OOLTEWAH, Tenn. - The Oregon State men's golf team climbed the leader board on Thursday to tie for 16th place at the NCAA Championships at The Honors Course hosted by Chattanooga.
Senior Diego Velasquez played an incredible round, tying the competition course record with a 6-under 66 to finish fourth as an individual.
Velasquez caught fire on the front nine, knocking down birdies back-to-back-to-back-to-back on holes four through seven. His strong play continued through the back nine wtih two more birdies and he did not have a bogey in the round. His finish is the best in OSU history.
"Today was awesome," Velasquez said. "I felt like my game has been right there throughout the tournament. Today, the putts finally went in."
The Beavers got out to a good start, opening the round at 3-under through three holes. The team shot 5-under on holes 11 through 14 and finished with a 1-under 287.
"We went out with the intent to be aggressive and take a few more chances knowing we needed to make a lot of birdies to move up the leader board," coach Brian Watts said. "I'm really proud of these guys. They played hard and fought to the end. Today we went out there with nothing to lose and played a relaxed round. I really encouraged them to focus on enjoying each shot and the whole experience."
After the completion of round two Oregon State was in 21st place.
The Beavers rallied behind Velasquez and finished 11-over par (875) for the tournament. The Beavers finished their final round in the morning and had to wait out the afternoon finishers to see their final place.
"We knew that it would be a long shot for us to have a chance to make match play," Watts said. "But we enjoyed watching the leader board all afternoon. The team had a great experience and will have memories that will last a lifetime. We were able to finish ahead of many top programs in the country and they should be very proud of that."
Sophomores Morten Madsen and Alex Moore shot 73s in third round, while freshman Nick Sherwood had a 3-over 75.
Velasquez wasn't alone in shooting a 66. San Diego's Alex Ching, Virginia's Henry Smart and Oregon's Jake Dukeminier all shot that score Wednesday. The foursome joined Michael Sim and Ryan Blaum, who had set the record at the 2004 Southern Amateur.
"It is such a great way for Diego to finish his collegiate career," Watts said. "I'm really proud of the way he played all week and to go out this way is great."
Team scores: 1. Oklahoma State (283-284-283) 850; 2. Florida State (283-279-292) 854; 3. Georgia Tech (290-282-286) 858; 4. Washington (289-288-283) 860; 5. Oregon (284-294-283) 861; 6. Augusta State (287-288-288) 863; 7. Texas Tech (302-285-280) 867; t8. Stanford (292-288-288) 868; t8. Arizona State (286-292-290) 868; t8. San Diego (294-282-292) 868; t11. Florida (287-289-293) 869; t11. Virginia (300-280-289) 869; 13. 13. Texas A&M (285-304-282) 871; 14. North Florida (292-293-287) 872; 15. USC (295-290-289) 874; t16. Oregon State (295-293-287) 875; t16. Clemson (286-291-298) 875; t16. UCLA (294-286-295) 875; 19. Illinois (304-285-287) 876; 20. Kent State (292-293-292) 877; t21. UNLV (294-292-293) 879; t21. Texas (290-296-293) 879; 23. California (293-294-293) 880; 24. LSU (303-290-290) 883; t25. Baylor (294-295-295) 884; t25. Tennessee (297-292-295) 884; t27. Duke (296-297-296) 889; t27. TCU (302-296-291) 889; 29. Penn State (301-298-299) 898; 30. Georgia Southern (297-299-309) 605.
Top Individuals: 1. Scott Langley, Illinois (70-68-68) 206; t2. Alex Ching, San Diego (69-66-73) 208; t2. Peter Uihlein, Oklahoma State (69-68-71) 208; 4. Diego Velasquez, Oregon State (71-72-66) 209; 5. Henrik Norlander, Augusta State (68-69-73) 210; t6. John Peterson, LSU (73-68-70) 211; t6. Drew Kittleson, Florida State (70-70-71) 211; t6. John Hahn, Kent State (72-70-69) 211; t9. Eugene Wong, Oregon (69-72-71) 212; t9. Chris Williams, Washington (72-71-69) 212; t9. Paul Haley, Georgia Tech (70-69-73) 212; t9. Gregor Main, UCLA (71-69-72) 212.
OSU: 4. Diego Velasquez (71-72-66) 209; t72. Morten Madsen (77-71-73) 221; t90. Alex Moore (79-71-73) 223; t128. Mike Barry (71-79-79) 229; t139. Nick Sherwood (76-80-75) 231