Toledo Quartet Fights For Finals Berth
May 29, 2009
TOLEDO, OH - The semifinal field was set on Friday morning for the 2009 NCAA Men's Golf Championships being hosted by the University of Toledo at the par-71, 7,255-yard Inverness Club. Georgia will take on Arkansas in the first semifinal with Michigan battling Texas A&M in the second semifinal. Semifinal action began at 2:00 p.m. this afternoon.
No. 8 Georgia knocked off No. 1 Oklahoma State in the first quarterfinal matchup, 3-2, with Bulldog senior Brian Harman edging Cowboy sophomore Rickie Fowler on the final hole. Harman finished his match with three straight birdies including a five-footer on No. 18 after Fowler just missed his eight-foot birdie attempt. Georgia entered the tournament as the No. 1 ranked team in the nation according to Golfstat, while OSU was ranked No. 2.
No. 4 Arkansas advanced to its semifinal matchup with its Southeastern Conference foe with a little bit less drama with a 3-2 win over No. 5 Washington. Razorback junior David Lingmerth ended the match on the 17th hole with a birdie.
The next team to advance to the semifinals was No. 7 Texas A&M, which posted a 3-1-1 triumph over No. 2 Arizona State. Senior Bronson Burgoon clinched the match for the Aggies with a 5 & 4 win over Sun Devil junior Knut Borsheim that ended on the 14th hole.
The final team to earn a berth in the semis was No. 6 Michigan, which entered this week's played as the No. 39 ranked team in the country according to Golfstat rankings. Sophomore Lion Kim secured the win for the Wolverines with an impressive 212-yard shot that landed just a foot from the 17th hole.
2009 NCAA Division I Men's Golf Championships
No. 8 Georgia def. No. 1 Oklahoma State, 3-2 No. 5 Adam Mitchell (Georgia) def. No. 5 Kevin Tway (OSU), 5 & 3 No. 4 Peter Uihlein (OSU) def. No. 4 Harris English (Georgia), 4 & 3 No. 3 Russell Henley (Georgia) def. No. 3 Trent Leon (OSU), 2 up No. 2 Morgan Hoffmann (OSU) def. No. 2 Hudson Swafford (Georgia), 4 & 3 No. 1 Brian Harman (Georgia) def. No. 1 Rickie Fowler (OSU), 1 up
No. 4 Arkansas def. No. 5 Washington, 3-2 No. 5 Jamie Marshall (Ark.) vs. No. 5 Tze Huang Choo (Wash.), 3 & 2 No. 4 Jason Cuthbertson (Ark.) def. No. 4 Chris Killmer (Wash.), 3 & 2 No. 3 Darren Wallace (UW) def. No. 3 Ethan Tracy (Ark.), 6 up No. 2 David Lingmerth (Ark). def. No. 2 Richard Lee (Wash.), 2 & 1 No. 1 Nick Taylor (UW) def. No. 1 Andrew Landry (Ark.), 4 & 3
No. 7 Texas A&M def. No. 2 Arizona State, 3-1-1 No. 5 Conrad Shindler (A&M) def. No. 5 Scott Pinckney (ASU), 2 & 1 No. 4 Jesper Kennegard (ASU) and No. 4 Matt Van Zandt (A&M), All Square thru 17 No. 3 John Hurley (A&M) def. No. 3 Chan Kim (ASU), 3 & 2 No. 2 Stephan Gross (ASU) def. No. 2 Andrea Pavan (A&M), 4 & 3 No. 1 Bronson Burgoon (A&M) def. No. 1 Knut Borsheim (ASU), 5 & 4
No. 6 Michigan def. No. 3 Southern Cal, 3-2 No. 5 Ryan Linton (USC) def. No. 5 Nick Pumford (Mich.), 3 & 2 No. 4 Steve Lim (USC) def. No. 4 Bill Rankin (Mich.), 4 & 3 No. 3 Matt Thompson (Mich.) def. No. 3 Tom Glissmeyer (USC), 4 & 3 No. 2 Alexander Sitompul (Mich.) def. No. 2 Tim Sluiter (USC), 5 & 3 No. 1 Lion Kim (Mich.) def. No. 1 Matthew Giles (USC), 2 & 1
2009 NCAA Division I Men's Golf Championships
No. 4 Arkansas vs. No. 8 Georgia 2:00 p.m. - No. 5 Jamie Marshall (Ark.) vs. No. 5 Adam Mitchell (Georgia) 2:09 p.m. - No. 4 Jason Cuthbertson (Ark.) vs. No. 4 Harris English (Georgia) 2:18 p.m. - No. 3 Ethan Tracy (Ark.) vs. No. 3 Russell Henley (Georgia) 2:27 p.m. - No. 2 David Lingmerth (Ark.) vs. No. 2 Hudson Swafford (Georgia) 2:36 p.m. - No. 1 Andrew Landry (Ark.) vs. No. 1 Brian Harman (Georgia)
No. 6 Michigan vs. No. 7 Texas A&M 2:45 p.m. - No. 5 Nick Pumford (Mich.) vs. No. 5 Conrad Shindler (Texas A&M) 2:54 p.m. - No. 4 Bill Rankin (Mich.) vs. No. 4 Matt Van Zandt (Texas A&M) 3:03 p.m. - No. 3 Matt Thompson (Mich.) vs. No. 3 John Hurley (Texas A&M) 3:12 p.m. - No. 2 Alexander Sitompul (Mich.) vs. No. 2 Andrea Pavan (Texas A&M) 3:21 p.m. - No. 1 Lion Kim (Mich.) vs. No. 1 Bronson Burgoon (Texas A&M)
Georgia senior Brian Harman
"Rickie played great today. I went in there and did as best I could. I was really struggling on the front nine making putts. Those last three holes something just got into me, and I said `I'm ready to win this thing'."
