NCAA Golf Championships: Arkansas survives first cut

By: Tom Murphy
Published: Monday, May 31, 2021
Mason Overstreet, of Arkansas, watches his tee shot on the 16th hole during an NCAA golf tournament on Friday, Feb. 12, 2021, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Mason Overstreet, of Arkansas, watches his tee shot on the 16th hole during an NCAA golf tournament on Friday, Feb. 12, 2021, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

On a tough scoring day at the NCAA men’s golf championship, the No. 23 University of Arkansas did just enough to make the cut to the final 15 for the last round of stroke play.

The Razorbacks shot an 8-over 288 to reach 28 over for the tournament and a tie for 13th place with No. 22 Texas Tech at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Arkansas will be included in today’s fourth round, which will determine the individual champion and the top eight teams who advance to match play, but the Hogs have work to do to make the next cut.

“Today was a difficult day but I was really pleased with the way our guys handled the pressure,” Arkansas Coach Brad McMakin said. “We had to have a good day. We got off to a slow start but I’m proud of the way we battled on the back nine.”

The news wasn’t as good for the University of Arkansas at Little Rock on Sunday. The Trojans shot a 27-over-307 and finished last in the 30-team field in their first NCAA Championships appearance.

The Razorbacks will start the final round today 15 shots out of eighth place, which is a three-way tie between No. 6 North Carolina, No. 7 Wake Forest and No. 11 Vanderbilt at 13 over.

Oklahoma State, much as it did at the 2019 national championships at Blessings Golf Club in Johnson, is running away from the field in the battle to earn the No. 1 seed for match play.

The No. 3 Cowboys shot a 6 under on Sunday and stand at 12 under for the tournament, the only team under par through three days and 13 strokes better than No. 1 Oklahoma, which is in second place at 1 over.

No. 10 Arizona State is in third place at 2 over, followed by No. 8 Illinois (4 over) and No. 2 Florida State, which also shot 6-under 274 on the par-70 Raptor Course on Sunday.

The Razorbacks did not have a golfer finish under par in round three. Senior Tyson Reeder led the way with an even-par 70, which has him tied for 34th at 5 over. The left-hander had three birdies and three bogeys.

Senior William Buhl shot a 72 and is tied for 41st at 6 over. Buhl was at 3 over at the turn before notching birdies on Nos. 10 and 11.

The Razorbacks’ other counting scores were shot by senior Mason Overstreet and freshman Manuel Lozada with matching 73s. Overstreet made his first appearance of the postseason, subbing in for SEC medalist Segundo Oliva Pinto, who has struggled since going 3-0 in match play at the SECs at Sea Island, Ga.

Overstreet had four bogies on the front nine, but he birdied Nos. 15 and 17 before finishing with a bogey.

“Tyson and William showed great poise and played like the experienced players they are,” McMakin said.

“I also can’t say how impressive Mason’s round was. I mean he did not play this course for two days and he had no idea how firm and fast the greens had gotten since the practice round.”

Lozada, who led a good bit of the opening round, was at 1 under through six holes, but he carded a double bogey on the 502-yard par-4 7th and could not manage another birdie the rest of the round.

Junior Julian Perico posted a non-scoring 75 after posting double bogeys on Nos. 2 and 4 and making the turn at 5 over. He posted two birdies and two bogeys the rest of the way.

Logan Pate had the low round for the Trojans on Sunday, firing a 5-over 75 and finished as the team’s top scorer for the tournament at 15-over 225. Teammate Mangus Lomholt had three birdies on his round, but suffered seven bogeys and a double bogey to finish at 6-over 76.

On the individual side, Oklahoma State’s Bo Jin will take a two-shot lead into the final round after carding a 69 on Sunday. Clemson’s Turk Petit (-7) is in second.

Wake Forest’s Park Gillam shot a tournament-best 64 on Sunday to move to 5 under and tied for third place with Oklahoma’s Quade Cummins.

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