SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Fighting to the very end, but ultimately falling short, Auburn men’s golf concluded it’s 2022 season with a top-10 finish at the NCAA Championship Monday at Grayhawk Golf Club.
The team carded a 291 (+11) over the course of Monday’s fourth round to bring its final total to 1160 (+40), seven strokes short of the cut off for the top eight, tying Florida for tenth. The Tigers’ final placement matches the third-highest finish in program history at the event.
“We were right there,” Auburn head coached Nick Clinard said. “I thought the guys hung tough. It was windy out there and they played a good first nine and we were right there with five or six holes to play. It was kind of the same thing that has plagued us all year, poor wedge play and poor putting, three-putting and making some bad wedge shots, unfortunately at the wrong times to some very difficult pin placements.
“I’m really proud of the guys,” Clinard said. “We had two freshmen who stepped up today and shot 70s and we had four underclassmen in the lineup this week. We were probably the youngest team here and were still able to go toe-to-toe with some of the most experienced teams in the country. “
It was sophomore Carson Bacha who turned in the gutsiest of performances on behalf of the Tigers. The York, Pennsylvania product shot 211 (+1) over his final three frames to earn a top-20 national finish. Bacha shot even par on Monday, matching four bogeys with four birdies on holes 3, 4, 10 and 15.
– Golf Channel (@GolfChannel) May 30, 2022
Freshman Brendan Valdes was another rookie that delivered in big moments throughout the tournament. While shooting 76 (+6) on Monday, Valdes’ best rounds were his first and his third at 2-under 68 and even par (70), respectively. His opening round was also the only Auburn round to be recorded below par during the week. A bright spot during the Orlando, Florida native’s final day was an eagle on the fourth hole, the only eagle recorded by any player during the round.
Valdes joins teammate Bacha as two of only six players in the 154-player field to make eagle at least once. Additionally, the duo is the only pair from the same school to join that club.
A third underclassmen that held up to the pressures of the big stage was freshman Evan Vo. Vo saved his best outing for last, shooting even par (70) to close out his freshman campaign tied for 52when place on the national leaderboard. Like Bacha, Vo matched four bogeys with a quartet of birdies, coming on holes 2, 8, 10 and 13. Vo’s final season birdie total sits at 95.
Junior Alex Vogelsong (75) and sophomore JM Butler (77) completed the Auburn lineup, finishing 295 (+15) and 298 (+18), respectively, in their first career trips to NCAAs.
After a tremendous season, Butler turned in his final scorecard with a 70.56 scoring average on the year. The second-best single season mark in school history. Vogelsong also made a little history himself as his career scoring average populates at 71.79 shots per round, fourth best in the Auburn record book.
“Overall, I thought the year was great,” Clinard said. “We had two wins and lots of seconds and thirds. Our great play in regionals is what allowed us the opportunity to make it here. We look forward to getting back at it in August and beginning the work and preparation to play here again next year. . “
Advancing to the match play stage of the championship was Vanderbilt, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Texas, Oklahoma State, Pepperdine, Arizona State and Texas Tech. Gordon Sargent of Vanderbilt won the individual title after a four-way sudden death playoff.
|T20||Carson Bacha||76 (+6)||70 (E)||71 (+1)||70 (E)||287 (+7)|
|T47||Brendan Valdes||68 (-2)||79 (+9)||70 (E)||76 (+6)||293 (+13)|
|T52||Evan Vo||73 (+3)||77 (+7)||74 (+4)||70 (E)||294 (+14)|
|T57||Alex Vogelsong||72 (+2)||75 (+5)||73 (+3)||75 (+5)||295 (+15)|
|T64||JM Butler||72 (+2)||74 (+4)||75 (+5)||77 (+7)||298 (+28)|
|T10||fear||285 (+5)||296 (+16)||288 (+8)||291 (+11)||1160 (+40)|
T1. No. 3 Vanderbilt 1134 (+14)
T1. No. 1 Oklahoma 1134 (+14)
T1. No. 5 North Carolina 1134 (+14)
4. No. 7 Texas 1137 (+17)
5. No. 2 Oklahoma State 1141 (+21)
6. No. 6 Pepperdine 1146 (+26)
7. No. 4 Arizona State 1148 (+28)
8. No. 8 Texas Tech 1153 (+33)
9. No. 14 Arkansas 1159 (+39)
T10. No. 17 Auburn 1160 (+40)
T10. No. 10 Florida 1160 (+40)
T12. No. 15 Georgia 1171 (+51)
T12. No. 11 Georgia Tech 1171 (+51)
14. No. 23 Ole Miss 1177 (+57)
15. No. 27 Oregon 1182 (+62)