Florida's Fred Biondi wins NCAA individual title; North Carolina earns top seed
Fred Biondi (Florida Men's Golf photo)
Fred Biondi (Florida Men's Golf photo)

Florida senior Fred Biondi overcame a five-shot deficit in the final round of stroke play Monday to win the NCAA men's individual championship by a stroke over Jackson Buchanan of Illinois and 54-hole leader Ross Steelman of Georgia Tech, who saw the title slip away after he bogeyed his final three holes to finish with a 3-over 73.

Biondi is the third Florida Gator to win the NCAA individual title joining Bob Murphy (1966) and Nick Gilliam (2001).

Biondi had six birdies, a bogey and a double bogey on his Monday card and signed for a 3-under 67 to earn an exemption into the upcoming U.S. Open and the 2024 Masters, should he retain his amateur status.

“I tried to remain patient throughout the entire day,” said Biondi. “That was the key. It was something I told J.C. (Florida Head Coach J.C. Deacon) this morning in the car. No matter what happened, if I was hitting good shots or bad shots, I was going to keep the same attitude. Keep my head down and do the best I could.

“It feels great, it feels amazing for sure. I’m sure I’ll soak it in a little bit more, but we’ve got to get ready for tomorrow.”

It was a disappointing ending for Steelman, who led after each of the first three rounds and took a four-shot lead into Monday after three consecutive subpar rounds left him at 9-under for the tournament. He seemingly had the title in his hands, but bogeys on his last three holes left him tied for second with Buchanan, who missed a birdie putt on the final hole that would have forced a playoff.

• • • • •

North Carolina earns top seed; Vanderbilt misses match play

North Carolina shot a final round 7-under 273 to race past Illinois and capture the top seed for the match-play portion of the tournament which starts on Tuesday.

Senior Austin Greaser's ace on the 205-yard fifth hole ignited the Tar Heels which shot its lowest round ever in an NCAA Championship. Greaser posted a 4-under 66 while David Ford (68), Ryan Burnett (69) and Dylan Menante (70) were also among the counting scores for the Tar Heels.

"I'm just really proud of our guys, most proud of the process they've gone through that has created the success so far this week and all season," said UNC head coach Andrew DiBitetto. "Grayhawk is a very difficult, demanding golf course. Our guys have done a really nice job just trying to be smart and keep it as simple as possible. And they've also done an amazing job of staying patient to be 20 strokes better than a year ago and earn a top seed again."

The Tar Heels finished 6-under, four strokes ahead of Florida and Illinois. Pepperdine was fourth at even par, Georgia Tech and Florida State tied for sixth at 6-over and Virginia was seventh at 11-over.

North Carolina played the final two rounds (days three & four) of stroke play competition at 12-under par which tied for the lowest consecutive two-day total at Grayhawk since Oklahoma achieved it in the second and third rounds in 2021.

Arizona State and Stanford tied for eighth at 12-over, with the Sun Devils advancing to match play after winning a five-player playoff (one-under to E) with a Preston Summerhays birdie from approximately 20 feet.

Vanderbilt, which had been the top-ranked team in the nation for the entire season, shockingly failed to qualify for match play, finishing nine strokes off the cutline at 21-over.

With Vanderbilt, Stanford and Texas Tech failing to advance to match play, the season came to an end for the top three amateurs in the world in Ludvig Aberg (Texas Tech), Michael Thorbjornson (Stanford) and Gordon Sargent (Vanderbilt).

“Obviously we’re all hurting right now, we wanted more,” said Vanderbilt head coach Scott Limbaugh. “We wanted to play all week, that’s what we came here to do. I’m certainly proud of a lot of things. Hole 18 was definitely a difference maker for us today, we had a lot of momentum and just hit some uncharacteristic shots there.”

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Tuesday's Schedule

No. 2 Florida vs. No. 7 Virginia
No. 1 North Carolina vs. No. 8 Arizona State
No. 3 Illinois vs.. No. 5 Florida State
No. 4 Pepperdine vs. No. 5 Georgia Tech

The four winners meet in the semifinals in the afternoon.

Golf Channel will begin its live coverage at 9:00 a.m. MT and pickup semifinal action starting at 2:00 p.m. MT.

Results: NCAA Division I Championship
1BrazilFred BiondiBrazil150069-68-69-67=273
T2GAJackson BuchananDacula, GA120071-68-68-67=274
T2MORoss SteelmanColumbia, MO120064-69-68-73=274
T4EnglandBarclay BrownEngland90068-71-67-69=275
T4CADylan MenanteCarlsbad, CA90068-70-67-70=275

View full results for NCAA Division I 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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