NCAA Championships

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Ron Balicki
Illinois' Alex Burge talks with Cody Gribble of Texas on the first tee during the quarterfinals of match play at the 2013 NCAA Championship at Capital City Club Crabapple Course. Burge defeated Gribble, 3 and 2.
Illinois' Alex Burge talks with Cody Gribble of Texas on the first tee during the quarterfinals of match play at the 2013 NCAA Championship at Capital City Club Crabapple Course. Burge defeated Gribble, 3 and 2.

— Coming into this year’s NCAA Championship at Capital City Club’s Crabapple course, Illinois’ Alex Burge felt he had something to prove – to his coach, to his teammates, and, most of all, to himself.

It was a matter of showing he belonged and was worthy of a spot in the lineup at the national championship.

After all, the Fighting Illini sophomore’s best finish in a team event this season was a T-13 in the Louisiana Classics, the team’s spring opener. A T-19 at the Boilermaker and T-17 at the Big 10 Championship was just good ...

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Nick Masuda
Alabama's Justin Thomas defeated New Mexico's James Erkenbeck, 4 and 3, during the quarterfinals of match play at the 2013 NCAA Championship at Capital City Club Crabapple course.
Alabama's Justin Thomas defeated New Mexico's James Erkenbeck, 4 and 3, during the quarterfinals of match play at the 2013 NCAA Championship at Capital City Club Crabapple course.

MILTON, Ga. -- The 18th hole must've been lonely at the conclusion of Friday's match-play action at the NCAA Championship.

Alabama decided the par-4 was unnecessary.

The second-ranked Crimson Tide rolled into the semifinals at the Capital City Club's Crabapple course, eliminating fifth-ranked New Mexico, 4-1, in the day's most lopsided result -- with no match going past the par-4 17th.

"I thought we looked a little freer, we looked more comfortable," said Tide head coach Jay Seawell, whose team will face Georgia Tech in the semifinals on Saturday morning. "We talked about it last night. I thought ...

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Golfweek Staff
The 2013 NCAA Championship at Capital City Club Crabapple Course.
The 2013 NCAA Championship at Capital City Club Crabapple Course.

— And there there were four.

The NCAA Championship's match-play quarterfinals kicked off this morning at the Capital City Club's Crabapple course, with some intriguing match-ups all over the course.

Pac-12 rivals Cal and Arizona State facing off, with the No. 1-ranked Bears emerging victorious and advancing to the semifinals.

Illinois took on defending champion Texas and pulled out a win to move on; the Illini and Bears will meet tomorrow.

Host Georgia Tech needed a playoff to rise above a challenge from UNLV and continue play in the suburbs of the Yellow Jackets' home city.

And ...

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Cassie Stein
Cal's Brandon Hagy defeated Arizona State's Jon Rahm at No. 18 during the quarterfinals of match play at the 2013 NCAA Championship at Capital City Club Crabapple Course.
Cal's Brandon Hagy defeated Arizona State's Jon Rahm at No. 18 during the quarterfinals of match play at the 2013 NCAA Championship at Capital City Club Crabapple Course.

MILTON, Ga. – A clutch shot by California junior Brandon Hagy sealed Cal’s spot in the semifinals of the NCAA Championships by defeating Arizona State 3-2 at The Capital City Club's Crabapple course.

Hagy stuck his shot to 4 feet with a 138-yard gap wedge.

“It was a great number for me,” Hagy added.

ASU’s Jon Rahm fired back with a shot to 12 feet above the cup. Rahm missed his putt and conceded the match.

The Sun Devils were up early in four of the five matches.

“You could sense in their players, they had a shot ...

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Cassie Stein
California's Joel Stalter
California's Joel Stalter

MILTON, Ga. -- Besides his French accent and European looks, Joël Stalter is just another one of the guys and part of the starting five on the No. 1 California men's golf team.

It was always a dream for Stalter to play college golf in America, but let alone at the school where he knew he always wanted to attend.

Stalter found his way to Cal when he was a freshman in high school. His high school had an exchange program that let students travel to America and see how life was for two weeks. The exchange program went to ...

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May 30, 2013 | 10:16 p.m.

NCAA Elite 8: Match-by-match breakdown

Nick Masuda

— The stage is set. The stroke play is over. Now it is mano-y-mano.

