CONOVER, NC – For the first time since 2008, three Peach Belt Conference men’s golf teams qualified for the NCAA National Championships as the South/Southeast Super Regional came to a close on Wednesday. Georgia College won the regional event with a three-round score of 869, one stroke ahead of Barry. UNC Pembroke finished fourth and USC Aiken in fifth to advance to the national finals. Georgia Southwestern’s J.P. Griffin also qualified to compete as an individual. USCA’s Matt Atkins took the medalist honors.
GC put up a 289 on the final day, added to rounds of 291 and 289 for five-over par on the par-72, 7,064-yard Rock Barn Golf & Spa Jones Course. No. 2 Barry University was just one stroke behind in second.
Junior Taylor Smith shot a team-best 70 today, and finished a team-best second at five-under par after previous rounds of 69 and 72. Smith missed a playoff for individual medalist honors by one stroke, carding five birdies in today's action.
Classmate Patrick Garrett was one stroke later in seventh place at three-under par. Garrett shot 71-70-72, birdying four straight from the seventh to the 10th hole today. Freshman Ryan Trocchio saved his best round for last, firing par today after a 74 and 75 for plus-five in 28th place. Trocchio birdied the 13th and 15th, both were holes he bogeyed yesterday.
Classmate David Sullivan comes next at plus-10 on rounds of 77, 74 and 75. Sullivan finally figured out the 18th, as after a triple and double-bogey the first two days, he recorded a birdie today, one of his two on the round. Sophomore Victor Monte was 12-over par with rounds of 80-73-75. He was one-over on the back nine today.
The Bobcats have won the Regional title just once before, in 2008. This will mark GC's ninth appearance in the NCAA Finals, and the first since 2009.
UNC Pembroke’s Jordan Walor (70-71-71/212) offset a bogey on the par-4 sixth with birdies on both the eighth and 18th holes en route to 1-under-par 71 and a tie for fifth on the final individual leaderboard – just two strokes off the pace set by USC Aiken's Matt Atkins (-6). McCurry (74-76-70/220) booked 16 pars and a pair of birdies to jump 30 spots on the individual leaderboard and into a tie for 18th, while Carson Lanier (74-72-77/223) and Michael Mullman (78-69-76/223) both finished in a tie for 38th place. Scott Lambert (78-77-75/230) turned in his best round of the week with a 75 on Wednesday to climb five spots into a share of 82nd place.
USC Aiken closed out its three rounds in the regional with a team three-round tally of 880 (294-290-296).
Atkins (Owensboro, Ky./Henderson State) concluded the three rounds of the NCAA South/Southeast Regional with a 6-under score of 210. Atkins carded a 70 in all three rounds en route to his first career victory. A First-Team All-Peach Belt Conference selection, Atkins has now obtained three top-5 finishes this season.
Atkins is the fourth Pacer to claim individual medalist honors in a regional, joining Scott Brown (2005 and 2006), Scott Usher (2003) and Jamie Stanley (1997).
Atkins was one of three Pacers to finish in the top-50 individually at the South/Southeast Regional. Taylor Welborn (LaGrange, Ga./Darton) closed out the regional in 28th at 221 (72-73-76), while JP Solis (Morelia, Mexico/Lico Morelia) ended the tournament in 44th at 224 (80-69-75).
Georgia Southwestern finished eighth as a team while Armstrong Atlantic State was tied for 12th and Columbus State 19th.
The top five teams and the top two student-athletes not with an advancing team earned a berth into the finals as part of the 2012 Division II Spring Championships Festival. The Festival will be hosted by Bellarmine and the Louisville Sports Commission.The national championships will be held, May 15-19, at The Cardinal Club in Simpsonville, Ky.