PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. — Seniors Eugene Wong, Daniel Miernicki and Andrew Vijarro led Oregon to a thrilling 3-2 victory against second-seeded UCLA in the NCAA Men’s Golf national quarterfinals on Friday at Riviera Country Club.
Oregon will square off against top-ranked Texas on Saturday in the national semifinals. Alabama will face California in the other national semifinal. The Ducks are the only team remaining with prior experience in NCAA tournament stroke play.
“I couldn’t be more proud or more happy for my guys, especially the seniors,” said Oregon head coach Casey Martin. “They’ve waited two years to get back here and came through for us once again.
“This meant a lot to them because I think they feel like still have some unfinished business.”
No. 1 Alabama 3, Kent State 1
The first three players in top-seeded Alabama’s match play lineup on Friday in the quarterfinals were able to score victories against their Kent State counterparts and send the Crimson Tide into Saturday’s semifinal at The Riviera Country Club.
|DI MEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP|
|Match Play: Quarters|
|Day 1 recap | Day 2 | Day 3|
|Friday’s Full Replay | Highlights|
|More: Championship participants released|
|Reger: Cal’s Hagy takes care of business|
|Reger: Canadians get more exposure|
|Reger: Spieth finding Championship rough|
|Reger: Guillaume uses unusual path to Campbell|
|Reger: Hoffenberg returns from hiatus|
|Reger: Texas’ Frittelli gives back|
|Reger: Mitchell leading the charge for UGA|
|Reger: Pirates keeping focus amidst tragedy|
Thomas went off first for Alabama and scored a 6 & 5 win against KSU’s Kevin Miller, closing him out with a par on the 13th. Cory Whitsett then dispatched Kyle Kmiecik 5 & 4 on the 14th green to put two early points on the board.
“We had two guys play just fantastic golf [Thomas and Whitsett] and in our tournament schedule we probably would have had a low score today,” Alabama head coach Jay Seawell said. “But you have to get three wins and that last point is always hard. We knew coming in that to get to three [points] is hard.”
Tide junior Scott Strohmeyer, who was the third UA player out on the course, had a commanding 5-up lead through nine holes but slow saw his lead over the Golden Flashes’ Taylor Pendrith dwindle to 2-up on the 16th. He sunk a long par putt on the 16th to halve the hole and then two-putted for birdie on 17 to close out the match, securing the Alabama victory.
No. 3 Texas 5, No. 6 Washington 0
Texas advanced to Saturday’s semifinal round of match play at the NCAA Championship with a 5-0 win against No. 6-seed Washington.
Sophomore Toni Hakula got the Longhorns started with a 3 & 2 victory against Charlie Hughes. Hakula won the third and fifth holes to go 2 Up, but Hughes rallied back on the sixth and seventh holes to square the match. Hakula closed out his opponent by winning holes 11, 12 and 16 for Texas’ first point.
Freshman Jordan Spieth put the Longhorns up 2-0 with a 4 & 3 win against Ty Chambers. The duo was all square through the first three holes, but Spieth surged ahead with wins on four, five and seven. After dropping the ninth hole, Spieth took a commanding 4 Up lead with back-to-back victories on the 11th and 12th holes. The duo matched one another on 13, 14 and 15.
Senior Dylan Frittelli battled throughout the first 13 holes with opponent Cheng-Tsung Pan. Pan won the 16th hole after Frittelli went to 3 Up with wins on 14 and 15 and forced the match to the 17th hole. The duo halved the hole and Frittelli won 2 & 1 to clinch Texas’ victory.
No. 4 California 3, No. 5 San Diego State 2
Cal advanced to the semifinals after a dramatic 3-2 victory against San Diego State. Joël Stalter drained a 20-foot birdie putt on the 17th green to win his match 2 & 1 against Alex Kang and secure the team victory with the match tied 2-2 at that point.
In addition to Stalter’s victory from the No. 5 spot in the lineup, the Golden Bears also picked up wins from their No. 3 and No. 4 players Pace Johnson and Michael Kim. Johnson was a 4 & 3 winner over Matt Hoffenberg, while Kim defeated Tom Berry, 3 & 1.
The Bears needed all three wins from the bottom three players in their lineup with No. 1 Max Homa and No. 2 Brandon Hagy falling to J.J. Spaun and Colin Featherstone, 4 & 3 and 2 & 1.