June 3, 2011
Stillwater, Okla. – In a rematch of last year’s NCAA Match Play quarterfinals that went in similar fashion, defending national champion Augusta State pulled out a 3-2 victory over Georgia Tech Friday afternoon in the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Championship at Karsten Creek.
With John-Tyler Griffin’s 3 and 2 win over Henrik Norlander in the books and James White’s 3 and 2 loss to Patrick Reed in the books, three other matches were all square coming down the stretch. The Jaguars pulled out wins at No. 17 with pars and closed out the Yellow Jackets on the 18th in two of those contests for the deciding points.
Carter Newman fell behind three holes in the first four to Tech’s Paul Haley, but rallied to go ahead and came to 17 all square. Haley bogeyed the hole to fall one back, and Newman birdied the 18th for a 2-up victory. Right behind them, the Jackets’ Kyle Scott also bogeyed 17 to fall a hole behind Mitchell Krywulycz. Both players birdied the 18th and Augusta State had the victory.
“It came down to 17, we lost a couple of holes there,” said Tech coach Bruce Heppler. “It was a lot like last year. It came down to the end, and they got it done and we didn’t.
“We played well the whole year, played well two or three days here, and we played well today. We just got beat. They played very well. Patrick Reed played a great round to beat James, which is what I saw most of. They finished with birdies here on 18.”
The Jaguars move on to face Oklahoma State, a 3-1-1 winner over Ohio State, in the semifinals. Duke upset top-seeded UCLA, 3-1-1, and advanced to a semifinal match against Georgia, which defeated Illinois by the same score.
While the Jaguars were closing out the match on 18, Richard Werenski got the Yellow Jackets’ second point on the 19th hole for a 1-up victory over Olle Bengtsson. The Tech freshman had lost five of the first seven holes, then turned it around and pulled even when Bengtsson double-bogeyed 16 and bogeyed 17. Both players parred the 18th and moved on to the first hole where Werenski closed it out.
“I started off really rough today, didn’t hit the ball very well,” said Werenski. “But I figuring out some things, hit the ball a little better and hit some greens and put some pressure on him. I didn’t play great coming in, but it was nice to get some confidence, start hitting some fairways and greens.
“It was a lot of fun getting here and having a chance to play for the national championship, and I’m happy to have three more years to try and get one of these for Georgia Tech.”
Werenski and his teammates move on to their summer schedules, which for several include U.S. Open sectional qualifying on Monday. Seven of the Yellow Jackets are playing in sectional qualifiers, five at Hawks Ridge in Ball Ground, Ga.