Hurricanes End Season as National Runner-Up
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (WALB) - The stage was set at the PGA National Champion course on Friday. With the score tied at two matches apiece between Georgia Southwestern State University and Arkansas Tech University, the NCAA Division II Men’s Golf National Championship would be decided by the final pairing and the final three holes of the tournament.
Jaxson Daskalos pulled Georgia Southwestern even when he posted par on the 16th hole, but Andre Jacobs answered for Arkansas Tech and played the 17th magnificently, dropping the only birdie of the day on the par-3 hole and ultimately securing the win for ATU. Daskalos fell behind by two strokes as he bogeyed the 17th. Daskalos posted par on the 18th and got a stroke back, but ATU won the championship.
Earlier in the day, Chase McLain won his match for GSW by three strokes over Austin Gean and Jack Tharrington had a spectacular round for the Hurricanes, defeating Santiago De La Fuente by nine strokes. McLain never trailed in his match. He took the lead against Gean on the second hole and never looked back, stretching the margin to three strokes on the 16th hole. De La Fuente stumbled with a bogey on the first hole and that was all Tharrington needed as he never relinquished the lead. Tharrington poured it on after the turn as he opened up a six-shot lead on the 11th and eventually led by as many as 10 strokes after the 16th.
Saksit Jairak fell behind in his match after Francois Jacobs birdied the third hole for the Wonder Boys. Jairak was within two strokes through 13, but faded down the stretch. Simon Estrada, who was in the decisive match in the Hurricanes quarterfinal and semifinal victories, was tied with Henry Frizzell through seven holes on Friday, but fell behind after a bogey on the eighth. Frizzell pulled away on the back nine.
The quarterfinals through the championship match were played in a ‘medal match’ format where each match was scored by the cumulative number of strokes won by rather than the number of holes won. Up 3 meant that the player was up by three strokes, not three holes. The player up by the most strokes after 18 holes wins the match.
The Hurricanes magical run included a 3-2 win in the quarterfinals over No. 5 seed Texas A&M University-Commerce and a 2-2-1 tiebreaker victory over the top seed, the University of Indianapolis in the semifinals.
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