Regional Champs; KU advances to NCAA Championship

NCAA Stockton Regional
The Reserve at Spanos Park | Stockton, Calif.
Par-72 | 7,239 yards
Head coach Jamie Bermel and Andy Spencer celebrate
Final Results

Place Team Score
1 #43 KANSAS 844 (-20)
2 #18 Stanford 845 (-19)
3 Iowa State 847 (-17)
4 #7 Alabama 849 (-15)
5 #30 Oregon 852 (-12)
6 #6 LSU 857 (-7)
7 #42 Colorado 862 (-2)
8 #31 TCU 865 +1)
9 #19 Southern Cal 867 (+3)
10 UNC Greensboro 869 (+5)
11 UC Irvine 872 (+8)
12 Kennesaw State 878 (+14)
13 North Dakota State 886 (+22)
Individual Leaderboard (Top 5)
Place Name Team Score
1 Norman Xiong ORE 201 (-15)
2 Brandon Wu STAN 202 (-14)
T3 Wilson Furr ALA 207 (-9)
T3 Charles Corner UTEP 207 (-9)
5 Three tied 208 (-8)
Kansas Leaderboard
Place Name Score
T5 Andy Spencer 208 (-8)
T9 Daniel Sutton 211 (-5)
T19 Charlie Hillier 214 (-2)
T23 Daniel Hudson 215 (-1)
T23 Harry Hillier 215 (-1)

STOCKTON, Calif. – Heading into the final round positioned in third place and one stroke out of the lead, the Kansas men’s golf team just needed to finish in the top five of the 13-team field Wednesday to advance to next week’s NCAA Championship. Instead of holding on, the Jayhawks went out as the aggressor and left The Reserve at Spanos Park as the NCAA Stockton Regional champions for its first NCAA Championship appearance since 2000.
Kansas was solid from top to bottom as all five Jayhawks in the lineup shot under par over the entire event and all five Wednesday were even or under par in the most pressured-filled round of the season. The victory at the NCAA Stockton Regional was the first Regional victory in school history and it also marked the 10th team victory for Kansas in head coach Jamie Bermel’s six seasons. In addition, KU posted its 10th top-5 finish of the season with the overall win, setting the program standard.
“The message last night was ‘let’s go win this tournament,'” Bermel said. “‘We are not here to just get fifth place. We are in a great position, we are just one stroke out of the lead – let’s go out there and win the tournament.’ Hats off to the guys. To go out at the NCAA Regional, in the final round with all that pressure – that’s impressive.”
Sophomore Andy Spencer ended the event at 8-under and tied for fifth with a 208, for his fourth top-five finish of the season.  The Leawood, Kansas native also became the second-highest Jayhawk finisher at an NCAA Regional, falling only behind Andy Stewart’s tie for third place at the 2001 event. Spencer was consistent all three days. After firing back-to-back 69’s, Spencer was 2-under for the final round. He finished tied for fourth in the field with 15 birdies and he had the best par-4 scoring at the event at 7-under.
Senior Daniel Sutton also notched a top-10 effort by placing tied for ninth. The individual leader after round one, Sutton shot 1-under over the final 18 holes. He now has three top-10 finishes this season and five in his two years as a Jayhawk. Sutton also tied Spencer with 15 birdies at the event, which tied for the fourth most.
Junior Charlie Hillier carded the best KU round of the day with a 3-under 69. Hillier finished with a 214 and tied for 19th, marking his fifth-straight top-20 finish this season. Hillier has nine top-20 efforts on the year. Over the three rounds, Hillier had success on the par-5 holes scoring a combined 6-under.
Senior Daniel Hudson and freshman Harry Hillier each tied for 23rd place with a 1-under 215.  Hudson played at even par over the final round, while Harry Hillier was 1-under. Harry Hillier also tied his career best three-round score.
“I’m excited for the guys,” Bermel said. “We came out (to California), we thought this course fit us and we were familiar with the conditions.  Everything just fell into place and obviously we put together a last round that just sealed the deal.”
Prior to Wednesday’s performance, Kansas’ best finish at a NCAA Regional was tying for third in 1996. The Jayhawks will now turn their attention to the national championships which take place May 25-30 at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Oklahoma and is the home course for Oklahoma State.
Finals play consists of three days of stroke play from Friday, May 25 thru Sunday, May 27 (54 holes), after which the top-15 teams and nine individuals not on an advancing team will be determined. That is followed by a final day of 18 holes of stroke play Monday, May 28 to determine the top eight teams that will advance to match play as well as the 72-hole individual champion. The team national champion will be determined by a match-play format that will consist of quarterfinals and semifinals conducted Tuesday, May 29, followed by finals Wednesday, May 30.
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