GREENSBORO, N.C. - Liberty fought off a hard-charging Florida team to claim the wire-to-wire team win at the NCAA Greensboro Golf Regional at the Grandover Resort's East Course on Saturday. Three players tied for medalist honors, with Campbell's Vaita Guillaume winning a one-hole playoff to earn an NCAA Championship bid.
Liberty, Florida, Auburn, Lamar and Tulsa also advanced to the NCAA Championships in Pacific Palisades, Calif., on May 29-June 3, as the top five teams and the top individual not on one of those teams earned bids.
Guillaume (70-71-72), SMU's Matt Schovee (67-70-75) and Liberty's Robert Karlsson (70-69-74) each finished atop the leaderboard with scores of 3-under 213. With Karlsson already going to the NCAA Championship with Liberty's win, Guillaume and Schovee headed to the 10th hole for a sudden-death playoff.
Schovee bogeyed the par-4 hole, while Guillaume sank a short par putt to clinch his trip to California. The playoff loss was especially cruel for Schovee, who held sole possession of the individual lead after of the first two rounds and seemed assured a trip to the NCAA Championship as SMU was in second as a team entering the final round.
The Mustangs, who were six strokes back of Liberty entering the final round, picked an awful time for their worst round of the tournament, however, shooting a 13-over 301 to fall out of contention and leave Schovee on the outside looking in.
The race for the team title was just as dramatic, as Liberty and Florida were neck-and-neck with the Gators in hot pursuit all day. The Flames pulled away late as all four players who counted toward the team score carded birdies on the par-5 18th. Florida's Michael Furci closed his day in fine fashion with an eagle-3 on the hole, but it was not enough as Florida's rally fell just short.
Liberty finished with a 4-over 868 (283-293-292) for the tournament, while Florida was three shots back at 871 (299-287-285). For the second straight day, the Gators had the best round, at 3-under, while Auburn turned in a 2-under 286 to finish third at 284 (296-292-286).
The tournament was hosted by UNCG and the Greensboro Sports Commission.
UNCG/WFMY News 2 Sports