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Close Call

Coloradan Clark falls just short of another win, this time at NCAA Regionals; Seiple also makes NCAA Finals; CU finishes 12th to conclude season


by Gary Baines - 5/17/2017


Make that seven top-two finishes for Coloradan Wyndham Clark in his magical final season of college golf.

And it's not over yet.

The Highlands Ranch resident, a fifth-year senior at the University of Oregon, finished second Wednesday in the Men's NCAA Division I Regional tournament in Baton Rouge, La. And the Ducks, the defending national champions, qualified for the NCAA Finals by placing third in the 14-team field. The top five team finishers and the top individual not on those teams from each regional advance to the Finals, set for May 26-31 in Sugar Grove, Ill.

Clark (pictured), who won the Pac-12 Conference individual title on April 30 at Boulder Country Club, made a run at the victory on Wednesday. With the No. 1-ranked (Clark) and No. 2 (Sam Burns of host LSU) college golfers in the nation battling it out for the indiviudal win, Clark made up four strokes in the final round, but ended up one behind Burns.

Clark, the Pac-12 Player of the Year who won the CGA Amateur in 2010 as a 16-year-old, shot a 1-under-par 71 in the final round, giving him a 3-under 213 total. He made just one bogey in his final 35 holes. Burns, who opened with a 65, ended up at 212 after a final-round 75. He struggled on his final nine holes, posting a 5-over 41, but parred his final two holes to secure the win at LSU's home course. The Tigers also won the team title.

The finish gives Clark a remarkable 11 top-10 finishes in a dozen tournaments as a senior. He owns three wins, four seconds, one third, a fifth, a sixth, a 10th and a 13th.

Meanwhile, the University of Colorado -- the only Colorado-based school which earned a berth in the DI regionals -- finished 12th out of 13 teams in the West, Lafayette, Ind., Regional. It marked the fifth consecutive year that the Buffs have qualified for the NCAA Regionals but failed to advance to the NCAA Finals. They missed by 28 strokes this time around. CU -- whose No. 1 player, Jeremy Paul, turned pro a month ago -- last made it to nationals as a team in 2002.

Junior Yannik Paul (75-78-72--225) finished 31st individually to lead the Buffs. Coloradan Ethan Freeman concluded his college career by placing 59th at 232.

Elsewhere, Coloradan Josh Seiple, like Clark a former Valor Christian High School golfer, also will be going to the NCAA Finals. His University of Mississippi team advanced by finishing fourth in the Austin, Texas Regional. Individually, Seiple placed 25th, going 73-74-70 for a 4-over-par 217 total.

Also in Austin, Jake Staiano of Colorado State, another former Valor golfer, finished 38th while competing only as an individual. The sophomore went 73-74-74--221.


MEN'S NCAA DIV. I REGIONALS

May 15-17, 2017 (final) in West Lafayette, Ind.
12. (out of 13 teams) Colorado 304-308-298--910

31. Yannik Paul 75-78-72--225
49. Victor Bjorlow 77-78-74--229
59. Ethan Freeman 77-76-79--232
63. John Souza 75-85-73--233
67. Spencer Painton 78-76-80--234

May 15-17, 2017 (final) in Baton Rouge, La.
2. Coloradan Wyndham Clark, Oregon 72-70-71--213

May 15-17, 2017 (final) in Austin Texas
25. Coloradan Josh Seiple, Mississippi 73-74-70--217
38. Jake Staiano, Colorado State 73-74-74--221
 




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