Stockton Regional: Eighth-seeded Kansas makes history with win; No. 1 LSU falls short

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Stockton Regional: Eighth-seeded Kansas makes history with win; No. 1 LSU falls short

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Stockton Regional: Eighth-seeded Kansas makes history with win; No. 1 LSU falls short

Here’s a recap of the final round of the NCAA Division I men’s golf regional at the Reserve at Spanos Park in Stockton, Calif.:

LIVE SCORING: Team | Individual
TEAM WINNER: Kansas (20-under 844)
INDIVIDUAL WINNER: Norman Xiong, Oregon (15-under 201)
ALSO ADVANCING: 2. Stanford (845), 3. Iowa State (847), 4. Alabama (849), 5. Oregon (852)
INDIVIDUAL ADVANCING: *Charles Corner, Texas-El Paso (207)

*Played as individual

• • •

Kansas, LSU make history in different ways

Kansas had never been champions at an NCAA regional. Until now.

The eighth-seeded Jayhawks fired a 7-under 281 on Wednesday to jump from one behind (third place) to one ahead with a 20-under total. The victory marks Kansas’ first regional win in school history and means the Jayhawks will make their first appearance in the NCAA Championship since 2000.

This performance was not exactly expected. The Jayhawks had won just once all season prior to regionals and entered off a solid but unspectacular sixth at Big 12s. But Kansas didn’t back down from the start this week.

The Jayhawks were in second after Day 1, and a drop to third in the second round was no big deal, especially as the team moved from three back to one behind in the process.

Kansas only had one finisher in the top 8, but all five of its starters posted top-25 finishes. Andy Spencer (T-5, 8 under) led the way, with Daniel Sutton (T-9, 5 under) also placing in the top 10. Charlie Hillier (T-19, 2 under), Harry Hillier (T-23, 1 under) and Daniel Hudson (T-23, 1 under) rounded out the Jayhawks’ scores.

On the other side, top-seeded LSU got a massive disappointment.

The Tigers were in trouble from the start, sitting in a tie for 10th through 18 holes. They moved up the leaderboard in each of the final two rounds, but a pair of two-spot jumps (10th to eighth and eight to sixth) left LSU one spot (and five shots) short of advancing to nationals.

Prior to 2017, just one No. 1 seed in an NCAA men’s regional had failed to move on (Clemson, 2009). LSU’s failure means three have fallen short in the past two years. Florida started the trend in 2017, with the Tigers and Georgia Tech adding to it this week.

With LSU’s high finisher (Luis Gagne) coming in a tie for ninth at 5 under, the Tigers won’t have an individual representing them at the NCAA Championship either.

• • •

SHORT SHOTS: As you might be able to tell already, this was a bit of topsy-turvy regional. On top of what we explained above, 10th-seeded Iowa State also advanced. The Cyclones were solo leaders after Round 1, tied at the top through 36 and finished in third at 17 under. … Oregon’s Norman Xiong closes in 6-under 66 to reach 15 under and grab a one-shot victory in the individual race. The sophomore’s stellar performance allowed his fifth-seeded Ducks squad to fire a final-round 8-under 280 and jump a place to fifth and secure the last NCAA Championship spot from here. Xiong’s Haskins Award hopes are certainly well within reach. … Fourth-seeded USC placed ninth at 3 over, and, with that, Haskins hopeful Justin Suh saw his season end. Suh finished the week in a tie for 19th at 2 under. That means he failed to advance as an individual as well. … TCU, the No. 6 seed, falls from the fifth spot to eighth after a final-round 8-over 296. Pierre Mazier closes in 70, but the remaining four Horned Frogs players all shot final rounds of 75 or worse.

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