Texas Tech Golf Season Comes to a Close
May 28, 2009
TOLEDO, Ohio - Texas Tech will have to wait until tomorrow morning to find out exactly where it will finish in the NCAA Men's Golf Championships in Toledo, Ohio, but the Red Raiders' season officially came to a close Thursday afternoon.
The Red Raiders were able to get their final round completed before the horn sounded, suspending play for the second-straight day. Tech shot a 21-over 305 Thursday and are currently in 25th place as six teams will return Friday morning to wrap up the stroke play portion of the tournament.
Due to the teams finishing Wednesday's second round this morning, the day's schedule was pushed back, leaving six teams on the course when play was suspended again as the sun set on Inverness Club and the 2008-09 season for 22 teams.
Chris Ward led Texas Tech on the week with a 9-over 222, followed by Garrett Merrell and Nils Floren in a 97th-place tie with a pair of 13-over 226s. Santiago Rivas finished in a 115th-place tie with a 15-over 228, while Brian Scherer tied in 148th place with a 22-over 235.
"It ended bittersweet, because the seniors have done a lot for the program and we're real appreciative of that," Tech Head Coach Greg Sands said. "We didn't play as well as we wanted to today. In golf, sometimes you can try too hard to make something happen. We got off to a bad start and we hung in there through the hard holes, I thought, but we had already started so poorly that we couldn't make up any ground.
"I'm proud of the way the guys fought," Sands added. "They could have cashed it in. I felt like they battled to the end."
For Merrell and Rivas, today's round marked the end of their careers at Texas Tech. On the last hole for each player, Merrell's chip out of a greenside bunker lipped out of the cup, but he saved par. Rivas also parred the hole.
"It was cool, they almost birdied the last hole, which was playing pretty hard," Sands said. "One lipped out and one burned the edge. They've meant a lot to the program and their leadership has helped these younger guys get better. We have some young guys that gained some valuable experience, and those guys are moving on to a new chapter in their lives."
Ward, Tech's last golfer on the course, was on the No. 9 fairway, when the horn blew to suspend play. His group was allowed to complete the hole, but not before Texas Tech Head Coach Greg Sands jokingly said to the spectators, "He will have to take a taxi to finish this hole in the morning." The Red Raiders began the day at 6:45 a.m. ET Thursday to wrap up round two, before teeing off the third round at 3:20 p.m. on the back nine.
The pairings for the match play format of the tournament were set prior to the end of the third round as teams were seeded by where they finished in stroke play. The nation's top two ranked programs, (1-seed) Oklahoma State and (8) Georgia, will meet in one match play, while (2) Arizona State-(7) Texas A&M, (3) Southern California-(6) Michigan and (4) Arkansas-(5) Washington will face off. Two rounds of match play are scheduled Friday with the championship match slated for Saturday morning.
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