SAN ANTONIO – The Georgia State men’s golf team will return to the NCAA Championship following a school-best second place finish in the NCAA San Antonio Regional on Saturday afternoon. The Panthers shot an impressive 1-over, 289, in windy conditions to advance for the first time since 2007.
Senior Tyler Gruca shot a final-round 1-under, 71, to finish the 54-hole event 6-under par and in third place, the best finish ever by a Panther in NCAA Regional play.
Junior Davin White provided the Panthers low round of the day with a 3-under, 69, which proved to be the second lowest round of the day among the 75-player field. His tie for ninth place at 1-under par is the fifth-best result by a Panther in postseason play.
The Panthers have qualified for the NCAA Championship four times in the past, with their best finish being 13th in 2007. This was Georgia State’s 11th NCAA Regional appearance since 1999.
“I am so proud of this team,” head coach Joe Inman said. “They stayed focused on their goal all season and this is a great reward to now get to play for a national championship. The best part is I know that they will not be content just to make it to Kansas, they are going to give it everything to qualify for match play and beyond.
“Tyler Gruca stepped up big for us this week and I cannot say enough about his play. He showed himself as a great senior leader and for him to get a chance to finish his career playing for a NCAA Championship is something that I know he will never forget. Davin and Damon also stepped up today and willed us to an opportunity to play one more week.”
Junior Damon Stephenson shot his third straight round of 72 to finish tied for 12th at even par. Freshman Nathan Mallonee shot a final round 5-over 77 to finish tied for 59th at 11-over.Sophomore J.J. Grey finished with a final round 6-over 78 to finish at 12-over.
Georgia State will now head to Hutchinson, Kan., on Wednesday. The practice round at Prairie Dunes Golf Club will be on Thursday with the first round of play on Friday. A total of 30 teams and six individuals will play 54 holes before the top eight teams advance to match play to determine the national championship.