June 4, 2010
By Bucky Dent
Special to NCAA.com
OOLTEWAH, Tenn. — Patrick Reed has played in a U.S. Amateur semifinal before, but this was something different.
With his Augusta State team’s season in the balance Friday in the NCAA Golf Championships match play quarterfinals, Reed produced an 18th-hole birdie to win his match and ultimately help the sixth-seeded Jaguars eliminate in-state rival Georgia Tech, 3-2.
That will return Augusta State to The Honors Course for a Saturday morning semifinal with No. 2 Florida State, which knocked off seventh-seeded Texas Tech, 4-1, in another quarterfinal.
“Definitely my best moment of my career,” Reed said. “To come out in the quarterfinals and make a big putt to help my team win, it’s totally different than a U.S. Amateur.”
Reed led Chesson Hadley for the last 10 holes, but Hadley put the pressure on by sinking a 30-footer for birdie to forge a temporary tie.
Had Reed missed, teammate Henrik Norlander’s subsequent 1-up win over John Tyler Griffin would have only served to force a 19th hole instead of advancing the Jaguars.
Following his bomb of a putt up and down a ridge, Hadley did a double fist pump and unleashed a scream. Reed responded with his clutch putt and an emphatic shake of his right fist.
“The hole didn’t get any smaller for me,” Reed said. “But I just had to make my putt. I knew I’d been putting real well all day. I just had to hit it harder and follow my line.”
When that happened, Augusta State coach Josh Gregory heard a second, more favorable roar at the 18th tee, where he stood with Norlander.
“That made me a lot happier than the first roar,” Gregory quipped. “It was a remarkable day.”
Up, Then Down: Stanford started the morning by eliminating Arizona State and San Diego in a three-team, two-hole playoff to earn the last match play spot.
Its brief celebration couldn’t translate into an upset of top-seeded Oklahoma State, which pulled away on the back nine for a 4-1 victory over the Cardinal.
“I thought we had a good chance after nine holes,” Stanford coach Conrad Ray said, “but they really did a good job on the greens today. You can’t hang your head too much because they’re a great team.”
The Cowboys owned the back nine, going a combined 6-under to the Cardinal’s 7-over. Only David Chung won a match for Stanford, taking a 1-up decision over Peter Uihlein.
In the final analysis, Ray said the Cardinal did well just to make it to the final eight.
“We didn’t have our top stuff,” he said, “but we got in. We had a lot of ups-and-downs, but to make the top eight was good.”
For Oklahoma State, it was a 180-degree turn from last year’s experience, when it entered the quarterfinals as the No. 1 seed but took a 3-2 upset loss at Georgia’s hands.
The Cowboys will meet fifth-seeded Oregon in Saturday morning’s first semifinal.
Seminoles Stick Around: In Friday’s other quarterfinal match, Florida State eliminated Texas Tech, 4-1, as its top three seeds produced 2-1 or 2-up wins.
Coach Trey Jones, whose team lost a shot to be the top seed after match play, was pleased with how they rebounded from that disappointment.
“It was a really good round today,” he said. “They got behind a little bit, but they settled down and played really well.”
Tyler Weworski prevented the Red Raiders from a shutout with a 3-2 win in the No. 4 match.