Team unable to make cut for final round, but Shaw advances as individual
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (May 31, 2008) - While he didn't get to play with his teammates in the final round of the NCAA Championships, ETSU senior Gareth Shaw (Lisburn, Northern Ireland) was still able to experience the next best thing - making the cut as one of six individual qualifiers whose teams did not make the Top 15 cut.
Shaw, who finished the third round at 8-over 224 (74-73-77), tied for 20th and got the fifth of six spots in the final round. While he went on to fire a disappointing 12-over 83 in the final round and ultimately finished tied for 43rd in the championships, the senior was quick to put his ETSU career in perspective.
"I would have liked to have played along with the team, but once I realized that wasn't going to happen I made it a goal to get to the finals as an individual," said Shaw, who will likely earn All-American honors in the coming weeks. "It just didn't happen for me today. It was a tough round on a tough course. I've still had a great career at ETSU and I wouldn't change a thing. My time here was unbelievable. I was able to play with Rhys (Davies) for three years and being around Coach (Warren) is something I wouldn't change. I've improved my game each year I've been here and I hope to continue playing."
While Shaw played on Saturday, the Bucs were unable to make a move during the completion of the third round Saturday morning and ultimately finished 10 strokes off the cut. Even so, the team enjoyed another successful campaign in 2007-08, reaching a national ranking of 16th, making a program record 20th trip to the NCAAs, and advancing to the NCAA Championships for a third straight year.
"Overall we'll finish 22nd in the NCAA and in the Top 20 again in the rankings," said ETSU head coach Fred Warren. "Gareth will be an All-American, and overall it's been a good year for our team. To be honest we really lacked depth this year and we were playing with two freshmen most of the season. We did a great job playing a strong round in the regionals just to get here, so it may not go down as our best year ever, but it certainly wasn't our worst either."
As for the rest of the championship news, UCLA made it a sweep as the Bruins captured the team national championship by a stroke over Stanford, and individual Kevin Chappell took the individual medalist honors by three strokes.
The Bucs say farewell to seniors Shaw and Cian McNamara (Limerick, Ireland) after a successful four-year career for both players.
"We will miss both Cian and Gareth," Warren said. "They've both meant a great deal to our program."
For more on ETSU men's golf throughout the offseason visit ETSUBucs.com.