Sam Houston Men’s golf makes the cut at National Championship
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – The first hurdle on the path to a championship is cleared for the Bearkats. On day 3 of the NCAA Men’s Golf Championships at Grayhawk Golf Club, the Bearkats shot a 288, to make the cut to the final day of stroke play.
The Kats currently stand in 11th place and will play with Clemson and Louisville on Monday. The teams are fighting for one of 8 spots in the match play bracket, which will determine a national champion.
“I thought it was another solid day. I don’t think we’ve played our best out here,” said head coach Brandt Kieschnick. “We are playing solid. We are just making a couple of mistakes but I just love the guys fight. This golf course will test your patience, your discipline and toughness. The guys are doing really well at controlling the things we can control. I’m proud of them sticking to the game plan.”
The Bearkats had the same tee time as the opening round when they shot 2-under par. But conditions on Sunday were a little tougher and birdies were harder to come by. They did take advantage of the conditions early with eight birdies on the front 9, but closed with just four on the back.
“I thought the course would play a little easier this morning but it was still firm out there and the pins were tough,” Kieschnick said. “It did play easier than yesterday afternoon but I think it will still be tough to make birdies tomorrow. We will just have to look at the pins and see the ones we can go at.”
William Holcomb shot his second under-par round of the championship, shooting a 69 on Sunday. He is in a tie-for 8th for the individual national championship, six strokes behind the leader Bo Jin at Oklahoma State.
After pars on Nos. 4 and 6 he was out to a quick 2-under start to his day. A birdie at 11 and bogeys at Nos. 9 and 12 put him at one under, where he stayed, closing with six straight pars.
“I had a real patient start and I got off to a better start than yesterday,” Holcomb said. “I hit a bunch of greens early and just let it come to me. On nine I got a little aggressive on the pin and paid the price for it and made a dumb bogey. I was just trying to fight for everything I could and I just had pars going in. I had a lot of looks but couldn’t get a putt to fall.”
Luis Carrera continued his strong play this week, shooting a 2-over 72. He’s 1-over for the championship and sits in a tie for 16th place. The highlight of his day was a birdie on No. 18 to close out the round. It was one of eight birdies on the day at 18, which played as the toughest hole on the course on Sunday. His approach from the fairway left him just a two-foot putt for birdie.
“On 18 I hit a good driver. The second shot is not an easy one because it is really long,” Carrera said. “I had like 210 yards into the wind. I was aiming a touch right of the flag and it drew nicely to the hole. I just heard the crowd and knew it. We definitely have the best crowd out here.”
Grayson Blunt had another solid round shooting a 73 on Sunday. He has steadily improved this week, shooting 76 on Friday, 74 on Saturday and improving again on Sunday.
Ting-Wei Hsieh improved by four shots on Sunday, bouncing back with a 74. Paul Chaplet shot a 78 on Sunday.
The Kats will enter the final round on Monday just five shots back of Vanderbilt, Wake Forest and North Carolina who are in a tie for 6th. The top 8 teams will qualify for the match play tournament which will begin on Tuesday.