COLUMBIA, Mo. – Behind four players in the top 11 and another superb under-par round, the fourth-seeded Arkansas men’s golf team advanced to the NCAA Championship for the fourth time in the last six years by finishing second at the NCAA Columbia Regional with a three-day score of 28-under par at The Club at Old Hawthorne.
One day removed from shooting a program NCAA Regional record 18-under par 270, the Razorbacks put together an 11-under 277 which would have also beat the previous record. In all over the three days, Arkansas carded one eagle and 56 birdies while 10 of its 12 counting scores were even-par or lower.
Arkansas (289-270-277/836) entered the day in a tie for first with top-seeded Oklahoma State at 17-under, but the Cowboys (272-287-272/831) shot their second 16-under 272 of the week to win the regional and finish five strokes ahead of the Razorbacks. Host and eighth-seeded Missouri (281-280-276/837) finished third, while LSU (289-286-274/849) and Iowa State (293-286-270/849) tied for fourth to round out the five qualifying spots. The three SEC teams out of the Columbia Regional helped give the conference 10 of the 30 teams in next weekend’s NCAA Championship.
The Razorbacks will open play at the NCAA Championship at Prairie Dunes CC in Hutchinson, Kan. on Friday, May 23. A total of 30 teams from the six different regionals will take the course for 54 holes of stroke play before the top eight advance to match play to determine the national champ. The stroke play/match play format started in 2009, with the Razorbacks finishing runner-up that year.
Redshirt sophomore Kolton Crawford was Arkansas’ top finisher in sole possession of fifth place thanks to a final round bogey-free five-under 67. A day removed from surpassing the 100-birdie mark on the year, Crawford shot a four-under 32 on the front before becoming the fourth different Razorback to shoot 67 at the regional this week. Crawford’s three-day scorecard of 72-69-67/208 not only set a new career-low, but also equaled the program’s NCAA Regional 54-hole record.
Turning in identical scorecards in each of the three rounds, senior Sebastian Cappelen and sophomore Nicolas Echavarria tied for sixth overall at seven-under 209. After one-over par 73s in Thursday’s first round, Cappelen and Echavarria responded with a five-under 67 and three-under 69. The top 10 finish is the 19th of Cappelen’s illustrious four-year career which will see the Denmark native make his third trip to the NCAA Championship. Echavarria has saved his best for the postseason in his young career, finishing in the top 15 at the SEC Championship in 2014, both NCAA Regionals (2013, 2014) and the NCAA Championship in 2013. Over those four tournaments, Echavarria has a scoring average of 70.3 with seven under-par rounds.
The final counting score of the day came from sophomore Taylor Moore, who turned in an even-par 72 to tie for 11th overall. Moore was one of three Razorbacks to card a five-under 67 in Friday’s second round while his three-day 71-67-72/210 equaled a personal 54-hole career-low and was a low vs. par at six-under.
More information on Arkansas’ second straight trip to the NCAA Championships will be available on www.ArkansasRazorbacks.com all week leading up to the event.
McMakin Post-Round Sound
“I’m really proud of the way the guys played all week. This was definitely our best tournament of the year and perfect timing for it. This is such an explosive team and we are really starting to learn how to execute. We’re playing our best golf at the perfect time and I’m excited to head to nationals.”
5. Kolton Crawford – 72-69-67/208 (-8)
T6. Sebastian Cappelen – 73-67-69/209 (-7)
T6. Nicolas Echavarria – 73-67-69/209 (-7)
T11. Taylor Moore – 71-67-72/210 (-6)
T57. Zach Coats – 77-73-78/228
NCAA COLUMBIA REGIONAL FINAL STANDINGS (Seed)
1. Oklahoma State (1) – 272-287-272/831 (-33)
2. Arkansas (4) – 289-270-277/836 (-28)
3. Missouri (8) – 281-280-276/837 (-27)
T4. LSU (3) – 289-286-274/849 (-15)
T4. Iowa State (6) – 291-286-270/849 (-15)
6. Arizona State (5) – 291-285-282/858 (-6)
7. Virginia (2) – 285-303-276/864 (E)
8. San Diego State (7) – 294-288-284/866
9. Iowa (6) – 291-294-284/869
10. Denver (12) – 300-301-283/884
11. Middle Tennessee State (10) – 301-292-292/885
12. Ohio State (11) – 308-303-276/887
13. Loyola-MD (13) – 308-294-286/888
14. Bryant (14) – 316-316-296/928
For more information on Arkansas men’s golf, follow @RazorbackMGolf on Twitter.
-- ArkansasRazorbacks.com || On Twitter @ArkRazorbacks || Facebook.com/ArkansasRazorbacks –