HERSHEY, PA. – The University of Missouri-St. Louis men’s golf team shot a 297 on the final 18 holes of stroke play on Wednesday at the NCAA Championship to vault into a tie for seventh place, thus securing its spot in the top eight to advance to tomorrow’s match play.
The Tritons, which entered today’s final round in 10th place, finished with a three-round score of 898 (299-302-297), at the 6,984-yard, par-71 Hershey Country Club, equaling Western Washington (292-312-294). UMSL garnered the No. 7 seed by virtue of the tiebreaker and will face No. 2 seed Barry tomorrow in one of four quarterfinal matches. Barry combined for a three-day score of 876 (284-288-304). The two sides will face off in a best-of-five match-play showdown beginning at 8:15 a.m. (EST).
“We are very excited to advance to the final eight,” said fourth-year head coach Troy Halterman. “This will be the best finish in school history regardless of tomorrow’s outcome.
“The guys are excited, but still focused on the work ahead. We still feel we haven’t played a complete round out here yet. It feels more like we have survived the last three days. This course is very difficult and tests all aspects of your game. However, I think our difficult schooled and great home courses have prepared us to grind it out on a course like this.”
Florida Southern bettered Barry by nine strokes after the completion of the three-day stroke play tournament, carding an 867 to lead the field of 20 teams. Nova Southeastern was third at 877, while Lynn and South Carolina-Aiken tied for fourth at 888.
Juniors Warren Crow and Joe Atkisson paced the Tritons today, each carding a one-over par 72. Crow tied for an 11th place finish with a score of 218 (74-72-72), just missing a top-10 finish by one stroke, while Atkisson shot a 224 (74-78-72), tying for 31st place.
Freshman Colby Yates shot a tournament personal best 74 on his final 18 holes today to move up to a tie for 44th place with a 228 (76-78-74), while senior Chase Smith tied for 64th place with a 231 (78-74-79). Freshman David Abolt rounded out the scoring with a 237 (75-80-82), tying for 91st place.
Individual national champion honors went to Tim Crouch of Florida Southern, who won a three-player playoff. Crouch, Matt Atkins of South Carolina-Aiken and Jake Webb of Western Washington all finished two strokes under par with a 211.