April 24, 2012
TEXARKANA, Ark. (SMU) - Day three of the Conference USA Championships again saw Max Buckley continue to the lead No. 40 SMU at the Texarkana Golf Club. Coming off of medalist honors a week ago, the senior produced a 3-under par for the round, finishing at 7-under (68-71-69=209), tied for second place. The Mustangs concluded the tournament tied for fourth place with No. 33 UAB at 9-over par.
No. 41 Memphis won the tournament with a 5-under par, two strokes ahead of No. 22 UCF.
Starting the day in fifth place, Buckley began making birdies when they mattered--the back nine of the final round. Even par through nine holes, the senior sank three birdies within his first four holes on the back nine to get to 2-under on the day. After another on No. 17, he found himself one shot back when he entered the clubhouse.
Despite a bogey by Memphis' Jack Belote on No. 16 to drop back into a tie with Buckley, UCF sophomore Greg Eason, who began the day in first, picked up birdies on No. 16 and No. 17 to pass the two and claim top honors. The finish was Buckley's third top-five finish of the season and third top-10 result in his last five tournaments. The senior was tied for the most birdies in the tournament (15), while also coming up with one eagle.
"I'm very proud of Max for what he has done the past two weeks," said SMU head coach Josh Gregory. "He is really coming into his own and showing that he is one of the best players in the country."
With an even par (72), Marc Sambol finished his final appearance in the C-USA Championship tied for 24th place at 6-over par. One back of the senior was Harry Higgs Higgs who ended his day at 1-over par. The sophomore finished tied for 27th. Also finishing in the top 35 was Matt Schovee, who took 33rd at 8-over.
Even with a tough first round, Brooks Price scored for the second day in a row in for the Mustangs, carding a 3-over, 75.
"Overall, we played fairly well, just had a poor second round that took us out of contention," Gregory said. "You just can't shoot 300 and win. That said, it was another solid top-five finish, giving us 10 out of 14 on the year which I am very proud of.
"We now get a break and a chance to rest and prepare for NCAA regionals. We have been on the road all spring with nine events. To play that consistent is a credit to these guys."
The NCAA will announce the regional tournaments on May 7.