The UCF Knights are heading to the NCAA Championship for the first time since 2013
COLLEGE GROVE, TN (May 17, 2017)--Led by Manuel Elvira, UCF overtook Vanderbilt to win the NCAA East Regional at The Grove Club.
Vandy started the day with an eight shot lead over three teams: UCF, Clemson and Lipscomb. It remained tight until the final hole.
It was on the eighteenth, a reachable par five, that the Knights snatched the tournament away from the Commodores. After Elvira, Juuso Kahlos and Kyler Tate each made birdie, senior Ryan Stovash made a fifteen-footer for eagle. Those five shots gained to par were the difference. UCF closed with a 291 for an one-under 863 total.
Elvira was the low finisher for UCF, tied for third at five-under 211. Tate finished solo fifth at 212.
For Vanderbilt, they could not maintain the pace that they had set in the first two rounds, limping home with a 301 and finishing tied for second. Patrick Martin started the day one back of the individual lead but faded with a 76 to leave him tied third with Elvira.
Led by Chris Guglielmo, Kennesaw State shot the low round of the day, a two-over 290,
to climb into the runner-up tie with Vanderbilt. They were joined by Clemson, who closed with a 293.
With those four teams advancing to the NCAA Championship, there was one spot left up for grabs.
As at the other five regional sites, the low five teams and the low individual not on a qualifying team qualify for the NCAA Championship, to be held at Rich Harvest Farms in Elk Grove, IL, May 26-31.
Going into the final round, Kennesaw State took a three shot lead over Troy for the fifth and final spot into the championship, with Georgia and Middle Tennessee State another eight shots back. Cam Norman of Troy had a one shot lead over Greyson Sigg of Georgia and Hannes Ronneblad of Texas Tech in the race to be the lone individual to qualify.
With Kennesaw State moving off the bubble, it was Lipscomb University that suddenly became vulnerable. Lipscomb had posted the best score in round two, but couldn't repeat the feat in the final round. Two players posted rounds of 80, and the pressure was on the other three to deliver. And they did, with Mikey Feher (70) leading the way. Overnight individual leader Dawson Armstrong didn't get much going all day, but his 74 was good enough to hold off Guglielmo by two shots for the win. In the end they stayed eight shots clear of Troy for the final qualifying spot.
Norman's closing 73 was good enough to hold off Marcus Byrd of Middle Tennessee State and send Norman into the NCAA Championships as an individual.
The folowing teams and individual advanced to the NCAA Championship:
- UCF, Vanderbilt, Kennesaw State, Clemson, Lipscomb
- Cam Norman, Troy
ABOUT THE NCAA Division I East Regional
54 hole men's NCAA Regional from which the
teams advance to the NCAA Championship.
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