Virginia, No. 7 in the latest Golfstat rankings, and No. 28 Texas surged to a tie in the final team standings in the Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate in Alpharetta, Ga. Sunday as some of the best players in college golf unleashed a barrage of birdies.
Virginia, led by individual co-champion Jimmy Stanger, a senior from Tampa, Fla., fired an 8-under 280 while Texas, led by a brilliant 63 by Gavin Hill, a senior from Pittsford, N.Y., posted the day’s best team score, an 11-under 277. The Cavaliers and the Longhorns finished at 8-under 856.
But the top nine finishers were separated by only seven shots and the top 11 teams all went under par Sunday as the tournament concluded on the Golf Club of Georgia’s 7,0176-yard, par-72 Lakeside Course.
Pac-12 powers Southern California and Stanford finished tied for third at 7-under 857, a shot back of the co-champions. The No. 19 Trojans had an 8-under 279 while the No. 13 Cardinal fired a 10-under 278. No. 21 Texas A&M had a final round of 6-under 282 to finish fifth at 6-under 858.
No. 8 Oklahoma, which had led the tournament after each of the first two days, had a final round of 3-under 285, but fell back to sixth at 5-under 859. No. 26 Duke had a final round of 6-under 282 to take seventh at 4-under 860, No. 2 Oklahoma State had a final round of 7-under 281 to finish eighth at 3-under 861 and No. 9 Wake Forest had a final round of 3-under 285 to finish ninth at 1-under 863.
Villanova got a taste of some big-time Division I golf, posting a final round of 306, the Wildcats’ best team round of the weekend, to finish last of 17 teams at 929.
Stanger added a final-round 72 to his first two rounds of 67 and 68 for a 9-under 207 total that gave him a share of the individual title with Oklahoma’s Max McGreevy, a senior from Edmond, Okla. McGreevy had been chasing Stanger all weekend and caught him with a final round of 2-under 70 to match Stanger’s 207 total.
Virginia also got a tie for 12th from Danny Walker, a junior from Bradenton, Fla. who fired a final-round 67 to finish at 3-under 213, a tie for 24th from Luke Schaap, a freshman from Potomac, Md. who had a final-round 71 for a 217 total, a tie for 56th from Derek Bard, a senior from New Hartford, N.Y. who had a final-round 70 for a 223 total, and a tie for 73rd from Thomas Walsh, a sophomore from High Point, N.C. who had a final-round 79 for a 229 total.
Texas was a narrow 3-2 loser to Oregon in the match that determined the NCAA title last spring and the Longhorns look like they might have something to say in next spring’s postseason.
Doug Ghim, a junior from Arlington Heights, Ill., had a final-round 71 to finish alone in third in the individual standings at 7-under 209. But the big move Sunday was authored by Hill, a senior from Pittsford, N.Y. whose 63 rocketed him up the leaderboard into a tie for fourth at 6-under 210.
The Longhorns also got a tie for 12th from Scott Scheffler, a junior from Dallas who had a final-round 73 for a 215 total, a tie for 63rd from Taylor Funk, a junior from Ponte Vedra, Fla. and the son of PGA and PGA Champions star Fred Funk who had a final-round 72 for a 224 total, and a 79th-place finish from Steven Chervony, a sophomore from Boca Raton, Fla. who had a final-round 71.
Hill was joined in tie for fourth at 6-under 210 by Texas A&M’s Chandler Phillips, a sophomore from Huntsville, Texas who had a final round of 2-under 70, Stanford’s Brandon Wu, a sophomore from Danville, Calif. who had a final round of 3-under 69, Auburn’s Will Long, a sophomore form Gastonia, N.C. who had a final round of 4-under 68, and Duke’s Chandler Eaton, a freshman from Alpharetta, Ga. who had a final round of even-par 72. Eaton was playing at his home club in Alpharetta and hung around the top of the leaderboard all weekend.
Southern California’s closing burst was fueled by Rico Hoey, a senior from Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., and Andrew Levitt, a redshirt senior from Ladera Ranch, Calif., two of the three players who finished in a tie for ninth at 4-under 212.
Hoey fired a 6-under 66 and Levitt, who had a 66 Saturday, matched par in the final round with a 72.
Hoey and Levitt were joined at 212 by LSU’s Sam Burns, a sophomore from Shreveport, La. who had a final round of 1-under 71.
Villanova’s Andy Butler, a junior from Oakmont who starred scholastically at Manheim Township, held his own among a field filled with top Division I talent. He added an even-par 72 Sunday to his rounds of 73 and 72 to finish in a tie for 24th at 1-over 217.
Also for the Wildcats, Zach Egermayer, a junior from Glen Rock, N.Y., had a 75 to finish in a tie for 73rd at 229, Connor Daly, a freshman from Bronxville, N.Y., had a 79 to finish in a tie for 87th at 239, Lucas Trim, a senior from Tampa, Fla., had an 80 to finish 89th at 244 and Andrew McMillan, a junior from Scottsdale, Ariz. had an 86 to finish 90th at 260.