May 19, 2012
GREENSBORO, N.C. (SMU) - After leading the NCAA East Regional through the first two rounds, SMU's Matt Schovee saw his collegiate career come to an end today in a sudden death playoff on the 10th hole of the East Course at the Grandover Resort. Fellow seniors Max Buckley and Marc Sambol's careers also came a close as SMU finished the regional in seventh place, five shots back of fifth place Tulsa.
"This day will hurt for awhile," said SMU head coach Josh Gregory. " We definitely felt like we gave this away. This team deserved to have a chance to compete at the NCAA's at Riviera. These three seniors deserved that opportunity. We unfortunately picked a bad day to struggle and we didn't finish it off."
Schovee came into the day with a two shot lead at 7-under, but a tough day that began with a bogey on the first hole, along with a double bogey on No. 6, followed by another bogey on No. 7, the senior saw his lead slip away. After two more bogeys on No. 9 and 13, Schovee got back on track with a birdie on the 14th hole. The senior closed out the round with a birdie on the 18th hole which eventually would put him in a sudden death playoff against Campbell's Viata Guillaume for the regional's individual spot in the NCAA Championship.
The two finished the round tied for first at 3-under along with Liberty's Robert Karlsson. No. 31 Liberty won the regional so Karlsson did not have to compete in the playoff.
The determined hole for the playoff was No. 10, which Guillaume was 1-under for the tournament on after recording a birdie yesterday, while Schovee was 1-over on the hole after a bogey earlier today. After a Schovee bogey, Guillaume won the playoff by recording a par.
As a team, SMU carded a 301 for the round, finishing the tournament with an 883 (288-294-301). Liberty led the way all week and finished atop the leaderboard after carding an 868. The other four teams to advance to the NCAA Championship were No. 18 Florida (871), No. 3 Auburn (874), Lamar (877) and Tulsa (878).
Despite missing out on the finals, Gregory looks forward to the future of the Mustang golf program after the success that his first team on the Hilltop has endured.
"I am so proud of this group of guys," said Gregory. "I never imagined that we could have the success we had this year. This group paved the way for the future of SMU golf. Selfishly, this was an extremely gratifying year as this team made more progress over the course of a season than any I have ever coached. We just unfortunately finished a week too early. We will be further motivated from this and we owe this group a huge thanks for helping SMU get back to national prominence."