In match play, anything can – and will – happen.

Top-ranked California ran away with the stroke-play title by six shots and will take on Arizona State, while host Georgia Tech grabbed the No. 2 seed and will face UNLV. 2012 runner-up Alabama rallied late for the third seed and will face New Mexico, while defending national champ Texas takes on Illinois.

Some intriguing matches will take place Friday: Texas freshman sensation Brandon Stone takes on 2012 NCAA medalist Thomas Pieters of Illinois, while Alabama's Justin ...

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Golfweek Staff
The 2013 NCAA Championship at Capital City Club Crabapple Course.
The 2013 NCAA Championship at Capital City Club Crabapple Course.

MILTON, Ga. -- The matches are set and let the opinions roll.

As always, our Golfweek college experts have something to say on the NCAA Championship's match-play weekend ahead.

Here is a look at their predictions:

• • •

Ron Balicki, Golfweek senior writer

Quarterfinals: California over Arizona State; Illinois over Texas; Georgia Tech over UNLV; Alabama over New Mexico

Semifinals: California over Illinois; Alabama over Georgia Tech

Finals: California over Alabama

• • •

Lance Ringler, Golfweek senior writer

Quarterfinals: Cal over Arizona State; Illiniois over Texas; Georgia Tech over UNLV; New Mexico over Alabama

Semifinals: Cal over Illinois; New Mexico over Georgia Tech

Finals ...

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Ron Balicki
Cal's Brandon Hagy chats with head coach Steve Desimone at No. 15 during the final round of stroke play of the 2013 NCAA Championship.
Cal's Brandon Hagy chats with head coach Steve Desimone at No. 15 during the final round of stroke play of the 2013 NCAA Championship.

— The good news for California is it won the 54-hole stroke-play qualifying portion Thursday and landed the No. 1 seed going into the eight-team match-play bracket that will determine this year’s NCAA champion.

The bad news for the Bears is they won the stroke-play qualifying, and no team in past four years has been medalist then gone on to win the national title.

Cal just might become the first to accomplish the feat. And why not? In what already is an historic season, it only seems appropriate the Bears finish it off in historic fashion.

With a ...

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Cassie Stein
California's Max Homa with head coach Steve Desimone during the final round of stroke play of the 2013 NCAA Championship.
California's Max Homa with head coach Steve Desimone during the final round of stroke play of the 2013 NCAA Championship.

MILTON, Ga. - Déjà vu, anyone?

California’s Max Homa and coach Steve Desimone stood in 18th fairway on Thursday laughing.

In September, Homa and Desimone stood in almost the exact same spot for the Ping/Golfweek Preview with almost the same yardage needing a birdie to share the title with host Georgia Tech.

“He said, ‘Coach I like that (yardage),’ " Desimone said. "He stuck it to 7 or 8 feet, and made birdie."

Only this time was a little bit different.

Homa was up by three shots and trying to win the school's first NCAA individual golf title. With ...

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Lance Ringler
TCU's Julien Brun watches his tee shot at No. 17 during the second round of the 2013 NCAA Championship at Capital City Club Crabapple course.
TCU's Julien Brun watches his tee shot at No. 17 during the second round of the 2013 NCAA Championship at Capital City Club Crabapple course.

— Sure, there is focus on the top of the leaderboard during the first few days at the NCAA Championship, but let’s not kid ourselves. Most of the attention is looking a little farther down in the team standings.

The position on the leaderboard that will be of most interest on Thursday afternoon is No. 8. That is the cutoff to advance to the match-play portion of this championship. The top eight teams will begin match play Friday.

It's all about positioning on the final day of stroke play, which is why those numbers are important. The ...

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Nick Masuda
Anders Albertson of Georgia Tech hits his tee shot at No. 17 during Round 2 of the 2013 NCAA Championship at Capital City Club Crabapple Course.
Anders Albertson of Georgia Tech hits his tee shot at No. 17 during Round 2 of the 2013 NCAA Championship at Capital City Club Crabapple Course.

— Georgia Tech entered the NCAA Championship with two distinct advantages over the field.

First, no player in its starting five had teed it up in the NCAA finals. (Ignorance is bliss, right?)

Second, it was the only team allowed to practice at Capital City Club's Crabapple course in the days leading up to the Championship.

