By Brentley Romine, Golfweek
North Florida won its first NCAA regional title in school history Saturday, finishing three shots ahead of top-seeded Washington at Golden Eagle Country Club in Tallahassee, Fla.
The Ospreys led wire-to-wire and will advance to the NCAA Championship for the third time in the past four seasons and the fourth time overall.
Paced by Cheng-Tsung Pan’s 5-under front nine, Washington pulled ahead of North Florida midway through the final round. North Florida’s M.J. Maguire, the first- and second-round leader, made two double bogeys on his front nine, and only Taylor Hancock was under par through his first nine holes.
But the Ospreys closed strong. Sean Dale went 3 under on his back nine to finish off a 3-under 69. Kevin Phelan made three birdies in his final nine holes to wrap up a 70. But it was Maguire who had the most impressive close to his round.
Maguire made five birdies, including four in a row, to cap his round (Nos. 15-18), to shoot 71.
Meanwhile, the Huskies' Chris Williams played his final nine holes in even par with just one birdie. Trevor Simsby was 1 over on his back nine and made a double bogey at No. 16. And Pan, who earned medalist honors at 15-under 201, double-bogeyed No. 17 and bogeyed the par-5 18th, ending Washington’s title hopes and helping North Florida secure its biggest win.
Maguire finished T-2 individually at 12 under along with Florida State’s Chase Seiffert and Richmond’s Daniel Walker. Dale and Phelan were part of a three-way tie for fifth at 10 under with Oregon State’s David Fink.
“I am extremely proud of and happy for our players and staff,” North Florida head coach Scott Schroeder said in a school release. “We played really solid today and had a total team effort. Every guy in our lineup shot par or better in the final round and that is a pretty good accomplishment. We are definitely looking forward to getting back to the NCAA Championship in Atlanta and will be ready to continue working towards more of our goals.”