|49ers Golf Finish 11th at NCAA Regional|
Greensboro, N.C. - Charlotte enjoyed its best round of the NCAA Regional to move into 11th place after the final round the East Course at Grandover Resort. Charlotte shot 12-over par 300, led by freshman Raoul Menard and senior Olafur Loftsson, who both shot two-over par.
Menard's two-over round gave him a three-day total of five-over par, 221 and moved him into 16th place for the tournament. Loftsson and senior Tyler Mitchell both finished at 13-over par to finish tied for 52nd. Senior Paul Ferrier shot four-over and senior Rafael Guerrero shot six-over in the final round.
"I felt like we played a little better today," said 49ers head coach Ryan Cabbage. "To their credit they continued to battle and hung in there. We followed up some tough holes with grit and determination to make birdies."
Loftsson, for instance, started with three bogeys and a double to drop to five-over through six holes, but birdied his eighth and ninth holes (17 & 18), to make the turn at 3-over. He added another birdie and eight pars on his final nine, playing his last 12 holes in three-under par.
"He played three-under coming in," Cabbage noted. "He did some nice things on the last 12 or 13 holes."
Menard, however, was the 49ers leader through the 54-hole event. Coming off medalist honors at the Atlantic 10 Championship, the A-10 Most Outstanding Performer and Most Outstanding Freshman continued his stellar spring. Menard also birdied 17 and 18 to make the turn at one-over and added birdies on six and eight to offset a double bogey on his way to a 74.
"He continues to get better," Cabbage said. "This week wasn't easy for him from a playing standpoint. He didn't have his best stuff and he still finishes in the top 20 and almost the top 15 in the NCAA Regional - that speaks a lot to what he is doing. All in all he had a great tournament and it's not just this week but all spring. He can use this to springboard into the fall."
With the 11th-place finish, the 49ers, and their four seniors, end the season with an eighth straight NCAA appearance but shy of the NCAA Championship finals.
"It didn't end where we wanted it to end, but I want to thank those seniors for what they did for our program. They are great golfers but even better people," Cabbage said. "The way they represented our university, the athletic department and the golf program for four years - I had three people come up to me this week and tell me how well-mannered and cordial our team was. For a coach, to hear comments about the quality of young men we have means a lot. The seniors did some wonderful, wonderful things throughout their four years, both on and off the course. It's a special group of guys."
Liberty won the team title at four-over par. Florida (+7), Auburn (+10), Lamar (+13) and Tulsa (+14) all finished in the top five to advance to the NCAA Championship finals.