June 5, 2010
OOLYTEWAH, Tenn. –
The Florida State men’s golf team fell to Augusta State, 4-1, in the semifinals of the NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship at The Honors Course thus ending the Seminoles’ run at the first national championship in the sport of men’s golf in school history. Despite the loss the Seminoles finished in a tie for third place at the national championship finals to earn the best finish in the history of the program.
“My hat is off to Augusta State’s golf team,” said head coach Trey Jones following the final match of the best season the history of the program. “I’m proud of the effort our guys gave today; they never quit. We are all sad right now and once this wears off we will realize what a great year we had. This has been a team – a group of guys that are very special. I am just fortunate to be a part of it.”
Similar to the ebb of flow on Friday’s match where the Seminoles played very well over their back nine and defeated Texas Tech, they nearly used that same back nine magic to rally against the Jaguars. After trailing three of the five matches from early on, the Seminoles were winning one match and even in to others through 11 holes to put themselves back into contention for the win. The Jaguars, though, seized back the momentum and advanced to Sunday’s championship match against Oklahoma State.
Senior Seath Lauer, who played in his final match as a Seminole, won the only match of the day for Florida State as he defeated Mitch Krywulcz, 4 and 3. After a see-saw match that saw both players hold the lead during the first seven holes, Lauer took the lead on hole No. 8 and quickly put the match into the win column for the Seminoles. He won five of the next eight holes to put himself up by four holes with only three to play. During his eight hole run to the victory, Lauer made two birdies and earned six pars.
Lauer (Huntington, Ind.) defeated both of his opponents in the Seminoles’ two rounds of match plays against Texas Tech and Augusta State.
“We were playing really well,” said Lauer. “Unfortunately we didn’t get to pull it off today. Today, I was back and forth. Some good golf, some not so great golf. All in all, it was a good week.”
Said Jones on Lauer’s performance: “Once again, that is our senior captain. He did not want this to be his final round and he did his part.”
In the most dramatic finish of the afternoon, Florida State’s Drew Kittleson was defeated by Augusta State’s Henrick Norlander, 3 and 1. Kittleson led the match for the first six holes before Norlander grabbed the lead for good on hole No. 12. Not one to back off, Kittleson (Scottsdale, Az.) stormed back to get within two shots with two holes to play before Norlander made an 80 yard par shot on a lob wedge on the 17 hole to clinch the match for himself and his team. The 80 yard shot clinched the win for the Jaguars.
Both Kittleson and Norlander carded eagles on the par three hole No. 2.
Sophomores Brooks Kopeka (Wellington, Fla.) and Wesley Graham (Port Orange, Fla.) played matches that went right down to the wire. Both players pulled to within one hole on their opponent – both on hole No. 17 with one hole remaining – before losing close matches at the end.
Graham never trailed by more than two holes and squared the match on both holes 12 and 13. His opponent, Taylor Floyd, won holes No. 14 and 15 to take a two shot lead before Graham won hole No. 17 to close the match to a one hole difference. Floyd, though, birdied hole No. 18 while Graham earned a par to put the match in Augusta State’s column.
Koepka, too, never tailed by more than two shots, and also had the opportunity to tie the match on his final two holes. He birdied the par four 17th while his Patrick Reed of Augusta State pared the hole and to move to within one hole and a tie. Reed played the hole safely and earned a split of the 18thy hole and the match victory for the Jaguars.
Freshman Michael Hebert, who played well in his first career NCAA Championship tournament this week, fell 4 and 3 to Carter Newman of Augusta State. With the match all square through three, Newman won four of the next seven holes to take control and earn the victory.
The NCAA Men’s Golf Championship is down to two teams as top seed Oklahoma State will battle No. 7 seed Augusta State for the title Sunday morning at 9:30. The Cowboys will be looking for its 11th title, while the Jaguars are hunting their first.
(2) Florida State 1 vs. (6) Augusta State 4 Carter Newman (ASU) def. Michael Hebert (FSU), 4 and 3 Taylor Floyd (ASU) def. Wesley Graham, 2 up Seath Lauer (FSU) def. Mitch Krywulcz (ASU), 4 and 3 Patrick Reed (ASU) def. Brooks Koepka (FSU), 1 up Henrik Norlander (ASU) def. Drew Kittleson (FSU), 3 and 1