Beavers' Season Ends With Tie For Seventh Place Finish At Regionals
May 19, 2012
STANFORD, Calif. - The Oregon State men's golf team made a late charge on the back nine in the final round of the NCAA Division I Men's Golf Stanford Regional on Saturday but fell just short of earning a trip to the NCAA Championships to conclude an outstanding season.
The Beavers finished the three-day, 54-hole tournament in a tie for seventh place with a 1-under 287-269-283--839 at the par-70, 6,742-yard Stanford Golf Course and just four strokes out of the top five spots that earn a trip to the NCAA Championships at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif.
Oregon State wraps up its 2011-12 campaign with two team titles, a fifth-place finish at the inaugural Pac-12 Championship and its sixth consecutive trip to the NCAA Regionals. Four of the five players who competed at the Stanford Regional will return next season, giving head coach Jon Reehoorn and assistant coach Tim Sundseth confidence heading into next season.
"Right now I'm disappointed," Reehoorn said. "At the end of a three-round event, when it comes down to four shots, it is very easy to think back to where we lost shots and say `what if.' But the guys played well. In a few days I'm sure I will allow myself to think that we accomplished a number of good things and be excited with the progress we are making. One thing I know for sure right now is the best part of this week came off the course. The guys were really all about the team and it was a lot of fun to be with these five. All of them, including the four returners, truly care about Oregon State and the team first. They want us to be great and that can only lead to very good things in the future."
A day after shooting the lowest team score on a par-70 course in school history, an 11-under 269, the Beavers got off to a tough start on their first nine holes as they were 7-over at the turn. Whether it was nerves or the pressure of the final round, all five players relaxed and shot a better score on their final nine holes. Despite the strong finish, the top five teams shot even or better rounds on Saturday to separate themselves from the field.
"Regionals are so much different than any other event," Reehoorn said. "Everyone knows what is at stake and the pressure and intensity is tenfold of any other event. I think we started out a little tense and tried to play perfectly instead of just going out and taking care of business. At the same time, it is very difficult to follow-up a great round, and I think in the back of their minds they might have felt like they were going to need to shoot the same kind of score today.
"The team was great," Reehoorn added. "It was not looking good for a while and they really fought hard the last nine holes to finish well and make it close. They did the same thing yesterday to bounce back with such a disappointing finish the first day."
The one player who won't return next season is senior Jonnie Motomochi, who shot a 2-over 72 on Saturday to finish the regional in a tie for 41st place with a 4-over 73-69-72--214. The likeable Motomochi concludes his four-year career at Oregon State as a team leader who always played with a smile that is reflective of his outgoing personality.
"It's sad to say goodbye to Jonnie," Reehoorn said through his Twitter account immediately following the round.
Junior Matt Rawitzer followed up his Oregon State-best 5-under 65 that he fired on Friday with a 2-under 68 to record his first top-10 finish as a Beaver with a 4-under 73-65-68--206 for a tie for 10th place. The transfer from the University of Idaho had four birdies in his final round and concluded his first season with the Beavers with four subpar rounds in his last six tournaments.
"Matt started out the same as the other guys, a little up and down, but he was able to save par on the greens he missed early and avoid an early bogey or two, which allowed him to get more and more comfortable in his round," Reehoorn said.
Junior Nick Chianello also had a great first season in the Orange and Black after transferring from the University of Portland last spring, finishing the year as the Beavers' scoring average leader after a tie for 25th place at regionals with an even-par 71-66-73--210.
A couple of Oregon State veterans, junior Nick Sherwood and sophomore David Fink, will also return next season as two of the most experienced players on the team. Sherwood was his usual consistent self at the regional with a 1-over 70-71-70--211 for a tie for 27th place, while Fink has gradually worked his way back from an injury and finished tied for 48th with a 6-over 73-69-74--216.
California, which won the Pac-12 Championship at Trysting Tree Golf Club in Corvallis, took home the team title with a 25-under 815 to finish six strokes ahead of San Diego State (19-under 821). UAB (-10), Stanford (-8) and UCF (-5) also advance to the NCAA Championships.
Josh Anderson of Pepperdine, who competed at the regional as an individual, advances to the NCAA Championship after claiming medalist honors with a 14-under 196.
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