TCU Earns NCAA Berth After Stellar Final Round at Central Regional
May 22, 2004
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The 10th-ranked TCU Horned Frogs used a true team effort, an 11-over 299 on a brutal scoring day, to earn the school's 13th-ever invitation to the NCAA Championships and the program's 10th trip in the past 14 seasons. TCU, who began the final day with a share of eighth place, landed in a tie for fifth with Texas at the NCAA Central Regional after all five Frog golfers claimed scores of 77 or better.
Purdue University's Kampen Course (7,259 yards, par 72), which played extremely difficult all week, was even more treacherous on the final day, as winds howled throughout the entire round. Just three teams in the 27-school field cracked 300 on Saturday and just five of the 141 players played par-or-better. The Horned Frogs, who sat tied for 13th after a first-round 305 (+17), played the final 36 holes at 18-over. The only squads with better scores over the last two days were Kentucky and Oklahoma, who finished first and third respectfully.
"I am so proud of these guys," TCU Head Coach Bill Montigel said. "The way we played over the last two days was absolutely tremendous. Playing that course in those conditions was as tough of a test of golf as I have seen in my 17 years. We're excited to be able to represent TCU at the NCAAs again this year."
Senior Adam Meyer tallied the Frogs' best card of the day, a one-over 73, to pace the team. The native of China Spring, Texas, moved up from 92nd place into a tie for 53rd at 231 (+15). It was an all-around performance for the Conference USA Player of the Year, who stuck an approach shot from 105 yards out to within 18 inches to birdie No. 16 and saved par on No. 4 after knocking in a putt from the fringe after being penalized for an "unplayable ball" off the tee.
J.J. Killeen was the top finisher for the Horned Frogs, as he tied for 12th with a three-round 222 (+6). In the tough final-round conditions, the junior from Lubbock, Texas, posted his biggest number of the tournament, a 76 (+3). He made a nice birdie on the par-3 13th, when he rolled in an eight-foot putt. It was the third straight top-20 performance for Killeen, who reached the round of 16 at the 2003 U.S. Amateur.
David Schultz also worked his way around the course to a plus-four 76 on Saturday. The junior made an impressive up-and-down out of a green-side bunker on the 18th to finish with a share of 25th place at 225.
Sophomore Colby Beckstrom (T-28th) enjoyed his second straight day of fine play, as he recorded a two-over 74. Included in his round was a birdie on the par-3 17th, one of just three on the hole all morning. Over the final 36 holes, Beckstrom notched a team-best total of 147 (+3).
Senior Stephen Polanski fired a five-over 77 in the final round despite starting off with a double-bogey on No. 1. Polanski's highlight was a birdie on the par-4 ninth. After drilling a 3-iron to within eight feet, he was the only one in the field to make a three on the hole, which played at more than 500 yards due to the wind and back left pin placement. He finished tied for 84th at the event with a 236 (+20).
Of the 27 teams in the regional field, 20 were ranked among the nation's top 50 in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings. The top 10 teams at the 54-hole event have secured berths in the NCAA Championships, which will be played June 1-4 at The Homestead's Cascades Course (6,679 yards, par 70) in Hot Springs, Va. Live hole-by-hole scoring of the tournament will be available on www.golfstat.com.