Final results: NCAA men's golf regionals

By Ryan LavnerMay 16, 2015, 10:16 pm

The NCAA Division I men’s regionals wrapped up Saturday at six sites around the country. The low five teams in each regional after advanced to the May 29-June 3 NCAA Championship at Concession Golf Club in Florida.

Here are the final results from the Chapel Hill (N.C.), Noblesville (Ind.), Yale (Conn.), Lubbock (Texas), San Diego (Calif.) and Bremerton (Wash.) regionals:

Chapel Hill Regional, at Finley Golf Course in Chapel Hill, N.C.:

Winner: Charlotte (-19)

Runner-up: Stanford (-14)

Rest of the top 5: Florida State (-11), Florida (-9) and Clemson (-5)

Left out: Kennesaw State (+2), North Carolina (+6), Wake Forest (+10)

Medalist: Maverick McNealy, Stanford (-9)

Skinny: Only two of the top five seeds advanced out of this regional. Charlotte benefited from the short travel and prior experience at Finley Golf Course to clinch its first NCAA finals berth since 2008. ... Maverick McNealy's two-shot win was his sixth victory of the season, making him a virtual lock for NCAA Player of the Year. ... UNC became just the fifth host team in the past six years that failed to qualify for the NCAA Championship. J.T. Poston of Western Carolina won on the second playoff hole to earn the individual spot out of this regional. 

New Haven Regional, at The Course at Yale in New Haven, Conn.:

Winner: South Florida (-14)

Runner-up: San Diego State (E) 

Rest of the top 5: Oklahoma State (+2), Vanderbilt (+4), LSU (+9)

Left out: Iowa (+10), N.C. State (+10), Arkansas (+31)

Medalist: Jordan Niebrugge, Oklahoma State (-7)

Skinny: Four of the top five seeds advanced out of this regional, but not without some late drama. SEC champion LSU staged a furious final-round rally, shooting 12-under 268 to sneak into the top five, by one shot over other programs. Ben Taylor and Brandon Pierce each shot 65s for the Tigers. … Jordan Niebrugge’s second-round 62 helped put Oklahoma State in position to earn a finals berth, then Brendon Jelley carded a 65 Saturday to seal the deal. … South Florida, now a four-time winner, is the host school at the NCAAs later this month.

Noblesville Regional, at Sagamore Golf Club in Noblesville, Ind:

Winner: Illinois and SMU (-4)

Rest of the top 5: UNLV (-1), UCLA (+5), Oregon (+7)

Left out: Colorado (+15), Alabama (+18), Virginia Tech (+30) 

Medalist: Brian Campbell, Illinois (-10) 

Skinny: Four of the top five seeds advanced out of this regional. The one that did not was a big one – Alabama, the two-time defending NCAA champion. The Tide finished 11 shots back of the all-important fifth spot. … It was a heartbreaking exit for first-round leader Colorado, which followed an opening 277 with rounds of 300 and 302 (+14). … UNLV shot a Saturday-best, 10-under 278 to move off the bubble. ... Brian Campbell made eight birdies during a final-round 65 that gave him the individual title, by three shots. … Colorado’s David Oraee earned the individual spot in this regional.  

Lubbock Regional, at the Rawls Course in Lubbock, Texas:

Winner: Texas (-22)

Runner-up: Texas Tech (-18) 

Rest of the top 5: Duke (-8), Auburn (-7), Houston (-5)

Left out: Purdue (-5), Cal (-4), Louisville (E)

Medalist: Blair Hamilton, Houston and Clement Sordet, Texas Tech (-8)

Skinny: Texas overtook host Texas Tech to win the team title, its sixth win in its last seven spring tournaments. Gavin Hall recorded his second consecutive runner-up finish. … A birdie from Kyle Pilgrim on the first extra hole was enough to give Houston the fifth and final spot in a team playoff over Purdue. … Auburn moved safely inside the bubble with strong performances from Nos. 4 and 5 men Daniel Stringfellow and Ryan Denton. They were the only Tigers to break par on the final day. … Louisville’s Robin Sciot-Siegrist defeated Cal’s K.K. Limbhasut on the first playoff hole to earn the individual spot out of this regional. 

Bremerton Regional, at Gold Mountain in Bremerton, Wash.: 

Winner: UAB (-21)

Runner-up: South Carolina (-19)

Rest of the top 5: USC (-17), TCU (-10), Washington (-10)

Left out: Baylor (-2), Michigan (-1), Iowa State (+5)

Medalist: Cheng-Tsung Pan, Washington (-13)

Skinny: Four of the top five seeds advanced out of this regional. UAB had two players finish inside the top-6 individually, including Martin Rohwer, who finished in a tie for second. … Top seed South Carolina got off the final-round bubble with a Saturday-best 14-under 274 that moved the Gamecocks all the way to second place. … Washington’s home-course advantage finally paid off in the final round, as the Huskies shot 277 with all four scorers at par or better, including Cheng-Tsung Pan’s medalist-clinching 65. … Baylor, ranked 18th in the country, was on the wrong side of the bubble after shooting 1 over in the final round. … 

San Diego Regional, at The Farms Golf Club in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.:

Winner: Oklahoma (-21) 

Runner-up: Arizona State (+1) 

Rest of the top 5: Georgia Tech (+5), Georgia (+6), Virginia (+10) 

Left out: Wichita State (+12), East Tennessee State (+16), New Mexico (+22)

Medalist: Jon Rahm, Arizona State (-10)

Skinny: Oklahoma kept right on rolling in the final round as the Sooners won their first regional title since 2001. This was their third victory of the season. … After a terrible opening round, Georgia battled back with with rounds of 278 and 285 to move safely inside the cut line. … It was a rough finish for Est Tennessee State, which began the final round in fourth place but short the second-worst score of the day Saturday (297) to fall to seventh. … Arizona State junior Jon Rahm earned medalist honors at the regional, his fourth victory of the season. It was his seventh all time, and he now trails only Phil Mickelson and Billy Mayfair on ASU’s all-time list. 

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Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

“I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

“DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

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Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials phoned Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial. 

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Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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Rahm (62) fires career low round

By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm