Louisville Bound

CONOVER, N.C. - The travelling party from 19th-ranked Georgia Southwestern to the NCAA National Golf Championships in Louisville, Ky. next week might be a little smaller than hoped, but the Hurricanes will be represented in the finals for the first time in school history after J.P. Griffin fired a 1-under 71 on Wednesday morning at the South/Southeast Regional to finish the three-day event tied for second with a 5-under 211.

The top five teams and the top two players not on a qualifying team advance to the finals May 15-19 at The Cardinal Club as part of the 2012 Division II Spring Championships Festival.

Griffin finished a stroke behind Matt Atkins of USC Aiken for the individual title.

Although they did not qualify as a team, GSW played outstanding golf on Day 3 at Rock Barn Golf & Spa. Southwestern turned in the second-lowest round of the tourney with a 3-under 285 and climbed nine spots in the standings to finish in 8th place.

The Hurricanes started the day 16 strokes out of fifth place and a team birth in the national finals. After posting such a solid score in the morning, there was no packing up and shoving off for Americus. The Hurricanes had to grab a bite to eat, kill an hour or two and head back to the club to watch the afternoon scores trickle in. By days end, GSW was only five strokes out of the coveted fifth slot.

No. 16 Georgia College won the regional with a 5-over 869. Top-ranked Barry was second (870) and No. 2 Nova Southeastern (872) finished third.

GSW was led by Craig Gibson on Wednesday. The senior "left it all on the course," as they say, firing a tournament-low round of 5-under 67. After opening with a bogey, Gibson birdied four-consecutive holes. On the back nine he sandwiched a bogey between two birdies before dropping another birdie on 18. Gibson climbed 55 spots in the standings over the final round to finish the 108-player event tied for 28th.

Christopher Hall ended his collegiate career with an even-par 72. His three-round 225 was good for 54th place.

Travis Oestmann carded a 75 to record the fourth team score on Day 3. His tournament ended with a birdie on 18 as well. He posted a 238 overall.  

Nate Gahman played even-par golf over the opening nine holes before finishing the day with a 76. His 229 score tied for 79th place.

The Hurricanes finished ahead of seven Top 25 teams, including No. 5 Lynn and No. 7 West Florida.

GSW was one of 80 teams participating in regional play of the NCAA Tournament.

2012 SOUTH/SOUTHEAST NCAA REGIONAL - TEAM SCORES

  Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Total  
(16) Georgia College 291 289
289 869
+5
(1) Barry
295
289
286
870
+6
(2) Nova Southeastern 298 297
277
872
+8
(8) UNC Pembroke
296
288
292
876
+12
(13) USC Aiken 294 290
296
880
+16
(RV) Florida Tech
286 295
300
881
+17
(4) North Alabama 298 293
292
883
+19
(19) GSW 298 302
285
885 +21
(5) Lynn 288 298
300
886
+22
(14) Florida Southern 297 293
298
888
+24
(25) Rollins College
291
301
297
889
+25
(18) Armstrong 297 295
298
890
+26
(21) Barton College
290
300
300
890
+26
(7) West Florida 298 293
300
891
+27
(RV) Carson-Newman 296 304
292
892
+28
Eckerd College
295
295
305
895
+31
(23) Wingate 298 307
292
898
+34
Coker College 301 297
303
901
+37
(RV) Columbus State 301 297
304
902
+38
Valdosta State 309 307
305
921
+57
           
( ) - NCAA Division II ranking in latest Golf World/Nike Golf Coaches Poll with RV = received votes

GSW SCORES

Place   Rd 1
Rd 2
Rd 3 Total  
T2 J.P. Griffin 68 72
71
211
-5
T28 Craig Gibson 76 78
67
221
+5
T54 Chris Hall 77
76
72
225
+9
T79 Nate Gahman 77 76
76
229
+13
103 Travis Oeastmann 80
83
75
238
+22

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