Conover, N.C. - Lynn University's men's golf team finished fourth at the NCAA Division II South/Southeast Regional to qualify for its sixth consecutive appearance in the national championship. Freshman Jorge Villar was stellar on the final day with a three-under par 68 to finish tied for sixth and Manuel Torres tied for 10th.
The top-seven teams and top-three individuals not associated with a qualifying institution advance to the 2018 NCAA D2 National Championship, held May 21-25, at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at the Shoals – Fighting Joe Course in Muscle Shoals, Ala.
INSIDE THE TOURNAMENT:
Standing: 4th of 20 teams
Location: Rock Barn Golf & Spa | Conover, N.C.
History at Event: 16th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance (national runner-up at Rock Barn in 2015)
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HOW IT HAPPENED:
- A three-under 281 for the Blue & White (854) pulled them away from the pack and punched their ticket to the national championship. West Florida (840) won the regional with Florida Southern (843), Barry (853), Lincoln Memorial (868), Delta State (876) and Saint Leo (876) joining both teams in Alabama.
- Villar showed he was anything but a freshman, starting the day with 12 consecutive pars before heading to the clubhouse with three birdies over his last six holes for a clean scorecard. He was three-under par for the 54-hole event.
- Torres stayed within the top-10 with birdies on his 14th and 16th holes to give him a one-over 72 in the final round. He ended play two-under overall.
- Toto Gana returned to his under par ways. His four birds on the front nine put him four-under par and he finished two-under on the day. Overall he was two-over par.
- Felix Kvarnstrom had a string of bad luck with three straight bogeys on holes 5 thru 7 only to turn around his hopes with an even-par back nine. He was seven-over par for the tournament.
- Lastly, Carlos Bustos appears to have turned the corner in his inaugural NCAA event. The sophomore out of Chile continued to struggle through 10 holes but found his game by birdieing three of his last four holes to shoot his tournament-best 73.
BEYOND THE SCORECARD:
- Two of the Fighting Knights starting five (Villar and Bustos) were making their NCAA Tournament debuts.
- Villar is the fifth freshman finish in the top-10 and fourth freshman to shoot the lowest score for Lynn at a NCAA South/Southeast Regional in program history.
- This is the first fourth place finish in the NCAA South/Southeast Regional for the Fighting Knights in the 16 years of participation. The team has won twice with four second place finishes, three third place finishes and six finishes of fifth or worse.
- Lynn has more NCAA national championship appearances under head coach Andrew Danna than under its two previous coaches combined – Danna (6), Chris Greenwood (4) and Eric Abreu.
- Lynn was second in par 4 scoring (+15) and third in par 5 scoring (-8), pars (190) and birdies (43).
- Villar's two-under par on par 3 holes was better than only four golfers in the field.
- Torres' five-under par on par 5 holes was best in the tournament.
- Lynn played in the first-ever NCAA Division II National Championship match play finals in 2011, which was held at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at the Shoals - Fighting Joe Course in Muscle, Shoals, home to the 2018 national championship.
- The Fighting Knights have advanced to match play an NCAA Division II record six times and finished national runner-up four times (2017, 2015, 2013, 2011).
Lynn will play in the 2018 NCA Division II National Championship May 21-25, at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at the Shoals – Fighting Joe Course in Muscle Shoals, Ala. The top-eight teams following three days of stroke play will advance to the national championship match play portion. For more information, check out LynnFightingKnights.com.