BATH, Mich. – The Michigan State men’s golf team finished in seventh place at the NCAA Bath Regional as the three-day, 54-hole tournament wrapped up on Wednesday at Eagle Eye Golf Club.
Needing a top-five finish in the 13-team regional to advance to the NCAA Championships, the Spartans entered the third round in fifth place by seven shots, but carded a 10-over-par 294 to close at 1-under 851 (272-285-294), nine shots behind fifth-place Texas.
“It’s hard,” said MSU head coach Casey Lubahn about the challenge of placing in the top five to reach the NCAA Championships. “This is really hard. You’ve got to play really well for three days and we played really well for one-and-half. I’m disappointed for the guys, especially for Troy (Taylor II), but I’m also proud they were in it.
“This wasn’t the best team we’ve had in the last decade and they scrapped to get in it and they put on a show for the hometown crowd…I’m hoping they will see they played with Texas, Illinois and Georgia. We can be one of those schools.”
Sixth-seeded Georgia led wire-to-wire and won the NCAA Bath Regional with a 29-under-par 823 (266-274-283), eight shots ahead of top-seeded and third-ranked Illinois (272-278-281—831). Fourth-seeded Oregon placed third at 14-under 838 (279-274-285).
No. 2 seed Florida carded the best round of the day at 8-under-par (276) to move from a sixth-place tie to a fourth-place finish at 12-under (280-284-276—840). Third-seeded Texas (275-281-286—842) closed out the teams advancing to nationals at the end of the month in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Georgia’s Ben Van Wyk took home medalist honors by shooting a 10-under-par 208 (65-68-70), while Luke O’Neill of Kansas State advanced as an individual to the NCAA Championships after tying for second with a 7-under 206.
The Spartans started on the back nine and shot 9-over as a team to begin their round, slipping from fifth to seventh, but made a charge on holes 1-4 to cut their deficit to just one shot out of fifth. Senior Drew Hackett, who carded MSU’s best round of the day at 2-under 69, shot an eagle on the par-5, 591-yard fourth hole and made a birdie on the par-4 sixth hole to finish at 3-under on his final nine holes. Junior August Meekhof also had an eagle on No. 4 and a birdie on No. 7, but unfortunately it was the only birdie for the Spartans on the final three…
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