"You couldn't ask for a better finish than that regardless of how our match turned out. It could have gone one way or the other. If that putt doesn't catch the right lip on the last hole we're going into extra holes. It's just one of those things. We're both really good teams, and we have a lot of respect for Oklahoma State."
(about the large number of fans watching) "To be honest, I didn't even notice. I was so into the match and I wanted to win so bad I didn't even notice until I heard everyone screaming on 18."
"We knew if we were going to win this tournament we were going to have to play Oklahoma State eventually. They are a great team; they have been great all year. I told the guys last night that we have to beat them regardless, so we might as well beat them in the first round."
Oklahoma State Head Coach Mike McGraw
"The format is unbelievable and those coaches who say this is not the right format need to be here on a day like today. That was a great match-up."
"Most of the matches kind of got a little bit out of hand. This last match between Rickie and Brian was one up or even all day so you kind of had the feeling this would be the swing match at some point and it was."
(on being in first place all three days and losing in the quarterfinals) "If it bothers me then I don't like this format. I love this format, play better and you win the match. We played great; we had confidence going into today. We didn't get it done today but it felt good to play well for three days."
"We played fine. We played okay. We won two matches pretty big, kind of got beat in a couple other matches, but it was pretty exciting to watch this one."
"This is a wonderful format. It has nothing to do with whether we won or lost today."
Georgia Head Coach Chris Haack
"It was going to be real disappointing if we had to go home early today. Yesterday we felt like we got new life, and today we were skating on thin ice but we seemed to pull it off right at the end."
"It's kind of a shame that it wasn't the finals. I wish it was the finals. Again, two great teams out there going toe-to-toe. It's kind of the way that I think the NCAA thought this might shake out."
"They are a great group of guys. I'm real close with their coaches. At tournaments we'll go out to dinner, our two teams are together so much there are a lot of friendships. When you compete against those guys you know they're tough as nails. You drop the friendship, go toe-to-toe with them and try to beat those guys because they're tough. We knew it was not going to be an easy day either way."
Oklahoma State sophomore Rickie Fowler
"This is probably the most fun I've had in college golf. The head-to-head aspect, having to hit shots, having your whole team out there, coaches, family and friends from both sides was great to have but we ended up losing."
"I think both teams played well. In my match particularly, Harman just happened to make a few more putts than me. I thought I hit good putts on both 17 and 18 but they just didn't drop."
(on leading and all three days and having to face Georgia in the quarterfinals) "We knew coming in we were going to play three rounds of stroke play and then go to match play. We were expecting to play Georgia at some point. Too bad it wasn't tomorrow."
(on match play format) "It's hard to say I'm in favor, the way we played in stroke play. How competitive it is, it brings more fans to it. Head-to-head coming on 18 with your whole team's stake on the line, it's pretty fun."
(on the toughest part of the loss) "Being the last man to come to 18, with everything on that putt. In a way it feels like I've let them down, but we've had a good season."
Arkansas Head Coach Brad McMakin
"We were fortunate to come out on top, and the kids had a good time. It was exciting out there. It's nice when your teammates come out for the last match. It brings a lot of team camaraderie, and I think it's great for the sport."
"We had one match come down to the 17th hole. It was exciting. The format gives everybody a chance. I think all the kids really had a good time."
"We were probably 16 behind Oklahoma State, now they're not here and we are. It's something different. I think the kids really enjoy it, and it's going to be good for the game."
"The group in front of us, Oklahoma State, looked like they had about 400 people out there. It was exciting. It came down to the last hole. We didn't get to watch it, but we heard it from three holes over."
Michigan Head Coach Andrew Sapp
"They sure played great. That final shot from Lion was unbelievable. We were talking at the 16th fairway and he said, `This is why I went to Michigan. We can help this team to get where we are right now'."
"He (Matt Thompson) loves this format (match play) for sure. He had a big grin on his face last night when we got into match play because he loves playing this format head to head. It fits his game and his personality really well.
"I think we are pumping with adrenaline. All of our matches ended early except for Lion so they didn't play a full 18. They are refueling and getting ready to get back out there."
"Chris Whitten, my assistant coach, was walking the last hole with him. We were just standing right beside him and he decided to pull out the two hybrid instead of the three hybrid and he hit the shot that he hit."
Michigan sophomore Lion Kim
"I couldn't see the green. I had to jump to see the top of the flag. This is why we play golf, playing for the national championship for this type of pressure and these types of crowds, matches like that. To be honest with you, I didn't think I played that great in the morning so hopefully I'll have a better round this afternoon. If we win again, we will keep going as far as we can.
"I have a lot of tournament experience. I am a type of player who likes to play as many tournaments as possible. I have been working hard on my game. Playing all these different types of tournaments I gain confidence and more experience you have the less pressure you feel.
(on advancing to the semifinals) We're just that much closer right now. That's the beauty of match play because rankings none of that really matters. Our team is mentally tough and that's what you got to be on these types of golf courses.