Golfers Finish 21st at NCAA Championship Finals (2023)


May 28, 2023

Golfers Finish 21st at NCAA Championship Finals (1)

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — The University of Colorado men's golf team was cruising along for much of Sunday's third round of the NCAA Championship Finals, but struggled down the stretch and wound up finishing 21st out of 30 teams.

The top 15 teams advanced into Monday's final round. Colorado, ranked No. 48, hung around the cut line for its first 11 holes of the day, ranging from a tie for 13th to a tie for 16th; but the tougher back nine that had baked all day in the sun started to catch up with the Buffs, as well as most of the teams that had the afternoon tee times. Just 3-over par as a team through 11, the four scorers finished 12-over on the last seven holes, with just two birdies, eight bogeys and three double bogeys down the stretch, including 5-over alone on No. 18, the toughest hole of the day and tournament.

No. 3 Illinois maintained its lead, as the Fighting Illini turned in a second straight subpar team round of 4-under 276 to end three rounds of play at 6-under 834. No. 8 Pepperdine moved up three spots into second after the Waves shot the round of the tournament, an 11-under 269 Sunday for an overall score of 3-under 837. No. 3 Florida (839), No. 4 North Carolina (841) and No. 5 Georgia Tech (842) round out the top five.

Ohio State and Texas Tech tied for the 15th and final spot, which has implications for the nine individuals who also can advance into the final round; one of those is CU sophomore Dylan McDermott.

McDermott carded a second-straight 2-over 72 which tied him for 44th with a 5-over 215; that placed him either in the fourth round as an individual or in a playoff with two others for one of the nine individuals unaffiliated with an advancing team to play in Monday. If Texas Tech wins the team playoff, then there will be no playoff for individuals as one Ohio State player will advance; if Ohio State wins, two Tech players advance and McDermott will be in a three-man playoff for the last two spots.

For the second straight round, the recently named PING-All West Region performer had two birdies and 12 pars with four bogeys, and over the three days he had six birds, a team-high 37 pars and 11 bogeys. He played the par-4s at just 1-over, tied for 13th best in the 156-man field.

"We won't know until after either the team playoff or an individual one in the morning Dylan is in the mix for the final round, which if he makes it will be a great way to cap off an outstanding year for him,' CU head coach Roy Edwards said.

Sophomore Justin Biwer fashioned a 3-over 73 to conclude things, totaling a 10-over 220 that tied him for 81st. He had one birdie and 13 pars with four bogeys Sunday; his birdie came on No. 3 that had him 1-under at that point, the only time all day a Buff was in a red (subpar) number. He was hanging around par until closing with bogeys.

Sophomore Tucker Clark also finished with a 3-over 73 for a 10-over 220 and a tie for 81st. He had a team-high four birdies with eight pars, against five bogeys and a double; his eight birdies were also a team-best for the tournament. Clark, who is from nearby Paradise Valley about 20 miles north of Phoenix, recorded CU's low round of the event with a 3-under 67, which was the second-best round of tht second round and the third-best score in an NCAA Finals by a Buffalo.

Freshman Hunter Swanson wrapped things with a 7-over 77, which gave him an overall 13-over 223 performance that landed him in a tie for 111th. A rough stretch of bogey-bogey-double on holes 13 through 15 and finished with a double on 18 that inflated his score. Just the seventh Buff freshman to compete in the NCAA Finals, his 13-over in relation to par was the best for a 54- or 72-hole tournament.

Sophomore Jack Holland could never get much going, as he posted a second straight 9-over 79 for a 24-over 234 total, which placed him 150th. He had 11 pars on Sunday, his best in the three rounds, but had five bogeys and two doubles. He had just one birdie that came in the first round.

"A tough day today, obviously," Edwards said. "We were hanging in there most of the round, but our short game was off today and that probably was the difference. But I'm really proud of the team's fight. We were right there and were expecting to make the cut and then go on to make the match play, so right now we're disappointed.

"Definitely very happy with the season overall, finishing 21st in the country is always a positive," Edwards added. "This is a really special group of players on the team, and we're very excited about what the future holds for this group. I look forward to seeing how much better they get over the summer."

