Penn State men's golf advances to NCAA championships

Cole Miller

Cole Miller

For the second straight season, the Augusta University men's golf team was one spot away from advancing to the NCAA Championships after missing the cut by just three strokes in the final day of the NCAA West Lafayette Regional on Wednesday.

Lobo senior Andrej Bevins finished in a tie on top of the individual leader board with Nick Hardy of IL. The top 15 teams and top nine individuals not on an advancing team will move on to play one final round of stroke play on Monday to determine the individual medalist as well as the top eight teams advancing to match-play competition on Tuesday and Wednesday.

"Today was the toughest battle of golf I've ever been faced with".

Freshman Alejandro Del Rey Gonzalez was outstanding all three days and picked the best time to have his best tournament.

"The opportunity to play in the national championship is something I thought I'd only dream of", Wallace said.

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. The NCAA Championship is May 26-29 at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove. White, who opened the second day of action tied for fourth place after tallying an opening-round 69 (-3) on Monday (May 15), now trails Illinois State sophomore Trent Wallace, who leads the field with a 138 (-6) thanks to rounds of 68 (-4) and 70 (-2), and Virginia Tech sophomore Mark Lawrence, Jr., who is in a three-way for seventh after shooting two rounds of 71 (-1) to give him a total score of 142 (-2).

"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.

"What a gutsy performance by Trent (Wallace)", head coach Ray Kralis said. After going 3 over on the first two holes, he made six consecutive pars before a bogey on 9. If the Illini can get this type of production out of their No. 4 spot then I think they have a legit shot at winning the national title. He then went on to make par on the par-4 14th.

Wallace faced major trouble for the first time in the tournament over the final four holes of the back nine.

He played much better on the front nine, finishing with a 1-over-par 37. He kept his composure all week, and I'm proud of his effort. On Wednesday, Baylor, Iowa State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas produced top 5 finishes in Regionals to advance to the finals.