NCAA Division I Championship: UCLA wins by one

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (May 31, 2008)-- UCLA captured its first NCAA Men's Golf National Championship since 1988 by the slimmest of margins, firing a 306 in the final round to win by one stroke over Stanford. The Bruins finished 42-over par (297-293-298-306=1194). Southern California completed the Pac-10's sweep of the top three spots, finishing third at 44-over par (1196).

"It is just absolutely unbelievable," UCLA coach Derek Freeman said of his team's championship. "We got off to a great start today, we really did. We played six, seven and eight, which were some of the easier holes, over par and we came back a little bit. Then, at the turn we started to make some shots and made a little headway and I think by 11 or 12 we had a nine or 10 shot lead. We had a quad and a couple bogeys on 14 and that brought everyone back in it. USC is an incredibly good golf team and if we had this (tournament) again in another four days they're liable to beat us. Stanford is also a very good team. I think coming down the stretch we knew it was close. We were up one, down one and then on 17 we had two balls go in the water. We leaked some oil coming in, but we're up one at the end and I'll take it."

Kevin Chappell of UCLA, sunk the championship-clinching shot on the 18th hole, while sewing up the individual title despite carding a 76 on Saturday afternoon. It was the lone misstep of the tournament for the first team All-American, who showed a mastery of the course as the lone individual with two sub-70 rounds. The senior, who finished the tournament two under par (69-73-68-76--286) also garnered the Jack Nicklaus Collegiate Player of the Year Award and the Arnold Palmer Award, which goes to the NCAA champion each year.

"This was my fifth college win and the first I get to enjoy with my team," Chappel said. "Of course it feels special, I get to celebrate this with five, six, seven other guys that are here and the other three that are at home. It's just awesome. It's the best way to end my college career."

Washington sophomore Nick Taylor and Indiana junior Jorge Campillo tied for the runner-up position at one-over-par for the tournament at 289. Taylor posted the lowest round of the tournament with a six-under-par 66 in the second round en route to his tally, while Campillo's second place performance ties the best finish for an Indiana player in school history, matching a 1969 effort.

Stanford freshman Sihwan Kim and Oklahoma State freshman Rickie Fowler rounded out the top five individual finishers. Kim led all golfers in the fourth round, carding a one-under-par 71, while Fowler earned the Phil Mickelson Award for Outstanding Freshman with his effort.

The Kampen Course at the Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex provided a tough test for the nation's best teams as UCLA's 42-over par was the best total of the week and only two strokes separated the top three teams. Stanford finished 43-over par (309-288-296-302=1195) and top-seeded Southern California came in at 44-over par (297-294-300-305=1196). Oklahoma State (+48) ad Clemson (+49) rounded out the top five.

In addition to the team and individual honors tied to the championship, the College Golf Coaches Association announced its First Team All-America team and all-freshman team.

CGCA First Team All-America
Jonas Blixt - Florida State
Jorge Campillo - Indiana
Kevin Chappell - UCLA
Rickie Fowler - Oklahoma State
Rory Hie - USC
Sihwan Kim - Stanford
Jamie Lovemark - USC
Joel Sjoholm - Georgia State
Webb Simpson - Wake Forest
Michael Thompson - Alabama

CGCA All Freshman Team
Harris English - Georgia
Rickie Fowler - Oklahoma State
Russell Henley - Georgia
Sihwan Kim - Stanford
Kevin O'Connell - North Carolina

Results For NCAA Division I National Golf Championship
1CAKevin ChappellFresno, CA150069-73-68-76--286
T2SpainJorge CampilloSpain120075-70-72-72--289
T2CanadaNick TaylorCanada120075-66-73-75--289
T4CARickie FowlerMurrieta, CA90074-77-70-73--294
T4CASihwan KimBuena Park, CA90077-72-74-71--294

View full results for NCAA Division I National Golf Championship

ABOUT THE NCAA Division I Championship

30 teams and 6 individuals not on a qualifying team make up the field for the championship of NCAA Division I women's golf.

After 72 holes of stroke play, the individual champion is crowned, and the low 8 teams advance to match play to determine the team champion.

View Complete Tournament Information

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