TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –For the third time in four years, the Seminoles are advancing to the NCAA Men’s Golf Championships after shooting a 5-under 283 on Saturday to finish third. Senior Chase Seiffert led the No. 12 Seminoles to finish the tournament tied for second with a 12-under 204.
“There’s no greater experience for a college golfer than playing in the National Championship,” said head coach Trey Jones. “Everyone who has played here knows how much fun it is. Golden Eagle Country Club and the City of Tallahassee really put their arms around this team. They ran a first-class event. Nothing could’ve been better. The support here is great.”
For the past three days, each Seminole contributed to the team score and the final round was no different. Seiffert and freshman Rowin Caron both carded 2-under 70s to help the team stay in third place at the par 72 Golden Eagle Country Club.
“We needed five guys to play well and to keep themselves in it,” said Jones. “They did exactly that. At no point in time did we have anybody worse than 1-over par. Going into today, we had everyone under par. It was a consistent, very good effort by our team.”
The team flirted with first place in the middle of the round but finished three strokes behind second place and sixth-ranked Washington and six behind first place No. 19 North Florida.
Seiffert’s strong play was consistent as he posted all birdies on holes nine and 15 though the 54-hole tournament. He finished in front of the home crowd with a birdie on 18 as the Seminole faithful cheered on the team.
“To come out here on our home course and play in front of this great crowd and get the job done was a great experience,” said Seiffert. “We just played within ourselves and took one shot at a time. I feel like we have something to prove when we get back there-to make that top-eight and see how deep we can go in match play.”
Although Caron had one double bogey, his seven birdies, including five on the back nine, put the team in great position to lock the advancement to the Crabapple Course at the Capital City Club in Atlanta.
“I just wanted to finish strong,” said Caron. “I knew I could do it. I was hitting the ball well, I just had to get the putts rolling. I hit a really good shot on 17, and I had two really good shots on 18. If we get it together and try to become better every day, I think we will have a good chance at the National Championship.”
Freshman Hank Lebioda finished with a 71 today and ended the tournament tied for 19th with a 4-under 212. Lebioda made five birdies on the day.
“At the beginning of the year, you set a goal to be one of the final eight teams in the National Championship,” said Lebioda. “Even though we didn’t play our best here, being in the top five and getting third place is huge for us.”
Sophomore Daniel Berger turned in a 73 today but finished 4-under to tie with his teammate Lebioda. Berger posted a quadruple bogey on hole 15 but was able to bounce back with a birdie on holes 16 and 18.
Senior Doug Letson finished the tournament with a 2-under 214 after shooting an even 72 on Saturday. Letson was consistent with 16 pars on the day.
Joining Florida State in Atlanta is No. 18 UNF, No. 6 Washington, No. 9 Georgia Tech and No. 25 Oklahoma. Daniel Walker of Richmond is the individual advancing to the final site.