Camden’s Cole Anderson and his Florida State University teammates have qualified for the NCAA Division I golf championships at the Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Florida State finished second in the regional to Vanderbilt at the PGA National Resort in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, and the top five teams in the regionals move on to the championships, which go from May 27 to June 1.
The University of Connecticut’s Caleb Manuel from Topsham failed to qualify as an individual by three shots at the Yale Golf Club in New Haven, Connecticut.
Three regionals had 14 teams and five individual golfers whose teams didn’t qualify for the regionals. Three others had 13 teams and 10 individuals.
Only the winner among the individuals at each regional earned a berth in the NCAA championships, along with the top five teams.
Manuel’s UConn team had failed to qualify for the regional but he earned a spot because he tied for medalist honors at the Big East championships and was awarded the title when Seton Hall’s Gregor Tait conceded the first playoff hole to him.
Anderson, a redshirt sophomore, shot a three-over par 219 (73-71-75) in the 54-hole event, which tied for 19th overall among 80 golfers.
He was third on his team behind Brett Roberts (74-68-67-209), the overall winner, and eighth-place Dan Bradbury (77-67-70-214).
“I played well for 48 holes,” Anderson said. “My ball striking was really solid. But I made a couple of mistakes and that cost me a lot of shots.”
Manuel, a sophomore, was one of five individual golfers vying for one spot and he carded a two-under par 208 which was three shots behind Virginia Commonwealth University’s Adrian Vagberg, who shot a 205.
They were tied after two rounds but Manuel shot a 72 on Wednesday and Vagberg registered a 69.
Manuel finished tied for 15th overall.
In the NCAA championships, golfers will play 54 holes of stroke play (total score), after which the field will be whittled down to the top 15 teams and nine individuals whose teams didn’t finish among the top 15.
The fourth round will also be stroke play. An individual champion will be crowned and the top eight teams will move to match play (team vs. team) in order to establish the team champion.
In match play, a player on one team will go head-to-head against a player on another team and the player who wins the most holes wins the match. The five-member team with the most points (1 for an individual win, ½ for a tie) is the match winner and advances.