Florida rallies for team title at NCAA Austin Regional
May 16, 2009
AUSTIN, Texas -- The University of Florida fired a 10-over-par 294 on Saturday to earn a two-stroke victory at the NCAA Men's Golf Austin Regional at The University of Texas Golf Club (par-71, 7,412 yards). The Gators, who began the day in third place and four strokes off the lead, posted a 54-hole total of 22-over-par 874 (293-287-294).
Texas junior Lance Lopez posted a 1-over-par 72 to claim a five-stroke victory in the individual standings with a three-round total of 4-under-par 209 (68-69-72). Lopez became just the third player in school history to earn medalist honors at a NCAA regional, joining Justin Leonard (1992) and John Klauk (2001). Florida senior Billy Horschel used a final-round 3-under-par 68 to place second at 1-over-par 214 (72-74-68), while Texas Tech's Chris Ward finished third at 2-over-par 215 (71-73-71).
Texas Tech finished in second place at 24-over-par 876 (282-296-298) after recording a 14-over-par 298 in Saturday's final round, while host Texas placed third in the team standings at 25-over-par 877 (291-285-301). Stanford, the top seed at the Austin Regional, finished in fourth place at 35-over-par 887 (294-299-294). Michigan fired an 8-over-par 292, the low 18-hole team score on Saturday, to place fifth and secure the final team qualifying spot at the Austin Regional for the NCAA Championships.
The low five teams and low individual not on those teams at the Austin Regional advanced to the NCAA Championships, scheduled for May 26-30 in Toledo, Ohio. Lamar junior Hugues Joannes earned the individual qualifying spot for nationals, tying for fourth place with a 54-hole total of 3-over-par 216 (68-74-74).
Saturday's final round was plagued with inclement weather, as the field endured a two-and-a-half hour rain delay from 10:45 a.m. until 1:15 p.m. Light rains and cooler conditions accompanied the golfers for the remainder of the round following the delay.