Tigers Finish 28th at NCAA Golf Championship
May 31, 2012
**15 teams were still on the course at the time of this release. Player and team positioning could shift throughout the afternoon**
PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. –The University of Memphis golf team posted a team score of 300 in the final round of the NCAA Championship at Riviera Country Club Thursday morning. The Tigers finished 28th in the event, tying the 1988 squad for the best finish in program history.
“We just didn’t have it this week,” Memphis head coach Grant Robbins said. “Our ball striking was very poor and this course will expose you if you don’t hit it well. The guys are disappointed, but I’m extremely proud of them. I know that once this is over, they can reflect on a great year and be proud of everything they accomplished.”
Jonathan Fly entered the final round a tie for eighth place at even par for the tournament but struggled to an 81 Thursday and finished in a tie for 84th position. Jack Belote posted his best score of the tournament - a 1-over-par 72 – to finish in a tie with teammate Steve Lee (76-76-75) for 117th position. Will Pearson followed consecutive 79’s with a 74 in the final round and finished in a tie for 143rd. Grant Milner’s final round 79 put him in a tie for 149th.
Thursday’s round marked the end of Jack Belote’s and Jonathan Fly’s careers. Fly graduated earlier this May, and Belote is scheduled to do the same in December.
Fly was named to C-USA's All First team for the third consecutive season in addition to being a PING All-Southeast performer. The 2011 Conference USA Championship medalist, Fly competed in 11 tournaments and held a team-best 72.16 scoring average. His low finish came at the BancorpSouth Intercollegiate, where he fired back-to-back rounds of 68 to earn medalist honors in the rain-shortened event. Fly also carded scores of 69-73-72 at the C-USA Championship en route to helping Memphis to the team title and a fifth-place individual showing. He also holds the single season scoring average of 71.9 set in 2010-11.
Belote, a member of C-USA All Second team last season, also competed in 11 events for the Tigers, holding a scoring average of 72.53. Belote posted two individual runner up finishes at the Wolfpack Intercollegiate and C-USA Championship where his scores of 68-71-70 helped Memphis to its first ever C-USA Men’s Golf Championship. A back-to-back member of the C-USA All-Academic team, Belote also excelled in the classroom while being named to the 2011-12 All-Conference USA First Team.
This was the first appearance for Memphis in the NCAA Championships since 1988 when All-American Steve Metz led the Tigers. Memphis finished 28th that year.
Riviera Country Club is a par 71, 7,013-yard championship golf course located in the Pacific Palisades community within greater Los Angeles. The course has hosted the PGA Tour's Northern Trust Open (also known as the Los Angeles Open) in addition to the 1948 U.S. Open. Riveiera has also hosted the PGA Championship in 1983 and 1995.
30 teams - five from each of the six regional sites - will play 54 holes of stroke play at Riviera. At the end of the 54 holes, an individual champion will be crowned and only the top eight teams will advance to a match play playoff.
The eight teams will play a straight match play competition with the number one team after 54 holes of stroke play facing the number-eight team, number-seven will play number-two, number-six will play number-three and number-four will face number-five. The winners advance to the Final Four, then the two winners will play for the national championship on the final day.
Each match will be worth one point. A match that is tied after 18 holes will be awarded a half-point. If the team score is tied after the completion of all five matches, a playoff using the combined strokes of all five players from an extra hole will decide the winner. If there still is a tie, the playoff would continue to another hole until there is a winner.
This was the fourth appearance in NCAA postseason play for Memphis and the first time advancing to the NCAA Championships since moving to the regional format. Tigers finished tied for 20th at the 2008 NCAA East Regional at Council Fire Golf Club in Chattanooga, Tenn. Robbins was named 2008 C-USA Coach of the Year during that season. Last season, Memphis finished in 11th position at the NCAA Central-Indiana Regional.
Memphis' best accomplishment in the NCAA Championship came in 1955, when former Tiger Hillman Robbins won the Individual Title. Robbins led the 1954-55 Tigers to a 9-2 match record and was named as an alternate to the Walker Cup Team.
Augusta State won the 2011 NCAA Division I Men's Golf Championships, capturing its second consecutive national title. Augusta State defeated Georgia 3-2 in the final round of match play competition. At the end of three rounds of stroke play LSU's John Peterson shot a 5-under-par 211 to capture the individual title. The tournament was held at Karsten Creek in Stillwater, Okla.