Georgia Tech's Ross Steelman has now led after all three rounds, and after a 2-under 68 on Sunday, he expanded his lead to four strokes. At 9-under par 201, he leads North Carolina's Dylan Menante and Ohio State's Neil Shipley, who both carded 67s and are in at 5-under through 54 holes; three others are at 4-under 206.

The two-team playoff will commence at 9 a.m. MST, followed by the individual playoff if necessary; the fourth round at present is slated to start at 11 a.m. MST. The top eight teams will then advance into match play, with quarterfinals and semifinals set for May 30 and the championship match on May 31.

NOTES: CU's 21st place finish is its ninth-best in 16 appearances in the NCAA Championship Finals … Several former Buffaloes came out Sunday to watch the team, including two members of the 1981 team that finished 11th – Steve Jones (the '96 U.S. Open champion) and Rick Cramer … Another former Buff, Justin Bardgett ('10) is an assistant coach at Illinois … How hard was No. 18 on Sunday? The 156 players in the field scored all of one birdie and 74 pars, meaning 81 bogeys or worse (including 17 doubles or higher) … When the Buffs started to tee off, the temperature was 95 degrees, the warmest of the three rounds … The average score for all 468 rounds through 54 holes was 72.93; it was a low of 72.26 overall on Sunday, 71.07 in the morning, 73.45 in the afternoon (it was 73.29 on Saturday, 73.24 on Friday) … Colorado played the par-3's at 21-over (28th in the field, Stanford leads at 2-under), the par-4s at 41-over (tied for 17th; Georgia Tech and Illinois were tops at 11-over) and the par-5s even (tied for 18th; North Carolina was 14-under) … The Buffs had just 25 birdies (26th, Pepperdine had 53) and their 165 pars tied for 17th (Florida and Florida State had the highs of 192) … There were just four eagles total through three rounds (just one on a par-5) … Senior Jack Hughes was the alternate on both trips to the NCAA regional and finals but was not called upon to substitute in (five schools utilized the NCAA allowance: Arkansas, Duke, Mississippi State, Oregon and Texas A&M) … The Buffs went head-to-head against 119 schools in Division I, the most in their history, and finished with a 147-74-5 record, a 66.2 winning percentage … McDermott's average for 40 rounds this season stands at 70.08, and is in position to break Yannik Paul's record of 70.24 set in 2017-18 … McDermott was one of just 13 (out of 30) players designated in the No. 1 position to lead their teams through three rounds (he averaged 71.67 over three rounds, which was better than the 72.21 average for the other 29 players designated as their team's top player).

NOTES II: Of the four Pac-12 schools that made it to the NCAA Finals, No. 8 Stanford and No. 4 Arizona State advanced, finished the third round in sixth and seventh place, respectively. Colorado was 21st and No. 19 Oregon was 27th.

NOTES III: Brigham Young isn't allowed to compete on Sundays; the NCAA allowed them to play after the practice rounds on Thursday, with markers policing their play; the Cougars 23-over round of 303 was applied to Sunday, and BYU dropped from a tie for 13th into a tie for 23rd.

T44.Dylan McDermott71-72-72—215
T81.Justin Biwer73-74-73—220
T81.Tucker Clark80-67-73—220
T111.Hunter Swanson72-74-77—223
150.Jack Holland76-79-79—234


1.Ross Steelman, Georgia Tech64-69-68—201
T2.Dylan Menante, North Carolina68-70-67—205
T2.Neil Shipley, Ohio State70-68-67—205
T4.Fred Biondi, Florida69-68-69—206
T4.A. Dumont de Chassart, Illinois68-68-70—206
T4.Barclay Brown, Stanford68-71-67—206


4.North Carolina282-284-275—841
5.Georgia Tech280-286-276—842
7.Arizona State291-281-279—851
8.Florida State284-287-282—853
12.Texas A&M289-285-283—857
15.Texas Tech282-295-289—866
15.Ohio State287-295-284—866
20.San Francisco285-294-294—873
23.Brigham Young289-287-303—879
25.Mississippi State291-295-294—880
25.New Mexico293-296-291—880
28.Colorado State296-299-290—885
28.East Tennessee State302-298-286—886
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