrew Klasing recorded top-10 individual finishes to help Central Alabama CC capture the NJCAA National Championship Friday at the Rawls Course in Lubbock, Texas.
Mahlik finished T-6 with a 6-under 283 total while Klasing shot 285 to finish T-8. Central Alabama shot 2-under 1,150 as a team to beat runner-up Odessa College by a shot.
Scottsdale CC (1,155), Johnson County CC (1,157) and Brevard CC (1,159) rounded out the top 5. Wallace State CC's Aksel Olsen won individual medalist honors after shooting 7-under 281 and then winning a playoff over T.J. Morgan of Meridian CC.
Oklahoma City won its second straight and ninth overall men's NAIA National Championship Friday at Creekside Golf Club in Salem, Ore.
The Stars bested runner-up Texas Wesleyan by 28 shots, finishing at 4-under 1,148. Cal State-San Marcos (1,181) was third.
Individually, Oklahoma City's Sondre Ronold shot a final-round, 1-under 71 to wrap up medalist honors. He finished at 5-under 283, two shots better than Aaron Flores of Our Lady of the Lake and Adam Loran of Cal State-Can Marcos.
Texas-Tyler won its first NCAA Division III National Championship on Friday, shooting 5-over 289 in the final round to finish off a four-round total of 27-over 1,167.
The Patriots bested second-place Transylvania by seven shots at the Raven Golf Club in Destin, Fla. Freshman Buddy Hallman was the low scorer for Texas-Tyler, finished second individually with a 2-over 287, four shots behind medalist Brad Shigezawa of Claremont Mudd Scripps.
Methodist (1,188) finished third followed by Emory (1,191) and Claremont Mudd Scripps (1,194).
Texas-Tyler is the first golf program out of the American Southwest Conference to win a national title.
Team leader: UCLA (19-under 541)
Individual leader: Greg Eason, Central Florida (12-under 128)
In position: 2. Central Florida (552), 3. Georgia (554), 4. Texas A&M (557), T-5. Arizona State (558), T-5. Duke (558)
Chasing: 7. North Carolina (561), T-8. New Mexico State (564), T-8. Austin Peay State (564)
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Greg Eason was one poor tee shot from making history for Central Florida on Friday.
The UCF junior from England made nine birdies and no bogeys on his first 17 holes at Karsten Golf Course in Tempe, Ariz. He would've shot a new school record if he had parred his final hole, the par-4 ninth. A birdie would've given him a 10-under 60.
Instead, he hit his tee shot in the water, made double bogey and finished with a 63.
Eason has a six-shot lead over teammate Ricardo Gouveia in the individual race. Eason is at 12-under 128 after shooting 65-63. He has had only two over-par holes in his first two rounds at Karsten, making bogey at the par-4 15th in the first round. Eason had birdied Nos. 7 and 8 before closing Friday's round with the double at No. 9.
Gouveia shot ...
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