Birdie Barrage Sends Arkansas To NCAA Championship
KOHLER, Wisc. – The 21st-ranked Arkansas men’s golf team continued its impressive postseason run Wednesday at the Meadow Valleys Course at Blackwolf Run, finishing T-2nd at the NCAA Kohler Regional with rounds of 292-284-281 – 857 (-7) to advance to the NCAA Championship for the fifth time in the last eight years.
The Razorbacks continue to dominate in postseason play, advancing out of Regionals for the fifth time under head coach Brad McMakin. During the last nine years, Arkansas has never gone consecutive seasons without playing in the NCAA Championship.
The second place finish ties for the highest NCAA Regional finish in program history. The Razorbacks have posted a runner-up finish five times in regional play to advance to the NCAA Championship.
All top five seeds emerged from after the 54-hole event, as No. 4 Illinois captured the victory at 11-under, while No. 21 Arkansas (-7), No. 16 Florida (-7), No. 10 Florida State (-6) and No. 28 Baylor (-6) advance to the NCAA Championship in Eugene, Oregon, on May 27 – June 1.
Starting the final round in fourth place, Arkansas opened the day with a birdie barrage, sinking 10 birdies and one eagle through the first five holes to race out to 9-under par and take sole possession of second place. The Razorbacks dominated the par five fourth hole, recording four birdies and one eagle as the team caught fire on the front side.
Arkansas continued to stay hot on the back nine, posting seven more birdies with four of them coming in the first four holes of the side. The Razorbacks added three more birdies on the par five 16th hole to post a 7-under 281, ultimately good for T-2nd when play finished.
Taylor Moore paced Arkansas with a T-5th place finish at 74-69-70 – 213 (-3), marking his third top 11 finish at NCAA Regionals during his collegiate career. In nine rounds at NCAA Regionals, he has seven at even-par or better. The top five finish is his fifth of the year.
Nicolas Echavarria birdied three of his first five holes and finished the day at 2-under with 73-72-70 – 215 (-1), good for T-12th overall. Alvaro Ortiz had the round of the day going at 4-under, but double-bogeyed the final hole to shoot 72-75-70 – 217 (+1) and finish T-29th overall.
Charles Kim battled his way to 73-71-76 – 220 (+4) and a T-38th finish, while Kolton Crawford posted four birdies in the final round to record a counting score and finish T-43rd with rounds of 78-72-71 – 221 (+5)
The NCAA Championship will have an SEC feel as a nation-leading nine teams advance to Eugene, Oregon. The nine programs is four more than any other conference in the country as the Pac-12 and Big-12 are tied for second with five.
McMakin’s Post Round Thoughts
“I couldn’t be more proud of this group of guys. We battled all year to get to this point and they showed tremendous fight to finish second after a tough opening round. This group of seniors deserves a chance to play for a national championship and I can’t wait to see this team compete next week in Oregon.”
• The Razorbacks have qualified for their 21st NCAA Championship in program history.
• Arkansas advances to the NCAA championship for the fifth time in the last eight years.
• Since 2006, Arkansas has never gone consecutive years without advancing to the NCAA Championship.
• In 23 NCAA Regionals, the Razorbacks have now finished in the top five 10 different times and runner up five times.
• Arkansas is one of 10 SEC teams to advance to Eugene, Oregon.
• The Razorbacks led the field with four eagles and finished second with 54 birdies.
• Taylor Moore has back-to-back postseason top five finishes and has three top 11 finishes at NCAA Regionals.
@RazorbackMGolf Lineup (Final Round)
|T5.||Taylor Moore||74-69-70 – 213 (-3)|
|T12.||Nicolas Echavarria||73-72-70 – 215 (-1)|
|T29.||Alvaro Ortiz||72-75-70 – 217 (+1)|
|T38.||Charles Kim||73-71-76 – 220 (+4)|
|T43.||Kolton Crawford||78-72-71 – 221 (+5)|
NCAA Kohler Regional Results (Final Round)
|1.||No. 4 Illinois||289-283-281 – 853 (-11)|
|T2.||No. 21 Arkansas||292-284-281 – 857 (-7)|
|T2.||No. 16 Florida||283-282-292 – 857 (-7)|
|T4.||No. 10 Florida State||284-290-284 – 858 (-6)|
|T4.||No. 28 Baylor||292-292-274 – 858 (-6)|
|6.||Idaho||283-299-282 – 864 (E)|
|T7.||No. 40 Memphis||298-294-278 – 869 (+5)|
|T7.||ETSU||295-293-281 – 869 (+5)|
|9.||No. 33 Penn State||294-296-284 – 874 (+10)|
|10.||UCLA||294-294-288 – 876 (+12)|
|11.||South Dakota St.||290-297-292 – 879 (+15)|
|12.||No. 45 Kent State||288-300-293 – 881 (+17)|
|13.||Campbell||297-301-305 – 903 (+39)|
For more information on Arkansas men’s golf, follow @RazorbackMGolf on Twitter.