PSU men’s golf advances to NCAA Championships
UNVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Penn State men’s golf team finished fifth at the Washington Regional and secured its first appearance in the NCAA Championship since 2010 which will be held in Sugar Grove, Illinois from May 26-29.
Junior Cole Miller (New Tripoli, Pa.) shot his third consecutive sub-par round, a 3-under 68 to win the individual championship at 7-under. He is the second Nittany Lion to win an NCAA Regional (TJ Howe, 2010).
“What a battle we had with Alabama, Washington, Texas A&M, San Diego and UTEP all day today,” Greg Nye, Nittany Lion head coach, said. “We responded so well when Washington made a strong surge on the final nine, getting contributions from all five guys. That was fun to go at it that hard. I have said it before, but this team has consistently displayed a resilience and fight all year.”
This will mark the fifth time under Nye that the Lions have appeared in the NCAA Championship with appearances in 1996, 2004, 2008 and 2010 with their best finish in 2004 (15th).
Miller finished with the lowest par-4 scoring and shot the third-most birdies in the field. This was Miller’s fifth individual title of the 2016-17 season.
“Cole was not going to be denied today,” Nye said. “Not everything went his way and he simply moved on through adversity, kept his poise and rebounded with some great golf shots.”
Freshman Ryan Davis (Berkeley Heights, N.J.) matched Miller’s last two rounds of 69 and 68 to finish tied for eighth at 1-under. Davis led the field in par-5 scoring at 7-under and finished fourth in overall birdies with 13.
“I cannot say enough about the play of Ryan Davis,” Nye said. “After a tough Big Ten, he just prepared and was super determined to compete at a higher level in the NCAA Regional. A top-10 finish in this field is one heck of an accomplishment.”
Sophomore Charles Huntzinger (Duluth, Ga.) shot a 2-over 73 to finish with a score of 220 and tied for 27th, while freshman Alec Bard (New Hartford, N.Y.) shot 8-over and finished tied for 51st.
Sophomore JD Hughes (Carlisle, Pa.) shot his lowest round of the regional finishing with a 76 and tied for 65th place.
USC was the No. 1 ranked team entering the regional and finished first as the only team under par at minus-3 with Kent State (+3), Florida State (+10), Alabama (+10) and the Lions (+11) all advancing to next week’s National Championship.
Miller finished with a three-stroke lead over four golfers tied at 4-under. The lone individual advancing to the NCAA Championship is Chandler Phillips from Texas A&M who finished in seventh at 2-under.
The Penn State golf team will begin play in its first NCAA Championships since 2010 Friday, May 26. The finals will be held May 26-31 at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Illinois. The championships are being hosted by Northern Illinois University.