SUGAR GROVE, Ill. - The 26th-ranked Michigan State men's golf team played from behind for most of the 54-hole NCAA Central Regional tournament, but moved up the leaderboard during the final two days to finish in eighth place to earn a bid to the NCAA Championships. The Spartans carded an 18-over par 306 in the final day to bring their total score to 51-over par 915, behind top-team finisher Ryan Brehm who posted a 9-over par 225.
Tulsa took home the team regional title with a 31-over 895 (305-280-310--895), three strokes in front of second-place finisher Alabama (309-287-302--898). Individually, Lamar's Dawie Van Der Walt and Wisconsin's Dan Woltman won medalist honors after posting a 1-under par 215 over the three-day tournament.
Michigan State has earned its first trip to the NCAA Championships under head coach Mark Hankins. In the program's history, the Spartans have made 15 appearances, with their best finish in 1944 when the team came in fifth. The last time the team went to the Championships was in 1993, when the Green and White tied for 27th.
After turning in one of his worst rounds of the season with an 83 over the first 18 holes, Brehm concluded day three with the best Spartan score for the third time this season. He carded a 1-over 73 for the final round to combine with his sub-par round (69) yesterday to complete 54 holes with a 9-over par 225 total and in 17th place.
Matt Harmon scored one birdie and 10 pars to finish 7-over par 79 in the third round. He completed his final NCAA Regional tournament 11-over par 227 (75-73-79--227) and in a tie for 29th place.
Jack Newman turned in his second-best score of the tournament on day three with a 3-over par 75, which included a birdie on the last hole, the par-5 No. 9. The freshman completed his first regional tourney at 13-over (80-74-75--229) and in a tie for 39th place.
Grant Tungate put together four consecutive pars, the most by the sophomore during all three rounds, and had a total of seven pars for a 79 in the third round for a 79 (+7). He concluded the tournament with an 18-over par 234 and in tied for 63rd on the leaderboard.
Steve Cuzzort finished 54 holes in 108th place and tallied a 26-over par 242, concluding with an 81 (+9) on Saturday afternoon.
The Spartans advance to the NCAA Championships at the Golden Horseshoe Golf Club in Williamsburg, Va. Play begins on May 30.