Houston Baptist Completes Historic Season at NCAA Baton Rouge Regional
May 18, 2013
America Sky Men's Golf Conference champion Houston Baptist shot a final-round team score of 309 to finish 13th at the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional hosted by LSU, wrapping up an historic season at the 7,436-yard, par-72 University Club Saturday.
The men's golf team earned HBU's first automatic bid to an NCAA postseason tournament for the first time since returning to Division I competition in 2007 by winning the America Sky Conference title on May 1. It was the first appearance by any program since the men's golf team made the last of four previous appearances in the tournament in 1988.
Sophomore Andy Ariens shot a 77 and tied for 48th with a 54-hole total of 232 to lead the Huskies. Sophomore Preston Stanley carded a 78 and finished alone in 58th at 235, while senior Hudson Hansard fired the Huskies' low round of the day with his second-straight 76 to tie for 59th at 236. Sophomore Brandon Wilhide turned in an 81 to tie for 63rd at 238, and sophomore Jeffrey Merrell shot a 78 to tie for 69th at 240.
The Southeastern Conference claimed the top four spots and a berth in the NCAA Championship May 28-June 2 in Atlanta. Alabama captured the team title by six strokes over Florida with a total of 868. The Crimson Tide scored 282 in the final round to overtake the Gators, who shot 296 and finished at 874. LSU took third at 890, followed by Tennessee at 892. Coastal Carolina earned the fifth and final berth into the championship round at 894, only two strokes ahead of Houston and South Alabama. HBU finished with a total of 933.
Alabama's Scott Strohmeyer fired a final-round 69 to win the individual crown with a total of 4-under par 212, two strokes ahead of teammate Bobby Wyatt and three strokes ahead of Florida's Tyler McCumber and TJ Vogel. South Alabama's Tyler Klava clinched a spot in the individual championship as the top golfer not on a qualifying team, by tying for sixth.
The America Sky was also represented by three individual golfers at the Pullman, Wash., Regional.
America Sky Golfer of the Year Mason Casper of Utah Valley, as well as Sacramento State's Jordan Weir and Ryan Williams competed for the Pullman Regional's individual bid to the NCAA Championship.
Casper shot a three round 68-70-75--213 to finish the tournament at 3-under par, while Weir carded 66-73-79--218 to finish 2-over par. Williams, the 2013 America Sky Tournament medalist shot 6-over for the tournament (71-75-76--222).
Michael Weaver of California and Sam Smith of USC tied for the top spot at Pullman with 14-under par 202. Cal won the tournament and never relinquished its lead. The Golden Bears shot 265-276-280-821 to finish 20 strokes ahead of TCU.