June 2, 2011
Stillwater, OK -
The No. 2/No. 4 (Golfstat/Golfweek) ranked UCLA men's golf team finished the stroke play stage of the NCAA Championship in first place and will be the number one seed heading into the match play stage. The Bruins will face the eighth seeded Duke Blue Devils in the first round of match play starting tomorrow at 8:00 am PT.
The Bruins posted a final round score of 298 (+10), giving them a total score of 872 (+8) for the tournament. As mentioned above, they will play Duke in the first round of the match play bracket after the Blue Devils posted an overall score of 889 (+25). Georgia Tech will be the two seed in the match play bracket after they recorded a total of 875 (+11). They will face the seventh seeded Augusta State Jaguars, who shot 888 (+24) for the tournament. The three seed will be the host school Oklahoma State, who finished the tournament with a score of 879 (+15). They will play the sixth seeded Ohio State Buckeyes, who shot an overall score of 887 (+23). Finally, the four seed will be the Illinois Fighting Illini after they shot 879 (+15) for the tournament. They will square off against the fifth seeded Georgia Bulldogs, who shot an overall score of 884 (+20).
"It's a great feeling," Head Coach Derek Freeman said. "We came here to win the stroke play part, and that's exactly what we did. Our guys played great, which is exactly what we wanted. Now, it's a different tournament; it's a completely different animal. We're going to try to do everything we can to win our first match tomorrow morning. I'm just happy and pleased with our performance. It's a very difficult golf course, and our guys won. That feels great and I'm really happy for all of our guys because they did a great job as a team, and to come out on top always feels great."
Individually, freshman Patrick Cantlay finished in second place at the tournament after shooting a final round 71 (-1) to give him an overall score of 212 (-4). This is Cantlay's 7th top five finish on the year and with his four-under par finish, Patrick set a new UCLA single season record for stroke play scoring average at 70.5, breaking the previous mark held by his teammate Gregor Main. Patrick found himself down three strokes with two holes to play when he birdied the 17th hole to cut the deficit to two. He then had a chance to force a playoff for the NCAA individual crown as he lined up for an eagle putt on the 18th hole, but the putt went just right of the hole and Patrick had to settle for a birdie and a runner-up finish.
"He's just so talented," stated Freeman. "He's a better kid off the golf course than he is on the golf course too. He's just wonderful to have on the team. He's an unbelievable competitor, and he wants to win, and that's his goal. He missed that putt (for eagle); it was a great putt and it just burned the edge. If you give it to him again, he makes the putt. It's great. I'm happy for him; he's had an incredible year. That's the fun part, and the best part is I get him three more years."
Overall, Cantlay finished the year with a team-leading 20 rounds under par, 17 rounds under 70 and he shot an astounding 30-under par through 37 rounds.
"It was exciting," Cantlay remarked. "It was fun. Unfortunately, I left a couple out there, but I can't be upset with the way I played. I played really well and held up under the pressure."
As for the rest of the Bruins, Gregor Main posted a final round 78 (+6) to finish tied for 20th place at 220 (+4). Junior Alex Shi Yup Kim birdied the 18th hole to give him a 75 (+3) for his round and 222 (+6) for the tournament, good for a tie for 32nd place. Sophomore Pedro Figueiredo recorded a final round 79 (+7) and finished tied for 50th place at 224 (+8). Finally, sophomore Pontus Widegren shot a final round 74 (+2) and finished tied for 81st with a tournament score of 228 (+12).
John Peterson of LSU was crowned the NCAA individual champion after posting a tournament score of 211 (-5).
For complete results from the final round of the stroke play stage, click here.