May 18, 2013
Columbus, Ohio -
Virginia sophomore golfer Denny McCarthy (Rockville, Md.) will participate in the NCAA Championships after earning the individual berth from the NCAA Regional that wrapped up Saturday at the Ohio State Golf Club's Scarlet Course in Columbus, Ohio. Unfortunately, his teammates will not join him in Atlanta in two weeks after they came up just short in their comeback effort to earn a team bid.
McCarthy shot a tournament-best 5-under 66 during Saturday's final round to vault from 20th place to a tie for second. He completed the 54-hole event at 1-over 214. McCarthy shared runner-up honors with Auburn's Dominic Bozzelli and South Carolina's Matthew NeSmith. New Mexico's James Erkenbeck took medalist honors at 3-under 210.
The top five teams from the regional and top individual not participating on those teams advanced to the NCAA Championships which will take place May 28 to June 2 at The Capital City Club in Atlanta, Ga. The individual champion will be decided based on the first three days of stroke play.
Top-seeded New Mexico won the Columbus Regional at 18-over 870. The fifth-ranked Lobos advanced to the NCAA Championships along with No. 18 Auburn (872), No. 20 South Carolina (872), No. 32 UNLV (878) and No. 41 Texas Tech (879).
Virginia, which entered the final round in 10th place, shot 1-over 285 during the final round to finish sixth at 30-over 882, three shots behind the Red Raiders. UVa's score was the second best final-round effort. Thanks in part to McCarthy's sizzling finish, UVa managed to close to within one stroke of fifth place Texas Tech late in its round.
"It was probably the best round of his two years at Virginia," said UVa coach Bowen Sargent on McCarthy's final round. "This was one of those days where we really needed him to step up if we were going to have a chance to advance and he did it. It's impressive to watch someone come through with that type of effort when we needed it the most."
McCarthy posted back-to-back rounds of 3-over 74 during the first two days of the regional. He managed just five birdies during the opening 36 holes, a number he exceeded Saturday when he carded six birdies to go along with a single bogey.
"I honestly felt like I played about the same all week," McCarthy said. "I hit the ball great all week and this was probably the best I hit it. I felt I played well the first two days; I just didn't score well. Today I was on 15 greens in regulation and kept the ball in the fairways. I just kept a level head and a couple of things went my way early today and I just stayed with it. I finally converted today."
McCarthy's finish was his best since he won the Northern Open to start the season. His 66 was his lowest score of the season.
Both Ji Soo Park and Mac McLaughlin shot 1-over 72 for the Cavaliers during the final round. Nick Tremps finished with a 75 and David Pastore shot 77. Pastore, who was on UVa's club team this time a year ago, finished 25th overall at 9-over 222. Park was 37th at 224, Tremps was 51st at 227 and McLaughlin, playing in his final collegiate event, finished 68th at 235.
NCAA Regional Championship
Ohio State Golf Club - Scarlet Course
Par-71, 7,286 yards
1. New Mexico 294-293-283-870
2. Auburn 293-293-286-872
2. South Carolina 288-296-288-872
4. UNLV 292-292-294-878
5. Texas Tech 299-288-292-879
6. Virginia 303-294-285-882
7. Stanford 291-295-298-884
8. Missouri 294-301-291-886
9. Charlotte 287-309-293-889
9. Chattanooga 304-294-291-889
11. San Francisco 297-299-297-893
12. Georgia Southern 298-308-309-915
13. Valparaiso 309-308-310-927
1. James Erkenbeck, New Mexico 72-70-68-210
2. Dominic Bozzelli, Auburn 71-74-69-214
2. Denny McCarthy, Virginia 74-74-66-214
2. Matthew NeSmith, South Carolina 75-71-68-214
2. Denny McCarthy 74-74-66-214
25. David Pastore 73-72-77-222
37. Ji Soo Park 77-75-72-224
51. Nick Tremps 79-73-75-227
68. Mac McLaughlin 83-80-72-235