ALVATON, Ky. (May 16, 2009) - Having to start and stop play several times over the last three days due to severe weather conditions, the ETSU men's golf team was never able to make a move in the NCAA Central Regional hosted by Western Kentucky University at The Club at Olde Stone.
Needing to finish in the Top 5 to reach the NCAA Championships for the 18th time in program history, the Bucs continued second round play Saturday morning just four strokes out of fifth place. However, when the second round was completed, the Buccaneers were unable to make up any ground and the same was true during the third and final round later in the day.
No. 31-ranked ETSU ultimately finished the day 11th on the team leaderboard, 16 strokes out of fifth place, which went to No. 42 Duke after the Blue Devils posted a team score of 17-over-par 881 for the three-day event. Meanwhile, defending national champion and 19th-ranked UCLA bested the entire 14-team field, capturing the team championship by seven strokes over No. 6 Washington.
Individually, Matt Hill of N.C. State - the nation's No. 4-ranked player - captured the regional championship and also garnered an invitation to compete as an individual in the NCAA Championship. Hill earned his spot in the nationals by posting the single best individual performance of the tournament from a player not on one of the Top 5 finishing teams. Hill won the event by just one stroke over Washington's Nick Hill.
ETSU's top performance came from true freshman Michael Stewart (Troon, Scotland), who ended the event tied for 16th at 4-over 220 (73-74-73). Other ETSU results included a tie for 34th by sophomore Paul O'Kane (Castledawson, Northern Ireland) and a tie for 39th by senior Jordan Findlay (Fraserburgh, Scotland), whose career with the Bucs came to an end.
The Bucs top rated players, No. 61 Rhys Enoch (Cornwall, England) and No. 88 Seamus Power (Waterford, Ireland) finished tied for 48th and 55th, respectively.
With the ETSU men's golf season at an end, fans can keep up with the Bucs during the offseason by visiting ETSUBucs.com and clicking on the men's golf link.