San Diego, CA – The No. 2/ No. 4 (Golfstat/Golfweek) ranked UCLA men’s golf team came back from four strokes down entering the day to win the NCAA West Regional by three shots over rivals USC. In addition, freshman Patrick Cantlay earned individual medalist honors by shooting 13 under par for the tournament.
The victory is Coach Derek Freeman’s 12th win as UCLA head coach and the 4th tournament win for the Bruins this year. This also marks the second time in Freeman’s tenure that the Bruins have won the NCAA Regional title, with the team winning the NCAA Central Regional back in 2009. In addition, the Bruins have now qualified for the NCAA Championship nine years in a row, a school record.
The Bruins shot a final round 282 (-6), giving them a total score of 854 (-10). As mentioned before, they finished three strokes ahead second place USC, who posted a final round 289 (+1) to finish at 857 (-7). The two teams will move on to the NCAA Championship in Stillwater, OK along with San Diego, Ohio State and Texas.
“We are very excited about winning the NCAA Regional Championship,” Head Coach Derek Freeman said. “Patrick played very well and carried us to the victory. This will give us some positive momentum as we prepare for the national championship.”
Individually, freshman Patrick Cantlay fired a final round 67 (-5) to secure medalist honors at the Regional with a score of 203 (-13). The win was Patrick’s 4th of the year, expanding the single-season freshman record that he set earlier this year. He also now has an astounding 18 rounds under par, eight top 10 finishes and is currently shooting 26 under par through 34 rounds of golf. Finally, with the win, Cantlay became just the third UCLA golfer to win an NCAA Regional individual title, joining Travis Johnson in 2004 and Kevin Chappell in 2006.
“I’m really happy with the way myself and the team played this week,” said Cantlay. “The golf course was in great shape and I’m looking forward to the NCAA Finals in Oklahoma.”
As for the rest of the Bruins, junior Alex Shi Yup Kim tied for 13th place at 217 (+1) after recording three birdies on his round to give him a final round score of 70 (-2). Sophomore Pedro Figueiredo shot a final round 72 (E) to finish in a tie for 17th at 218 (+2). Finally, sophomore Pontus Widegren and junior Gregor Main tied for 28th place at 220 (+4) after they posted final round scores of 74 (+2) and 73 (+1) respectively.
The Bruins will be back out on the course for the final time this year from Tuesday, May 31st to Sunday, June 5th at the NCAA Championship in Stillwater, OK at Karsten Creek Golf Course. UCLA played this course earlier in the year at the Fall Preview back in September, finishing in 2nd place. The format of the NCAA Championship will be 54 holes of stroke play played from Tuesday to Thursday, after which the field will be cut down to the top eight finishers. Those top eight teams will then play three rounds of single elimination match play against each other.