Whatever the formula, it's working for the Yellow Jackets.

A year after failing to make it to the Championship, Georgia Tech ripped off a second consecutive 6-under 274 Wednesday to take a one-shot lead over top-ranked California after the second round ...

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Ron Balicki
Austin Peay State's Dustin Korte walks up No. 16 during Round 2 of the 2013 NCAA Championship at Capital City Club's Crabapple Course.
Austin Peay State's Dustin Korte walks up No. 16 during Round 2 of the 2013 NCAA Championship at Capital City Club's Crabapple Course.

MILTON, Ga. - There’s no better way to close out your college career than playing in the NCAA Championship, especially when your team is not with you and it’s your first trip to college golf’s big show.

That’s how it is this week for Austin Peay State senior Dustin Korte.

The Governors, winners of the Ohio Valley Conference this season, failed to finish in the top five and advance to the finals out of the NCAA regional in Tempe, Ariz., tying for seventh.

However, Korte had the best tournament of his career in Arizona, placing eighth at ...

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Cassie Stein
Cal's Max Homa hits his tee shot at No. 16 during Round 2 of the 2013 NCAA Championship.
Cal's Max Homa hits his tee shot at No. 16 during Round 2 of the 2013 NCAA Championship.

— The top-ranked California men's golf team got off to a hot start Wednesday at the NCAA Championship – only to a come to a quick and sudden halt.

“It looked like we were in really good shape, and it was party time. Now it’s a root canal,” head coach Steve Desimone said after the second round at Capital City Club's Crabapple course.

At one point, Cal’s only senior, Max Homa, had taken his round to 8 under through 15 holes; as a team, they were 17 under on the day and 20 under for the ...

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Cassie Stein
UCLA's Jonathan Garrick hits his tee shot at No. 16 during Round 2 of the 2013 NCAA Championship at Capital City Club Crabapple Course.
UCLA's Jonathan Garrick hits his tee shot at No. 16 during Round 2 of the 2013 NCAA Championship at Capital City Club Crabapple Course.

— UCLA freshman Jonathan Garrick was assessed a one-shot slow play penalty on the 18th hole during the second round of the NCAA Championship on Wednesday.

On that hole, Garrick made a bogey, California’s Max Homa made a double bogey and Alabama’s Scott Strohmeyer made par.

Once the group finished, they were 10 minutes behind their checkpoint time.

The group went into the scoring area and confirmed scores, but never signed scorecards as the rules officials wanted to talk to each of the players in the clubhouse.

The players left, with their scorecards, and were talked to ...

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Brentley Romine
Arkansas head coach Brad McMakin talks with Nicolas Echavarria at No. 15 during Round 2 of the 2013 NCAA Championship.
Arkansas head coach Brad McMakin talks with Nicolas Echavarria at No. 15 during Round 2 of the 2013 NCAA Championship.

MILTON, Ga. –– Arkansas freshman Nicolas Echavarria had cracked the starting lineup just twice this spring. He didn’t compete in the SEC Championship. And he was last on the team in scoring average (75.5), failing to break 70 in 28 rounds entering the week.

But when it came time for Razorbacks head coach Brad McMakin to pick his five guys for the NCAA Championship, Echavarria got the nod for the final spot.

“Nicolas is a gamer; one of the top juniors in country and I felt like he’d handle the pressure better,” McMakin said of Echavarria, who twice ...

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Recent NCAA Championships Videos

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Our Lance Ringler caught up with the victorious Alabama squad after its 4-1 victory over Illinois to win its first NCAA title.

VIDEO: Going behind the scenes with Washington men's golf

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Recent NCAA Championships Videos

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NCAA Championship: Match play preview

Lance Ringler and Asher Wildman break down the NCAA Championship match play bracket.

NCAA Championship: Did you know?

Asher Wildman digs deep at The Honors Course and discovers some interesting facts about the course.

Take 5: Achy breaky Aggie hearts (Rd. 2)

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Take 5: Best team van at NCAAs (Rd. 1)

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Recent NCAA Championships Videos

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Our Lance Ringler breaks down USC's dominating victory at the 2013 NCAA Women's Championship.

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Asher Wildman and Lance Ringler discuss Notre Dame senior Annie Brophy's disqualification from the Central Regional.

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