UA golfers rally, take next step

Posted: May 17, 2018 at 4:30 a.m.

The No. 15 Arkansas Razorbacks men's golf team staged a dramatic rally on the closing holes to slip past No. 27 Florida State and Virginia to qualify Wednesday for the NCAA Championships in the final round of the NCAA Norman (Okla.) Regional.

The Razorbacks put up a team score of 8-under 280, the second-best round of the day, to move up six places and qualify for their 21st appearance at the NCAA Championships.

Senior Alvaro Ortiz, playing in the anchor spot for the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, shot 4 under on the final seven holes, including an eagle at the par-4 No. 3. His birdie on No. 8 gave the Razorbacks a one-shot edge over the Seminoles. Ortiz closed out his round of 3 under with a par on No. 9 to clinch Arkansas' place at the NCAAs starting May 24 at Karsten Creek in Stillwater, Okla.

The Razorbacks overcame a 5-over second round that dropped them into 10th place, finishing at 3-under par, tied for fourth at the regional with No. 10 Auburn. The two SEC schools were one shot ahead of Florida State, two ahead of Virginia and three ahead of Pepperdine, which sandwich rounds of 7-over par around a 14 under on Tuesday.

No. 3 Oklahoma won the regional at its home facility, the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club, with a 14 under, one shot better than BYU and North Florida. The low five teams from each of six regionals will make up the 30-team field at Karsten Creek.

Ortiz tied for 12th in the medalist race, nine shots behind North Florida's Travis Trace, who fired a tournament-best 65 on the par-72 layout Wednesday.

Arkansas sophomore William Buhl shot 5-under 67 on Wednesday, including two birdies in his final five holes, and finished tied for 18th. Sophomore Mason Overstreet, the NCAA runner-up last year, overcame a rocky start Wednesday to birdie his 16th and 17th holes to wind up at 1 over for the day and 5 over and tied for 39th for the regional.

Sophomore Tyson Reeder had the Razorbacks' other counting score with a 1-under 71 that left him at 3 over for the tournament and tied for 33rd.

Sophomore Luis Garza had an active day with three birdies, five bogeys and a triple bogey and wound up tied for 50th at 8 over.

Sports on 05/17/2018