After defeating Arizona State earlier in the quarterfinals, the Tar Heel men’s golf team advanced to the semifinals against Georgia Tech, losing by a narrow score of 3-2 in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Tuesday night.
Senior Dylan Menate led UNC on the right foot and finished the round early with a six-hole finish. Menate was strong all day, losing just three of the 28 holes he played and winning 14.
Sophomore David Ford — similar to his previous match — came from behind to win by one hole. Ford not only has two back-to-back victories, but is also one of 11 golfers named to Ping’s All-America first team.
Ford won the ACC Player of the Year award — his first runner-up since 2010 — and became the first player since Brooks Koepka to win back-to-back ACC Player of the Year and Player of the Year honors at Florida State.
While Menante and Ford pushed the Tar Heels to within two points of a chance to play for the championship, both fifth-year Ryan Burnett and senior Austin Gresser lost by four and didn’t play the 17th and 18th holes.
For both the Yellow Jackets and Tar Heels, junior Peter Fountain and Ross Stillman’s final matchup decided who advanced. Stillman was able to pull ahead and set up crucial pars on holes 16 and 17 to put the match in his favor. However, Fountain gave Stillman a run for his money, sinking two layups to extend the match by dropping to 16 strokes, cutting the Georgia Tech senior’s lead to one.
Stillman beat the Yellow Jackets on hole 18, giving UNC an early ticket to a point on their third trip to the championship match.
As the season ended for the Tar Heels, PGA Tour University’s scoring chances stalled, with Tar Heel senior Ryan Burnett placing seventh. The PGA Tour is a university-only “tour” for college players that open up playing opportunities after college, including cards in several developmental leagues for those who finish at the highest level. Burnett will have the opportunity to play full-time on the PGA Tour Latin America, PGA Tour China or Mackenzie Tour upon graduation.
@dthssports | email@example.com
Sign up for our email newsletter to get the day’s news and headlines delivered to your inbox every morning.