TCU Advances to NCAA Men's Golf Championship
May 19, 2012
ANN ARBOR, Mich.—TCU put the wraps on its third NCAA Championship berth in the last four seasons Saturday by finishing in fifth place during the final round of the NCAA Central Regional at the University of Michigan Golf Course. Freshmen Julien Brun and Thomas Mantovanini both finished near the top of the individual leaderboard.
The Horned Frogs combined to shoot a 3-over-par 287 Saturday to post a comfortable 10-stroke edge over sixth-place Notre Dame and North Carolina State for the Central Regional’s fifth and final NCAA Championship bid. TCU finished the week -3 overall thanks in large part to a fantastic opening-round 278 that gave the squad an eight-shot lead on the rest of the field entering Day 2.
TCU entered the tournament as the No. 8 seed in a field that featured six of the nation’s top-30 teams according to the latest Golfweek/Sagarin ratings system. The Frogs finished in front of higher-seeded squads Baylor (No. 5), Oklahoma State (No. 6) and Kennesaw State (No. 7).
The NCAA Championship qualification marks the 16th in program history and the 13th under the direction of head coach Bill Montigel, who took over the TCU program prior to the 1987-88 campaign. The Frogs will break a one-year absence from the national tournament after falling just one stroke short of the No. 5 spot at last year’s NCAA West Regional.
TCU will be joined by 29 other teams May 28-June 3 in Pacific Palisades, Calif., for the NCAA Championship at historic Riviera Golf Club.
“I couldn’t be happier for my guys to be able to qualify for the national championship,” Montigel said. “It’s been an up-and-down season at times, but they really pulled it together when it counted this weekend. There aren’t many programs out there that can say they have made it to nationals three out of the last four years, and to be able to do it with two freshmen leading the way for us really says a lot about the amount of determination on this team.”
Brun again led all Frogs on the individual leaderboard, finishing in a tie for fifth place at -6 for the weekend. The Antibes, France, native saw his impressive career-long streak of consecutive rounds played under par come to an end Saturday, as he fired a 1-over 73, but he did still manage to record his seventh top-5 result this season in 12 tournaments. NC State’s Albin Choi took home top-medalist honors (-10).
Joining Brun in the top 15 was Mantovanini, who finished off what was easily his best weekend as a Frog by earning a share of 11th place at -3 overall. A native of Sao Palo, Brazil, Mantovanini carded an even-par 71 in the final round after shooting respective scores of 70 and 69 during the opening two days. Entering the weekend, he had only shot par or better two times in 18 competition rounds for TCU.
Mantovanini’s performance marked the first time the freshman finished a tournament under par as a Frog, shattering his previous best performance from the Insperity Augusta State Invitational back in early April, when he posted a final score of +3 while tying for 48th place. Entering the weekend, he
Senior Johan de Beer and junior Daniel Jenenvret also earned positions on the top half of the leaderboard for TCU, finishing among a three-way tie for 31st place at +3. De Beer fired an even-par 71 in the final round, while Jennevret carded a 2-over 73. Sophomore Ian Phillips tied for 71st.
“This week was a great overall team effort from our guys, but we wouldn’t have been able to advance without the performance by Thomas. Julien has obviously been one of the top individuals in college golf this season, Johan has been a fantastic golfer for us for four years now and Daniel has been solid all year, but the effort by Thomas this week was one of the most memorable in my 24 years as coach. It had to be one of the most clutch, unbelievable performances by a freshman that I have seen here. To come up with your best tournament, by far, at this time of the year when the pressure is on was just incredible.”
2012 NCAA CENTRAL REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
Ann Arbor, Mich. (University of Michigan Golf Course)
May 19, 2012
1. USC – (-11; 289-272-280-841)
2. Oregon – (-10; 288-274-280-842)
3. Kent State – (-8; 286-276-282-844)
4. Virginia – (6; 287-281-278-846)
5. TCU – (-3; 278-284-287-849)
INDIVIDUAL STANDINGS (75 competitors)
1. Albin Choi, North Carolina State – (-10; 69-66-68-203)
2. Ben Kohles, Virginia – (-7; 71-65-70-206)
Sebastian MacLean, Xavier – (-7; 68-70-68-206)
Daniel Miernicki, Oregon – (-7; 71-65-70-206)
5. Julien Brun, TCU – (-6; 67-68-72-207)
Peter Williamson, Dartmouth – (-6; 72-68-67-207)
t11. Thomas Mantovanini, TCU – (-3; 70-69-71-210)
t31. Johan de Beer, TCU – (+3; 71-74-71-216)
t31. Daniel Jennevret, TCU – (+3; 70-73-72-216)
t71. Ian Phillips, TCU – (+20; 76-77-80-233)