COLUMBUS, Ohio (May 18, 2008)--The Wake Forest men's golf team picked the right time to play its best golf of the season. The Deacs posted a 27-over 879 to win the NCAA Central Regional in Columbus, Ohio by 10 strokes.
"It was a very, very tough day today. It was the hardest round of the tournament," Wake Forest head coach Jerry Haas said. "The greens were fast and the wind was probably at 25 mph. I'm proud of them the way they hung in there. We played well down the stretch. I can't say enough about it."
Wake has won three NCAA regional titles since 2005. The Deacs won back-to-back titles in 2005 and 2006.
Wake defeated second-place Oklahoma State by 10 strokes to win the regional and advance to the NCAA Championship for the fourth consecutive year and the 14th time since 1991.
The Scarlet Course at Ohio State has now witnessed two postseason titles for the Deacs, including the 1975 NCAA Championship.
Oklahoma State also moves on to the NCAA Championship with a runner-up finish and medalist performance by Kevin Tway.
“Kevin had a pair of runner-ups this season and has been playing well,” said Cowboys' head coach Mike McGraw. “It was nice to see him go out and know he could win and do it against a quality field.”
With the victory, Tway became the third different OSU player to win a tournament this season, joining junior Trent Leon and fellow freshman Rickie Fowler. The win also marked the sixth time a Cowboy has emerged as the regional champion.
Brendan Gielow carded a three-over 74 in the final round to finish the three-day event in a tie for second place. The finish for the sophomore was the best of his career. Gielow finished the tournament with a 69-72-74=215 (+2).
Dustin Groves added his best finish of the season to propel the Deacs to victory. The junior posted two birdies in the final round to lead Wake and finished the tournament with a 72-70-74=216 (+3).
Groves, who ended the weekend in fourth place, had not recorded a top 10 finish on the season coming into the regional.
Webb Simpson carded a nine-over 80 in the final round to finish tied for 17th place. The senior entered the day tied for fourth. Simpson finished the three-day event with a 72-71-80=223 (+10).
Simpson will be playing in his fourth straight NCAA Championship May 28-31 at Purdue's Kampen Course.
Chris McCartin posted a 77-74-75=226 (+13) for the tournament. The senior will join Simpson in qualifying for four NCAA Championships in four tries in his Deacon career.
"Three out of four wins at the regionals for Webb and Chris. That's huge," Haas said. "Certainly we have good momentum going into the championship. We're feeling pretty good. Right now it looks like us and Clemson could be the only ACC representatives at the NCAA Championships. It shows what a really good win it was."
Travis Wadkins, playing in his first NCAA Regional, posted his best round of the tournament Saturday, an eight-over 79. The sophomore posted one birdie on the day.
"You come to appreciate groups like this and the efforts they make," Haas said. "It's a very fragile game. We're champs, but now we're going to re-focus and get ready for the NCAA Championships."