May 31, 2012
PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. --- East Carolina concluded play at the NCAA Men's Golf Championships Thursday, shooting a final round 297 to finish in 26th place at 43-over 895 for the 54-hole event at the Riviera Country Club.
Six of the top eight seeds advanced to match play: No. 1 Texas, No. 2 Alabama, No. 3 California, No. 5 UCLA, No. 7 Oregon and No. 8 Washington. Tenth-seeded San Diego State also advanced to the weekend. A playoff to determine the final spot between Florida State and Kent State will be held Friday morning at 11 a.m. EDT.
Illinois' Tom Pieters carded a 5-under 208 (69-68-71) to win the individual national championship.
Junior Zach Edmondson, sophomore Ryan Eibner and senior David Watkins each shot 2-over during Thursday's final round. Edmondson was 5-under through nine holes with three birdies and a hole-in-one on No. 16, the first of his career. He remained under-par through 13 holes before shooting 7-over on the next three holes, but concluded his round with a birdie. Edmondson was the Pirates' top finisher, tied for 66th at 9-over.
Conference USA Player-of-the-Year Harold Varner posted an 8-over 79 to finish tied for 71st at 10-over. Varner was 2-over through the first 36 holes of the tournament, but was unable to make a move up the leaderboard as he recorded seven bogeys and one double bogey in his final round as an ECU Pirate.
Senior Adam Stephenson, who was only 5-over after two rounds of competition, completed his collegiate career as he registered a 7-over 78 and fell to 92nd overall with a three round score of 12-over 225. Eibner finished seven strokes behind Stephenson at 19-over 232, while Watkins closed out his career with a 54-hole tally of 23-over 236.
The Pirates posted the second-lowest score among the five Conference USA schools at the championship, only UCF recorded a lower score (885), tying for 19th. ECU finished six strokes ahead of Memphis (901), seven in front of UAB (902) and 23 better than Tulsa (918).