ALVATON, Ky. --—The No. 4 Washington Husky men's golf team will make its ninth NCAA Championship in ten years after a runner-up performance at the Central Regional on Saturday.
"We're going to nationals," said UW coach Matt Thurmond. "And that's awesome. Our first goal was to win it, and unfortunately that didn't happen, but we're moving on. We'll be a favorite - not the favorite -- but one of the teams everybody knows will have a chance to win it."
The Huskies finished the second of three rounds earlier this morning due to inhospitable weather on Friday. At the start of the final round this afternoon, Washington held a seven-stroke lead over UCLA. Although the Dawgs didn't hold onto the team lead, they did finish second (6-over 870) in a field of 14 teams -- five of which advance to the NCAA Championship May 26-30 at Inverness Golf Club in Toledo, Ohio. This year's second-place performance is the second highest by a Husky team. The Dawgs won the regional in 2002. Accompanying Washington to the NCAA Championship are UCLA, Ohio State, Georgia Tech and Duke.
Washington junior Nick Taylor, ranked No. 9, carded his second straight runner-up finish at an NCAA regional -- both are the best finishes in program history. Taylor shot a 67-70-76 213 to finish 3-under after three rounds. The Abbotsford, B.C. native took a three-stroke lead into the 13th hole before eventually falling behind North Carolina State's Matt Hill by a stroke. In the standings, Taylor was followed by junior Richard Lee (70-76-72 218), who finished in 13th place, Chris Killmer (73-72-77 222), who finished in 25th, Tze Huang Choo (75-73-75 223), who finished in 28th and Darren Wallace 72-73-80 225), who finished in 35th.
The field is set for the 2009 NCAA Championship with the following teams earning bids: Florida, Texas Tech, Texas, Michigan, Stanford, Arizona State, Oregon, Texas A&M, San Diego, Southern California, Alabama, Tennessee, Illinois, Virginia, Wake Forest, Oklahoma State, Arkansas, Tennessee-Chattanooga, Northwestern, Texas Christian, Central Florida, Georgia, Arizona, South Carolina and Iowa along with the top five teams from the Central Regional. The Pac-10 has the most representatives with seven, while the SEC has six.
Team Standings 1. UCLA 292-285-286 863 2. Washington 282-288-300 870 3. Georgia Tech 292-293-295 880 3. Ohio State 300-289-291 880 4. Duke 298-292-291 881 6. Louisville 296-293-296 885 6. Mississippi 296-299-290 885 6. North Carolina State 294-95-296 885 9. Middle Tennessee State 310-287-289 886 10. Vanderbilt 305-294-290 889 11. East Tennessee State 299-301-297 897 12. Cleveland State 308-305-307 920 13. Austin Peay State 315-320-313 948 14. Bucknell 317-319-316 952
Husky Finishes 2. Nick Taylor 67-70-76 213 13. Richard Lee 70-76-72 218 25. Chris Killmer 73-72-77 222 28. Tze Huang Choo 75-73-75 223 34. Darren Wallace 72-73-80 225