NCAAs: Four teams set to do battle on Saturday
- Golfweek photo by Tracy Wilcox
- Golfweek photo by Tracy Wilcox

by Cassie Stein, Brentley Romine, Ron Balicki, Nick Masuda

MILTON, Ga. (May 31, 2013) – A clutch shot by California junior Brandon Hagy sealed Cal’s spot in the semifinals of the NCAA Championships by defeating Arizona State 3-2 at The Capital City Club's Crabapple course.

Hagy stuck his shot to 4 feet with a 138-yard gap wedge.

“It was a great number for me,” Hagy added.

ASU’s Jon Rahm fired back with a shot to 12 feet above the cup. Rahm missed his putt and conceded the match.

The Sun Devils were up early in four of the five matches.

“You could sense in their players, they had a shot at this,” Cal head coach Steve Desimone said. “They had a sense of purpose that was unbelievably strong.”

But the momentum swing came at the turn.

Four of five Arizona State players – Austin Quick, Max Rottluff, Trey Ka’ahanui, Spencer Lawson – made bogeys at the par-4 9th. Hagy made a birdie to Rahm’s par. It swung the favor to Cal, with all matches either all square or with the Bears 1 or 2 up.

The No. 1 team in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings put its first points on the board when NCAA Individual Medalist Max Homa won his match again Ka’ahanui 3 and 2.

“I saw the confidence, I just didn’t have good shots,” Homa said of his start. Homa and Ka’ahanui played even-par golf until the 8th hole of the day. Homa never made a birdie all day. He made one bogey on No. 10.

Joël Stalter was next to close his match against Rottluff, a freshman from Germany. Stalter went 2 down early and fast. But he fought back.

“I just told myself he wouldn’t win another hole,” Stalter said. That held true as Stalter took it to all square on No. 9 and won hole 12. He won, 1 up.

Michael Weaver and Quick took their match to extra holes. Quick sunk a 12-foot birdie putt on the 19th hole to secure points on the board for ASU.

Michael Kim, the No. 1 player in the Golfweek Rankings, lost his quarterfinal match up to Lawson on the 18th, 1 up.

Therefore 2-2, with one match left on the course, it all came down to Hagy.

Hagy added that it was a moment that he’ll never forget.

“Jon pushed him (Brandon) all the way today,” Desimone said. “He and Joël are experienced players and they performed when they needed to.”

As for ASU, it had nothing to lose.

Said head coach Tim Mickelson: “I’m going to tell them I’m damn proud of them. It was a great learning experience for next year and hopefully we’ll get back.”

With that, Cal will take on Illinois in the semifinals Saturday.


Georgia Tech def. UNLV, 3-2

Ollie Schniederjans led his NCAA Championship quarterfinal match Friday against UNLV’s Kevin Penner for 16 holes until Penner squared things up with a long birdie on the par-4 17th hole at the Capital City Club’s Crabapple course. And when the match went to extra holes, Schniederjans delivered, sticking his approach at the par-4 first hole to within 3 feet.

When the match-clinching birdie putt dropped, Schniederjans gave a big fist pump. The gallery of mostly Georgia Tech fans erupted. Schniederjans’ teammates came rushing out onto the green to congratulate him.

Then came the tears, as Schniederjans covered his face with a white towel, taking a few seconds to collect his emotions.

“That was kind of surprising,” Schniederjans said of the moments after his 19-hole victory, which gave the Yellow Jackets a 3-2 win and set up a semifinal match against defending national runner-up Alabama on Saturday. “You saw the other guys, they were like that, too. We love this program. We love this team. That’s how bad we want it.”

Illinois def. Texas, 3-2

Illinois Sophmore Alex Burge rolled to a 3-and-2 victory over Cody Gribble of Texas, clinching the deciding point in the team’s 3-2 win over the defending NCAA champion Longhorns.

“What Alex did out there today was a huge, huge deal,” said Small, in his 13th season at the Illinois helm. “Coming back from what happened at regional and playing the way he has here, well, that’s what this program celebrates. What a story for that kid. Things like that are what is probably the most satisfying thing for a coach.”

Burge never trailed in his match, winning Nos. 2, 3 and 4 to go 3 up. He won the 10th hole to make it 4 up; after Gribble won the 11th, the two halved holes 12-16 to bring the match to an end.

Freshmen Thomas Detry and Charlie Danielson, playing in the first two matches, completed the Illini winning point total, each posting a 1- up victory.

Alabama def. New Mexico, 4-1

Junior Bobby Wyatt provided the clinching point after closing out Victor Perez on the 17th with a two-putt par, securing a 2-and-1 victory. Wyatt pointed to the early lead as a big reason why the Tide cruised into the semis.

"Looked like we got up early. The first time I got a look at a board was on the seventh, and I saw we were up in four matches, so that's always nice," said Wyatt, ranked No. 3 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings. "It's definitely better than the other way around. But it's match play, any of those matches can flip at anytime. So you just keep your head down and take care of business."

And take care of business they did, with senior Scott Strohmeyer taking care of Benjamin Bauch 4 and 3, sophomore star Justin Thomas pulled away for a 4-and-3 win over James Erkenbeck and Cory Whitsett was a 5-and-4 victor over John Catlin after going 7 under through 14 holes.

Results For NCAA Division I National Golf Championship
1CAMax HomaValencia, CA150070-65-66--201
T2FLDaniel BergerJupiter, FL100069-67-68--204
T2NYDominic BozzelliMendon, NY100071-67-66--204
T2INRick LambSouth Bend, IN100068-67-69--204
T2WAKevin PennerSammamish, WA100069-67-68--204

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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