Ticket Punched! ETSU men’s golf advances to fourth straight NCAA Championship

Published 4:36 pm Wednesday, May 15, 2024

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Bucs finish second at Chapel Hill Regional

 CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – For the fourth straight year and 21st time in program history, the ETSU men’s golf team is heading to the NCAA Championship.

 Following a historic second-round performance, the 21st-ranked Buccaneers put themselves in comfortable position to secure one of the top five spots in the Chapel Hill Regional, as ETSU finished in second place with final round play concluding on Wednesday from UNC’s Finley Golf Course.

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 The Bucs finished with a score of 24-under-par 816 after posting a 3-under 277 in the third round. ETSU started the final round on Tuesday before play was suspended due to inclement weather. The teams resumed play Wednesday morning at 7:30 a.m., and after sleeping on the overnight lead, the Bucs were caught by regional champion Clemson.

 The Tigers won the regional by one shot at 25-under-par 274 after carding a 6-under 274 in the finale. Clemson took over the top spot with a birdie on the final hole, while ETSU recorded a bogey. The pivotal swing came over the last two holes as the Tigers played them at six-under (from their countable scores), while the Bucs were at two-under. 

 ETSU, who registered its highest finish in a regional since winning the 2021 Cle Elum Regional, beat out host and No. 4 North Carolina, No. 9 Alabama, No. 17 Georgia Tech, No. 28 Northwestern and No. 33 Baylor.

 North Carolina (3rd, -20), Georgia Tech (4th, -17) and Baylor (5th, -15) rounded out the top five teams to advance out of the regional.

 For the regional, the Blue & Gold totaled 168 pars, 56 birdies and three eagles, while ranking third in par-3, par-4 and par-5 scoring.

 ETSU’s score of 816 marked a new 54-hole program record for low total, adding to an already record-setting week. In Monday’s second round, the Bucs fired 265, which marked the lowest round in school history, while the 15-under resulted in the second-lowest round in relation to par by any Buccaneer team in an NCAA Regional. Following two rounds, ETSU was at 21-under-par 539, which marked the lowest 36-hole total in school history.

 ETSU was led by Algot Kleen as he finished tied for eighth at 8-under-par 202 (70-63-69), while Mats Ege and Matty Dodd-Berry also placed in the top-15. Kleen, who tied the lowest round in school history with the 63 in round two, posted his best finish in his third NCAA Regional played. Ege finished tied for 12th at 7-under-par 203 (67-66-70) and Dodd-Berry finished tied for 14th at 6-under-par 204 (66-68-70).

 North Carolina’s Austin Greaser earned medalist honors after finishing at 13-under-par 197 as he edged out Baylor’s Johnny Keefer by one shot. NC State’s Nick Mathews was the top player from a non-advancing team to secure his spot to the NCAA Championship. Mathews, playing as an individual, fired a 5-under 65 on Wednesday to finish 12-under-par 198 for the regional.

 The Bucs were the No. 4 seed in the Chapel Hill Regional.

 The NCAA Championships will be held May 24-29 at the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, Calif.