June 1, 2007
The Tennessee men's golf team was eliminated from the NCAA Championships Friday in Williamsburg, Va., after a three-team playoff for the final two spots in Saturday's final round.
The No. 10-seeded Vols finished 16th, failing to make the 54-hole cut despite shooting their best round of the tournament, an even-par 280, in Friday's third round.
Oklahoma State and Florida edged Tennessee in the playoff, which consisted of all five players on each team playing one hole apiece. OSU finished the playoff at 2 under par, Florida State at 1 under and Tennessee at even par.
"I was extremely proud of the team today," coach Jim Kelson said. "They competed very hard. They played extremely well. They fought back and did a terrific job to get into the position to be in the playoff."
Stanford maintained its second-day lead at 12 under par, with Coastal Carolina two strokes back. Charlotte and Alabama are tied for third at 2 under par.
The Vols finished the third round at 11 over par for the tournament, tying the Cowboys and the Seminoles for 14th place to force the playoff.
Junior Charlie Ford was the top finisher for the Vols, tying for 23rd after a 1-under-par 69 on Friday.
Junior Philip Pettitt and senior Tino Weiss tied for 43rd place. Pettitt had five birdies on Friday to finish with a 69, his best round of the tournament. Weiss finished the third round at 1 over after parring eight of the first nine holes.
Sophomore Chris Paisley finished tied for 102nd after repeating his second-round score of 75, scattering four birdies and seven bogeys.
Freshman David Holmes tied for 156th after improving six strokes from Thursday to shoot his best round of the tournament, a 1-over-par 71, in the third round.
Georgia (fifth place), Florida (eighth) and South Carolina (10th) were the only SEC schools to make the cut. Vanderbilt and Auburn joined Tennessee among the 15 teams who failed to advance to Saturday, tying for 21st and 30th, respectively.
The playoff loss brought an end to one of the Vols' most successful seasons under Kelson, which included their first SEC title since 1990 and top-10 finishes in all nine regular season tournaments.
"I am very proud of this team and their efforts all year," Kelson said. "They have nothing to be ashamed of they have had a terrific year and represented UT very well. And although we are disappointed, they put up a very good fight."