OOLTEWAH, Tenn. — For the second year in a row, Oklahoma State’s men’s golf team posted the low total during the stroke play portion of the NCAA Championship, firing a 283 on Thursday to take the top spot at The Honors Course.
The Cowboys’ 5-under score during their third round erased Florida State’s five-shot advantage and sewed up the top seed in this weekend’s match play bracket for OSU.
Head coach Mike McGraw’s squad finished with a 54-hole total of 850, 14-under. The Seminoles were the runner-up at 854, while Georgia Tech finished third at 858.
“We came here not to finish eighth in the qualifier. We came here to win it. That was the team’s goal coming in and they accomplished that,” McGraw said. “They came from behind in two tournaments in a row. In the previous four years and three quarters, I only had one time that I have come from behind and that was the national championship in 2006. The rest of the victories that we have had were always from the front. These guys have proven that they can win from behind.”
Washington, Oregon, Augusta State and Texas Tech also advanced to match play. Stanford, Arizona State and San Diego finished in a tie for eighth place and will vie for the final spot in a playoff at 7 a.m. this morning.
OSU sophomore Peter Uihlein came up just short in his bid to become the school’s ninth national champion, tying for second place.
“Peter has come a long way. Fourteen months ago, if you would have told me that he would have accomplished what he has, then I would think a lot of people would have laughed because he was not even a part of our golf team. When he finally got a chance, he played great all summer and played well in the Walker Cup and during the fall,” McGraw said. “He had a really tough time during the mid part of the season and has come on strong at the end. I am really proud of the way Peter has handled the emotional ups and downs that he has had.”
The Orlando, Fla., native carded a closing 71 to finish at 208 and tied with San Diego’s Alex Ching. The players’ 8-under totals were two shots off the pace of Scott Langley of Illinois, who posted his second-straight 68 to finish at 206.
“It is all about the team this week. We did what we wanted to accomplish and that was to win the three-day stroke play,” Uihlein said. “It is two different tournaments this week. That is really what you have to get your mindset to. I think we will be ready. We know what happened to us last year. We obviously will be ready for it tomorrow.”
Junior Kevin Tway jumped from 40th place into a tie for 14th place after firing a third-round 68 to wrap up play at 213.
Senior Trent Whitekiller posted a 70 during his final round to finish with an even-par 216 and tied for 34th place.
Sophomore Morgan Hoffmann finished with a 74 to finish tied for 18th place at 2-under 214.
Making his NCAA debut, redshirt freshman Sean Einhaus closed with a 76 and tied for 111th place at 226.
The Cowboys will learn their first-round opponent for match play, which gets under way today following the three-team playoff.