May 28, 2009
Tennessee tried all week to tame the historic Toledo course at Inverness, and for 50 holes the Vols held their own.
But Thursday's final round of the NCAA Division I Men's Golf Championship didn't provide the ending - especially the very end - UT wanted. It was bitter, instead, and the Vols fell from contention to finish in 12th place at 23-over-par 875.
"We're obviously disappointed because we started off playing well," Tennessee head coach Jim Kelson said. "We had a good round going."
But Inverness rounds always are judged on their front-nine results. Thursday, UT's four scoring golfers nearly survived what for them was the fierce closing gauntlet before dropping eight shots over its final four holes. That eliminated any hope the Big Orange had of reaching the NCAA's match play quarterfinals.
"The front nine, which was our final nine, certainly was the more difficult nine all week," Kelson said. "We faced some tough holes coming in and just dropped too many shots. That was disappointing."
Tennessee shot an 8-over 292 for the day after hovering in red numbers for most of the afternoon.
Freshman Darren Renwick was leading the way for Tennessee at 2 under par through 15 holes played; then he doubled No. 7 and bogeyed No. 9. Senior Chris Paisley stood at 1 under with two holes remaining, but he doubled the eighth.
Junior David Holmes was gliding along at even par before bogeys at the par-3, 231-yard sixth and the par-4, 481-yard seventh. It was the third consecutive day Holmes bogeyed those two monster holes.
Even Garrick Porteous bogeyed the par-4 finishing ninth, although it didn't prevent the freshman from a 4-over 75 that was his best round of the championship. By then, however, the team damage was done.
Kelson wasn't certain if Tennessee would have fared better by playing the front nine first.
"It's hard to say; you can look at it both ways. Everybody played the back nine better and we got off to a pretty good start, got under par. We were rolling along pretty good.
"We just had to play an outstanding round. Eight-over probably ends up being a pretty decent round, but we had to play better than that. We had to play an outstanding round because there were 12 really good teams fighting for four spots. We didn't get it done, but it certainly wasn't for a lack of trying."
That effort paid off for Holmes, who by virtue of his tie for 13th place earns All-America honors. The Knoxville native carded rounds of 70, 71 and 73 to finish at 1-over-par 214.
"That's great for David; he deserved it," Kelson said. "And we're proud of our team. They can hold their heads high. It wasn't the finish we wanted, but certainly we're proud of the effort they gave and it's something to build on."
Renwick's round was highlighted by four birdies over his first 10 holes against just one bogey to get to 3 under par at that point. Paisley was nearly as sharp, with three birdies over the same 10 holes against the one bogey. Both players finished with 1-over 72s. Paisley tied for 48th overall at 7-over 220, while Renwick tied for 55th at 8-over 221.
Holmes rallied from a pair of early bogeys to register birdies at the 17th and fourth holes en route to his 73. Porteous was in command all day, playing each side in 2 over par for a 75. His highlight was a birdie at No. 13, and the freshman finished his debut NCAA Championship tied for 146th place at 21-over 234.
Tennessee's fifth golfer for the day, sophomore Robin Wingardh, shot 76 to tie for 55th at 8-over 221.
Quarterfinal matchups for Friday morning are top-seeded Oklahoma State (849) against Georgia (869), second-seeded Arizona State (862) against Texas A&M (869), third-seeded Southern California (865) against Michigan (868) and fourth-seeded Arkansas (865) against Washington (865). TCU (873), Georgia Tech (874) and Central Florida (874) also finished ahead of Tennessee.
|1.||Oklahoma State||288-280-281--849 (-3)|
|2.||Arizona State||294-281-287--862 (+10)|
|t-3.||Southern California||305-281-279--865 (+13)|
|t-7.||Texas A&M||298-276-295--869 (+17)|
|t-10.||Georgia Tech||301-285-288--874 (+22)|
|t-10.||Central Florida||300-283-291--874 (+22)|
|13.||San Diego||293-293-291--877 (+25)|
|16.||South Carolina||305-286-294--885 (+33)|
|t-23.||Texas Tech||303-292-305--900 (+48)|
|25.||Ohio State||294-310-297--901 (+49)|
|t-27.||Wake Forest||302-304-298--904 (+52)|
|1.||Matt Hill, North Carolina State||69-69-69--207 (-6)|
|2.||Kyle Stanley, Clemson||72-71-66--209 (-4)|
|t-3.||Rickie Fowler, Oklahoma State||72-70-68--210 (-3)|
|t-3.||Tom Glissmeyer, Southern Calif.||74-70-66--210 (-3)|
|t-3.||Tom Hoge, TCU||70-70-70--210 (-3)|
|6.||Alexander Sitompul, Michigan||72-69-70--211 (-2)|
|t-7.||Morgan Hoffman, Oklahoma St.||72-69-71--212 (-1)|
|t-7.||Blayne Barber, Central Florida||75-69-68--212 (-1)|
|t-13.||David Holmes||70-71-73--214 (+1)|
|t-47.||Chris Paisley||75-73-72--220 (+7)|
|t-54.||Darren Renwick||76-73-72--221 (+8)|
|t-54.||Robin Wingardh||73-72-76--221 (+8)|
|t-143.||Garrick Porteous||77-82-75--234 (+21)|