NCAA Midwest Regional: New Mexico Edges Ahead

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Glen Millican and his University of New Mexico Lobo men's golf team is headed to the NCAA Division 1 Golf Championship. Matt Gilchrest of Auburn and 60th-ranked Shintaro Ban of UNLV both finished in a third-place tie at 2-under-par, while the Runnin' Rebels' duo of No. 14 John Oda and No. 48 Harry Hall finished in fifth and sixth place with scores of 1-under-par and even par, respectively.

After battling through 40mph wind gusts and one of the toughest courses in the country, the Fighting Illini Men's Golf team qualified for their tenth consecutive NCAA Tournament. "Not in a million rounds did I ever think this could happen to this team", Florida head coach J.C. Deacon said.

Freshman Alejandro Del Rey Gonzalez was outstanding all three days and picked the best time to have his best tournament. But, the player who most impressed me was Giovanni Tadiotto.

New Mexico, which led the 13-team West Lafayette Regional after the second round of the three-round tourney, finished eight strokes behind victor UNLV.

Jacksonville, ranked 42nd in the country, made the biggest move in the final round, shooting a one-over 289 to tie Northwestern for fifth place, then knocking out the Wildcats in a playoff, keeping the team from playing almost home at the NCAA Championship at Rich Harvest Farms outside Chicago. It was the Trojans third Regional title in school history and marks the 11th straight year the program has reached nationals, which ties with Texas for the longest current streak.

"The Illini golf way is just finding a way to get it done no matter what, no matter the conditions", IL junior Nick Hardy said. "The margin of error was so small, but we focused on committing to shots and accepting the results regardless of the outcomes".

Staiano started his final 18 on No. 10 and couldn't find the rhythm, making four bogeys to just one birdie in the first nine holes. He regained a stroke two holes later when he birdied the par-3 13th.

Host LSU shot the best score of the week in the opening-round score (276) en route to winning the title by eight strokes over Duke with a two-over 866. Shattuck was 1-over at the turn, but finished his round with three birdies and six pars on the back-nine. "His mental toughness was key on the final nine, and he played some big-time shots down the stretch to get it done". He kept his composure all week, and I'm proud of his effort.

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