FLORENCE, Ala. – Stroke play for the 2011 NCAA Division II Men’s Golf Championship ended Wednesday with Lynn University grabbing the top seed heading into match play. Daniel Young finished runner-up for the tournament with a career-low 212 while Ricardo Gouveia tied for third with a three-day total of 213. The Fighting Knights will now square-off against Barton College for 18 holes in the morning with the winner going an additional 18 holes in the afternoon.
Shooting a three-under par 69 on the 7,150-yard, par 72 Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at the Shoals Fighting Joe Course, Young forced a playoff for the individual national title with Chico State’s Kyle Souza. Young missed short on his first shot from the par-3 18th hole, but chipped his next attempt next to the lip to force a second playoff.
A 65-foot putt was just short but Souza could not drain his 25-foot putt, setting up a third playoff hole. Unfortunately for Young, his first shot sailed wide while Souza stuck it 15-feet from the flag. Two shots later Souza claimed the individual title.
“I looked at the leaderboard with four holes to play and noticed I wasn’t that far off,” said Young, whose previous career 54-hole low was 214. “So I decided to put my foot on the gas and give it a try. Two birdies later and with some luck I was tied but I didn’t know it until I asked Coach [Chris Greenwood] on the 18th hole.
“The playoff was fun and I had great support from my teammates. Right before I went up for my first shot [Paul] McPhee said ‘have fun and enjoy this experience.’ So that’s what I did. Kyle hit some great shots and I wish I would have put more pressure on him but it was great overall. Now we need to turn our attention to winning a team national title.”
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Gouveia fired a final-round 71 for his ninth top-10 finish of the season. Lynn has had 25 top-10 finishes this season, breaking the previous school record set by the 2004-05 and 2005-06 teams. Pepito Joia just missed out on placing in the top-10 after carding a 73 as he tied for 11th individually.
A day after recording a 13-stroke turnaround, Paul McPhee duplicated that feat with his second consecutive round of 71. Vowing to cut his first day deficit in half each day, Roberto Francioni almost did that. He fired an 81 on the opening day, 75 on day two and closed with a 71 in round three.
Lynn (864) shot a tournament low six-under par 282 to win the stroke-play portion by 14 shots over Abilene Christian (878). Joining the Fighting Knights in the eight-team match-playoff will be CSU-Monterey Bay (881), Central Oklahoma (881), Central Missouri (885), Newberry (890), Fort Lewis (894) and Barton (894).
Lynn tees off against Barton at 7 a.m. CT and will be followed by No. 2 Abilene Christian vs. No. 7 Fort Lewis, No. 3 CSU-Monterey Bay vs. No. 6 Newberry and No. 4 Central Oklahoma vs. No. 5 Central Missouri.