June 4, 2010
OOLTEWAH, Tenn. –
The Florida State men’s golf team advanced to the national semifinals with a 4-1 victory over Texas Tech in the quarterfinal round of match play in the NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship on The Honors Course. The Seminoles will meet Augusta State at 9:45 on Saturday for the right to play for the national championship. The winner of Saturday’s match between Florida State and Augusta State will meet the winner of the Oklahoma State vs. Oregon match that will begin at 9:00 on Saturday.
Florida State won four of the five matches contended on Friday with senior Seath Lauer, junior Drew Kittleson, sophomore Brooks Koepka and freshman Michael Hebert all gaining wins. With victories by Hebert and Lauer in the first and third matches, Florida State clinched the victory by Koepka as he earned a victory in the fourth match of the afternoon. Kittleson won his match but the outcome had already been decided.
The Seminoles trailed 1-0 after a win by Texas Tech’s Tyler Weworski over Wesley Graham but won the final four matches of the day to claim the team win.
“It was a really good round for our team today,” said head coach Trey Jones. “Some of the best golf I saw our guys play was on the last seven holes yesterday. It’s easy to play when you have it rolling. They found a way yesterday afternoon and got behind today and played really well.”
Graham (Orlando, Fla.) played well in the first match to be completed but was defeated by Weworski, 3 and 2. Despite finishing only four holes over par, Graham we never able to seize the momentum from Weworski who took the lead on the second hole and never relinquished control. Weworski won the event with a three hole lead with two holes to play.
Hebert, who passed his test in his first match play experience as a Seminole in the national quarterfinals, took control of his match on the sixth hole and never let his Finley Ewing IV of Texas Tech back in the match. He won or halved eight of final 12 holes, did not trail after the sixth hole and won the mach 2 and 1. Hebert (Orlando, Fla.) was up by two holes with one to play to earn the team point for the Seminoles with one hole to play.
“It was a lot of fun, really nerve racking, a lot more never racking than stroke play.” said Hebert. “It was a lot of fun and I enjoyed it. I calmed down once I got up. When I got up by three I was pretty calm. Then he made a few birdies and I hit one in the water and it got down with one up with two to go and I got nervous again. But I made a hit a great shot on 17 to win the match. I think getting this under my belt was goof for me and I am looking forward to tomorrow.”
Lauer (Huntington, Ind.) won one of the most important matches of the day for the Seminoles as he recovered from being as many as two holes down to win the match after making the turn onto the 10th hole. After trailing for each of the first eight holes, then tying the match on hole No. 9, Lauer allowed four years of high level golf to take over for him. Lauer gained his first lead of the afternoon on hole No. 10 and clinched the victory with a stellar 25 foot putt on hole No. 18 to win the match 2 up. He entered the final hole of match only one hole up and clinched the win with what he considered to be “the most important putt I have made in my career as a Seminole”
“It has been frustrating the last couple of days putting,” said Lauer. “The ball got about halfway to the hole (on his final shot) and I thought, ‘This one has got to go in.’ It was a good feeling to see one go in that was over five feet.” Nothing went well during the first two rounds. I was hitting the ball great, but missing everything [putts]. It was great to see one finally go in.”
“Seath is our senior captain and he come out today and get two down right out of the gate,” said Jones. “It didn’t phase him one bit. Once he got the lead he didn’t give it back. He a guy that I know can handle that situation.”
Koepka, the co-ACC player of the Year, clinched the monumental victory with a 2 up victory over Chris Ward. He won the match as he out dueled Ward on the final hole to win by two. Koepka, too, seized control of his match at the turn. With the match all square, he earned a par of the par four hole No. 9 to take a one hole lead. He held the lead for the final 10 holes and won the match.
Kittleson (Scottsdale, Az.) seemingly had his match in hand from the start but was never able to completely run away from the Red Raiders’ Nils Floren. The All-ACC selection took the lead on the fifth hole and earned the 3 and 2 victory. Kittleson led by as many as four holes before Floren rolled off three consecutive birdies to shave Kittleson’s lead to one hole. The Seminole junior won hole No. 17 and allowed the Seminoles to look forward to playing Augusta State on Saturday.
“Hats off to Florida State,” said Texas Tech head coach Greg Sands. “They made some clutch pars on a hard hole.”
It’s just going to matter how we handle the situations that are given to us tomorrow,” said Jones. “You can’t play defense in golf; you can only play your best.”
Having already clinched the ninth top 10 finish in school history, the Seminoles will now work to earn the first top two finish in school history. The Seminoles best national finish prior to this season was fourth in 1957.
Florida State vs. Texas Tech Michael Hebert (FSU) def. Finley Ewing IV (TT), 2 and 1 Tyler Weworski (TT) def. Wesley Graham (FSU), 3 and 2 Seath Lauer (FSU) def. Matt Smith (TT), 2 up Brooks Koepka (FSU) def. Chris Ward (TT), 2 up Drew Kittleson (FSU) def. Nils Floren (TT), 2 and 1