May 19, 2012
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Sophomore Albin Choi was far-and-away the best golfer at the NCAA Ann Arbor Regional over the last three days and for it he is takes home medalist honors with a score of 10-under 203, and earns a spot in the NCAA Championship field.
The tenth-seeded Wolfpack, however, fell one place short of advancing to the NCAA Championship as the club finished in a tie for sixth with Notre Dame at 7-over 859. The low five teams, and Choi, move on to historic Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif., May 29-June 3.
NC State scored a final round 3-over 287, and wound up 10 shots out of fifth from the U-M Golf Course, a par-71, 6,723-yard layout on the campus of the University of Michigan.
Choi becomes the 13 player in program history to advance to the NCAA Championship as an individual dating back to 1965, and the first since Matt Hill won the national championship at The Inverness Club back in 2009 in Toledo, Ohio.
This also marks the second-straight year that NC State has the individual-title holder at an NCAA Regional. Teammate and fellow Canadian Mitchell Sutton earned co-medalist honors at the 2011 Florida Regional in Ocala, Fla.
In earning his fourth career collegiate title, Choi was the only player to shoot in the 60s all three rounds. His final-round 3-under 68 earned him a three-shot victory over three other players.
Sebastian MacLean, who earned a spot as an individual from Xavier, gave the greatest challenge to Choi. He got within one shot of the lead on a couple of occasions, but four bogeys over his last eight holes, including the last two, gave Choi a commanding victory.
Choi (69-66-68) actually got all the way to -12 and was threatening to post the best regional score in school history after five birdies, but he bogeyed both par-3s on his back nine, at Nos. 5 and 8.
Senior Graham Baillargeon climbed 14 spots up the field with a 1-under 70 to finish tied for 41st at 8-over 221. After a slow start that saw him fall back to +3 through three holes, he ran off five birdies in the next 12 holes, before a bogey at the last, but he still had his best round of the three-day regional.
The senior completes his two-year tour with the Wolfpack by shooting even-par over the final 36 holes.
Senior Chad Day posted a second-consecutive round of 1-over 72, and finished his final collegiate tournament tied for 41st at 8-over 221. He ranked in a tie for 12th in the field with 36 pars during the 54-hole regional.
Junior Mitchell Sutton had a disappointing 6-over 77 on Saturday and fell into a tie for 45th at 9-over 222. He never got things going in the right direction during the final round with six bogeys on his card, three on each side of the course.
Senior Mark McMillen struggled for the second round in as many days and finished at 19-over 232 for the regional.
The top-four seeds: Southern California, Oregon, Kent State, Virginia all advance, along with eighth-seed TCU to the NCAA Championship.
1. Southern California 289-272-280=841 (-11)
2. Oregon 288-274-280=842 (-10)
3. Kent State 286-276-282=844 (-8)
4. Virginia 287-281-278=846 (-6)
5. TCU 278-284-287=849 (-3)
T6. Notre Dame 291-278-290=859 (+7)
T6. NC State 290-282-287=859 (+7)
8. Oklahoma State 290-283-290=863 (+11)
9. Kennesaw State 287-290-291=868 (+16)
10. Purdue 291-293-291=875 (+23)
11. Baylor 296-297-289=882 (+30)
12. Ohio State 305-297-293=895 (+43)
13. Navy 322-306=628 (+60)
NC State Individual Results
1. Albin Choi 69-66-68=203 (-10)
T41. Chad Day 77-72-72=221 (+8)
T41. Graham Baillargeon 79-72-70=221 (+8)
T45. Mitchell Sutton 73-72-77=222 (+9)
70. Mark McMillen 71-81-80=232 (+19)