Columbia County native Carter Newman is back from a successful trip to the West Coast. While Newman struggled at times, he and his Augusta State University teammates finished second in a field of 13 extremely talented golf teams to earn a spot in the NCAA Championships.
The fifth-ranked Jaguar squad played in the San Diego Regional in Santee, Calif. ASU had to bounce back after a rough opening-round 303 that had the Jags tied for ninth place. Only the top five teams advance to the NCAA Championships.
Thankfully, ASU rebounded with the low round of the day in Round 2 with a 2 under 286. The Jaguars finished with a 5 over 291, which placed them in second place, six shots ahead of third place California.
Oregon won the regional with an impressive 6 870 total, which bettered ASU by 10 shots. Joining Oregon, ASU and California in the top five were Tennessee and the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. Those five squads will head to Ooltewah, Tenn., just outside of Chattanooga, for the NCAA finals June 1-6.
Newman was terrific in Round 1, with several of his more highly touted teammates struggling. He posted the team's low round of the day with a 3 75. He carded rounds of 77-79 to finish in a tie for 57th, but thanks to the stellar play of teammate Patrick Reed during the final two days, ASU is NCAA bound.
Reed shot a disappointing 6 (78) in the opening round, but came back nicely with rounds of -1 under 71 in the second round and a brilliant -4 under 68 over the final 18. Reed finished tied for fifth for the event.
Other notable teams joining ASU in the NCAA field include Georgia Tech, Clemson, Georgia Southern, Florida State University, Florida, Oklahoma State and Stanford. The University of Georgia lost in a playoff to Baylor in the Texas A&M Regional and did not qualify for a spot in Tennessee.
Former Greenbrier High School star Nolan Belcher and his South Carolina Gamecock teammates open play today in the Southeastern Conference Baseball Tournament. South Carolina, the No. 3 seed, will play No. 6 seed Ole Miss in Game 2 of the event.
A pair of former Wolfpack stars will suit up for Georgia Tech in the ACC Tournament. Jeff Rowland and Brandon Cumpton will play key roles as the No. 3-seed Jackets open play tomorrow night at 8 versus Virginia Tech.
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