May 21, 2011
NCAA Colorado Regional Final Results (PDF Format)
ERIE, Colo. -- When Northwestern made the turn Saturday five strokes out of fifth place at the NCAA Colorado Regional at Colorado National Golf Club, head coach Pat Goss tweeted that the Wildcats "need to shoot at least 10-under on the back nine."
Turns out 9-under did the trick just fine.
With that epic team charge in its final nine holes, Northwestern carded a 12-under 276 in the final round to leap from an eighth-place tie entering the day to a third-place finish, making the Wildcats one of the five teams at the 13-team Regional to advance to the NCAA National Championships May 31-June 5 at Karsten Creek in Stillwater, Okla. NU's 276 was the best score of the day at Colorado National by three shots over Colorado State's 279.
The trip will be the seventh to the National Championships for Northwestern under 15th-year head coach Pat Goss. NU ended the 2011 Colorado Regional at 9-under 855 (293-286-276), three shots clear of sixth-place No. 38 TCU. Northwestern also topped qualifiers No. 12 Georgia and No. 24 Arizona State -- which tied for fourth place -- by two strokes. Top-ranked Oklahoma State won the Regional at 31-under while Colorado State was second at 13-under par.
Saturday's round was brighter shades of Northwestern's then-season-best 7-under 281 on the final day of the Big Ten Championships, which saw the Wildcats leap all the way to second place in the team standings. Just like that day, all five 'Cats in the lineup Saturday were at or below par for their rounds, recording NU's best team score since it won the 2009 Navy Fall Classic with a final-round 14-under 270 on a par-71 course. Northwestern's 276 Saturday matched the best total recorded in the entire Regional; it also was achieved by Oklahoma State in the first round and Georgia in the second.
Teeing off the back nine for the third-straight round, Northwestern came out on fire early Saturday morning, shooting to 7-under as a team through four holes of play. The hot start cooled a bit, with NU falling back to 3-under at the turn, then the Wildcats turned up the heat again. Led by four-straight birdies by senior David Lipsky (La Canada, Calif./La Canada) on the first four holes after the turn, NU surged as the rest of the field treaded water. Playing the fourth-through-seventh holes in a combined 8-under par, Northwestern hit the clubhouse in fourth place, eventually climbing to third when all was said and done.
Josh Dupont (Poway, Calif./Cathedral Catholic) entered Saturday with the prospect of it being his final round in purple, and the senior did everything in his power to make it not that way. After struggling to scores of 7-over 79 and 3-over 75 in the first two rounds, Dupont rode an incredibly hot start to a season-low and career-best-tying 5-under 67 on Saturday.
"(Dupont) needs to be our front runner today," Goss tweeted. "Good news can travel fast and inspire."
Dupont inspired quickly. He birdied his first hole of the day at No. 10, then carded an eagle on the par-5 12th and made another birdie at No. 13 to find himself 4-under through four holes. A bogey at No. 16 followed by a tough 3-foot birdie miss at No. 17 gave him a 3-under 33 at the turn. Dupont maintained that total through the front side until a birdie-birdie burst at Nos. 6 and 7 accounted for his 67. The senior placed 50th in the Regional at 5-over 221 (79-75-67).
Lipsky started his second-straight 68 with a birdie at No. 12, reaching the par-5's green in two to set up a 50-footer for eagle. A rough short-game bogey at No. 18 gave a stroke back before the senior stared down his possible final nine as a Wildcat and decided to physically assault it. Birdies at the first and second were followed by a birdie at the third, and another at the fourth. At that point, his teammates took over the birdie barrage and Lipsky parred his way in to protect NU's position with a 4-under 68. The total boosted him into the top-10 as an individual with a seventh place total of 5-under 211 (75-68-68).
Freshman Jack Perry (Santa Barbara, Calif./Santa Barbara) got a quick birdie at No. 11 on Saturday before a three-putt bogey at the par-3 14th sent him back to even par. He got back into red numbers with a birdie at No. 17 to make the turn at 1-under 35, then made a bomb of a putt at No. 1 to move to 2-under, raising his putter in celebration with the putt still 10 feet from the hole. After giving that stroke back at No. 3, Perry birdied the par-5 seventh to account for a career-best 2-under 70 on Saturday and a 1-under 215 (71-74-70) for the Regional. He came in 16th overall in the individual standings, the first top-20 result of his collegiate career.
Sophomore Nick Losole (Scottsdale, Ariz./Scottsdale Notre Dame) made the turn at 1-over 37 after starting his day with a bogey and coupling a birdie at No. 13 with a second bogey at No. 14. He played the front nine under par in each of the first two rounds, and that did not change on Saturday. A bogey at No. 1 put him at 2-over on the day, but birdies at Nos. 4, 5 and 7 got him back into red figures with a 1-under 71 in the final round. Losole placed 31st overall at 1-over 217 (74-72-71).
Junior Eric Chun (Ansung City, South Korea/International Christian School) also got to red numbers early with a birdie at No. 12. A three-putt bogey at the par-3 16th put him back at even par. Knowing NU needed to go low, Chun attempted to drive the 364-yard par-4 17th hole, finding himself in high grass after missing his target. Chun was able to get up-and-down from the tough position for a birdie, but back-to-back bogeys at Nos. 18 and 1 as he made the turn put Chun in the black. He birdied No. 5 to get back to even, remaining there the rest of the day to finish 31st individually at 1-over 217 (73-72-72).
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