Husky Golfers Finish Fourth at NCAA Championships
June 5, 1999
CHASKA, Minn. - The Washington mens golf team put together its best performance in school history, finishing fourth in the team standings while freshman Troy Kelly finished tied for second individually at the 102nd NCAA Golf Championships at Hazeltine National Golf Club.
Georgia won the team title at 1180 and was the eighth different team in the last eight years to win the team championship. Northwestern sophomore Luke Donald, the Big 10 Player of the Year, claimed medalist honors with a four-round total of 4-under 284. Kelly and Georgias Ryuji Imada shared second place, both finishing at 1-under 287. Kelly carded a final round 1-under 71 while Imada fired the low round of the tournament, 67, on the final day.
Washingtons previous best team finish was 15th (1988) and the highest individual showing was 19th, by current UW coach O.D. Vincent, also in 1988. This was just the fourth appearance ever for the Huskies at the NCAA Championships.
Washington lowered its score in each of the four rounds of the four-day, 72-hole tournament, starting with a 307 back in the first round, followed by a 301, 291 and a final round 290 for a team total of 1189. UWs final round 290 was the low total of the day among all 15 teams.
Its not a surprise to us, finishing where we did, said Vincent, in his fourth year as coach of the Husky mens program. Weve played really well all year. It really clicked for us this week. There are still some shots out there that we would take back. Our first round 307 put us pretty far back but the last three rounds we played really well. Its a tribute to these guys and how hard they have worked all year. It shows the guts they have, to get out there and stand up on a golf course like this and play as well as they did.
Kelly, who prepped at Central Kitsap High, opened on the front nine with birdies on holes 2, 4, 7 and 8 and made the turn at 3-under 33. The birdie on 7 put him at 2-under and when he followed with another on 8, he put himself in a tie for lead with Northwesterns Luke Donald, who opened the day at 3-under. Kelly, the UW school record-holder for stroke average, shot a 2-over 38 on the back nine. He bogeyed the 12th and 13th holes and made par on the rest. Kelly left two shots right on the lip, on 17 and 18. He left himself 90 feet uphill from the pin on the par 4 18th before pitching it up to the lip of the cup.
"When I first saw it rolling, I just thought it was going to roll up a couple feet," Kelly said. "It just kept going and going. People kept cheering and cheering and it came up to a couple of inches. I was pretty surprised at how close it was to the pin."
Kelly, who teed-off at 7:30 a.m., was in the clubhouse well before Donald and Imada, and had to wait until the leaders were in for the outcome.
"I didnt really think about a number for myself today," Kelly added. "I just wanted the other guys to think about my number as they came in. Im really happy with the way I played over the whole tournament. I chipped well, hit the ball well and putted really well. Im happy with the outcome."
Fellow Husky freshman Gordy Scutt also fared well in his first NCAA appearance, shooting par for the second day in a row. He finished at 300 for the tournament, tied for 23rd.
Rob Rashell and Robb Bergeson each closed their UW careers at Hazeltine. Rashell, who shot 1-over 73 for his low round of the tournament, leaves as the school recordholder for career top 10 finishes. He recorded five top 10 finishes this season and has 17 for his career, ahead of Vincent who had 13 from 1987-91.Rashell finished this tournament at 44th, with a four-round total 303.
Bergeson, the lone Husky to play on UWs previous tournament team in 97, struggled with a rib injury and carded 83 in his final round. He finished at 311 (68th). Junior Scott Kral came up with his best round on the last day, shooting 2-over 74, to finish at 308 (64th).
In another note, Washington was presented with the Most Magnificent Team Award, as selected by the Hazeltine National Club members for the following criteria: courtesy, appearance, comportment, kindness, attitude, manners and sportsmanship.
O.D. Vincent (head coach): In the history of our program, weve only made the cut in the tournament one time, back in 1988. We finished 15th that year. Weve done a lot of work over the last four years, to build our program. When you have talent like Troy, along with our other players, it doesnt take a whole lot of time. We are really happy we could come here and compete as well as we did.
NCAA Mens Golf Championships
1. Georgia 292-305-290-293--1180 2. Oklahoma State 289-308-285-301--1183 3. Northwestern 296-299-297--296--1188 4. WASHINGTON 307-301-291-290--1189 5. Arizona State 297-307-296--292--1192 6. UNLV 295-298-306-296--1195 7. BYU 293-298-302-303--1196 8T. Houston 297-305-297-300--1199 Clemson 293-297-303-306--1199 10. North Carolina 294-307-298-302--1201 11. Minnesota 303-305-303-297--1208 12. Florida 297-311-298-310--1216 13. E. Tennessee St. 298-306-317-296--1217 14. Nebraska 301-305-304-308--1218 15. Illinois 303-305-304-307--1219Top Individuals (288 par):
1. Luke Donald (Northwestern) 73-68-72-71--284 (-4) 2T. Ryuji Imada (Georgia) 72-76-72-67--287 (-1) TROY KELLY (WASHINGTON) 75-71-70-71--287 (-1) 4. Paul Casey (Arizona State) 72-77-69-72--290 5. Charles Howell (Oklahoma St.) 71-77-70-73--291 6T. Derek Gillespie (Ariz) 72-71-76-75--294 Max Harris (North Carolina) 70-75-72-77--294 8T. Chris Wisler (E. Tenn. St.) 68-75-81-71--295 Lucas Glover (Clemson) 72-73-74-76--295 10. Don Hill (North Carolina) 70-76-77-73--296 11. Adam Scott (UNLV) 77-70-77-73--297