NCAA Men's Golf Championships at Golden Horseshoe
Nothing I like better than a writer going out on a limb. However, Ron Balicki, the “other Ron,” came up twelve shots shy of a winner, as Stanford flapped its red wings to a team championship in Virginia.
How good is individual champ Jamie Lovemark? Try 16 birdies over the last two days, for matching 64s, for a two-stroke victory over Clemson’s Kyle Stanley.
I guess we now know that team pressure ’bout kills your chances for the individual title, as five of the top eight indy finishers were competing as individuals only (their teammates stayed home.)
Unlike Lovemark, Georgia could not match its third-round 269 (exactly what it would have needed to force a team playoff), and Stanford played conservative, west-coast golf to capture the national title. The only guy who never got going for the Cali boys was Matt Savage, whose four rounds ranged from 70 to 78. Although his scores counted for the team on each of the first two days, Savage was savaged by high numbers on Friday and Saturday, counting three dubs, a trip, and six boges on his final two cards . His top-16 ranking heading into the tourney indicates he should have finished a bit better.
Another guy who let me down was Coastal Carolina’s Dustin Johnson. After opening 67-68, Johnson showed no game the last two days with 70-73 on a course that gave up multiple mid-60s rounds in droves. Most out-of-control golfer? Easy…Duke’s Michael Schachner. Try 79-69-60-75. I’d gladly trade him strokes on days one and three, to give him an 80s-70s-60s-50s run. Ahh, fate.
Talk about a shift in the balance of power to Lamar, Charlotte and Coastal Carolina, your third, fourth, and fifth-place teams. Where were Oklahoma State (15th), Wake Forest (missed cut) and Ohio State (did not qualify) and the rest of the big names? Come to think of it, Coastal really lost its composure on day four, shooting a shoddy 298, giving up 17 strokes to Stanford, losing by 19. If any of Coastal’s players show up, we have a tournament.
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