Shintaro Ban and UNLV survived a windy day to win the NCAA Midwest Regional
WEST LAFAYETTE, IN (May 17, 2017)--The pressure of the final round and the gusty winds that blew across the Kampen Course at Purdue University pushed scores higher Wednesday,
as thirteen teams and eleven individuals battled it out to see who would advance to the NCAA Championship.
At each of the six NCAA Regionals, the low five teams and the low individual not on a qualifying team advance to the NCAA Championship, to be held at Rich Harvest Farms in Elk Grove, IL, May 26-31.
Coming into the day, the University of New Mexico led the field by three shots over UNLV. Through nine holes their lead was intact, but with two players failing to break 44 on the back nine, they opened the door for UNLV to overtake them. The Runnin' Rebels did just that, with steady play from each of their counting scorers, led by Harry Hall with a one-over 73.
New Mexico's poor finish allowed Auburn to finish in second after starting the day on the bubble, in a three-way tie for third but just five shots clear in the race for the fifth and final qualifying spot. The Tigers were led by Matt Gilchrest who tied for the low round of the day with a 70. New Mexico ended up in the fourth spot with a 310, a disappointing finish but with the consolation that they will still advance to the NCAA Championship.
Illinois started the day five shots outside of the top five but turned in the best round of the day, a six-over 294 that lifted them to third and safely through to the championship. Nick Hardy tied for the day's low round with a 70 for a 213 total and a joint runner-up finish. Dylan Meyer of Illinois, the #1 player in the Golfweek/AmateurGolf.com World Amateur Rankings, never did find his form in the tournament, finishing in the middle of the field at 75-74-75--224.
The remaining drama surrounded who would capture the fifth and final spot in the championship, and who would be the lone individual from a non-qualifying team to advance.
The tournament host Purdue started the day on the bubble in the three-way tie for third,
and a strong front nine of one-over put them in a seemingly comfortable position. But they lost fourteen shots as a team coming in, finishing with a 303 and forcing them to sweat out the finish.
Fortunately for the Boilermakers, the University of Florida fell even faster. Still in contention with nine holes to go, the Gators shot seventeen-over on the final nine and recorded a disappointing 312, the highest round of the day. In the end, Purdue was able to hold off Augusta and St. Mary's by three shots to claim the final qualifying spot. Augusta might have qualified had they not been forced to count an 82 as a counting score.
In the individual tournament, the leader going into the final round was Trent Wallace, playing as an individual and representing Illinois State. Wallace started with a one shot lead over Bevins and Ban in the overall tournament, and a three-shot lead over Pavan Sagoo of St. Mary's in the race to be the lone individual to advance to the championship.
Wallace fell out of contention for the overall tournament with a 42 on his first nine holes,
but Sagoo backed up as well. Playing ahead of Wallace, Sagoo was already three over for the day, and then bogeyed each of his last three holes to finish at three over. This allowed Emmanuel Kountakis of Augusta to pass him and post the target score for Wallace to beat,
a two-over 218.
Wallace did just enough, playing the next eight holes at even par, so that even a bogey on the last hole was good enough to advance by one shot. Wallace ended up with a 79 for a one-ver 217 total.
Three birdies on the back nine gave John Oda of UNLV the lead with two holes remaining, but he finished double-bogey to fall back to fifth. When Andrej Bevins of New Mexico bogeyed the par-three seventeenth, it became a three-way tie between Bevins, Shintaro Ban of UNLV and Hardy of Illinois who was already in the clubhouse. When Ban bogeyed the final hole and Bevins made par, Hardy and Bevins became the joint winners.
The folowing teams and individual advanced to the NCAA Championship:
- UNLV, Auburn, Illinois, New Mexico, Purdue
- Trent Wallace, Illinois State
ABOUT THE NCAA Division I Midwest Regional
54 hole men's NCAA Regional from which the
teams advance to the NCAA Championship.
View Complete Tournament Information