EUGENE, Ore. – The Kentucky men’s golf team’s bid to advance to match play at the NCAA Championship came up just short on Sunday in Eugene, Ore., but that does not diminish its rise to become one of the nation’s top teams in 2016 in which the Wildcats achieved this year.
From a non-tournament team a season ago, to one of the top-15 teams in the country in 2016 the Wildcats enjoyed one of the best seasons in the country under the tutelage of Brian Craig who led his team to the NCAA Championship for the sixth time in his tenure.
Senior David Snyder and sophomore Tyler “Chip” McDaniel carded rounds of 72 on the final day of play to pace the Wildcats. Snyder’s round will cap his phenomenal career in the Blue and White. He appeared in every tournament in each of his last two seasons as a Wildcat and finishes his career as a two-time NCAA Championship participant.
Kentucky’s 13th-place finish is its highest at the NCAA Championship since placing fifth in 2006.
What head coach Brian Craig is saying:
“We played our hearts out this week and I could not be prouder of these boys. This has to be the most improved team in the nation and that is quite satisfying. We will miss our team captain, David Snyder. He was a terrific leader for his teammates this year. And how about Chip, Coop and Stephen this year? Those boys got better and did a fantastic job. I already can’t wait to coach this entire team again next year. The future is really bright for this group of guys and I am privileged to be a part of it.”
About the lineup:
Snyder shrug off a pair of bogeys on the front nine before playing even-par over his final nine holes. He birdied the par-five fourth and the par-four eighth to finish his career in style. He concludes the tournament in a tie for 67th overall.
McDaniel logged a 72 to match Snyder’s 2-over par round. The Manchester, Ky., native tied for 26th overall to lead the Wildcats on the individual leaderboard. He notched two birdies on the day and an eagle on the par-five fourth to highlight his round.
Sophomore Cooper Musselman matched McDaniel on the individual leaderboard, finishing in a tie for 26th overall. Musselman had a round of 74 on the final day. Musselman had two birdies after the turn to conclude the back nine at even par.
Junior Stephen Stallings had a final round of 76, while freshman Lukas Euler posted a 77. Stallings placed in a tie for 67th and Euler ended the weekend in a tie for 79th.
The Tournament Field:
The Wildcats finished in 13th overall in the final day of competition for the top eight slots to compete in match play to determine the national champion. UK posted a 14-over par final round and concluded the round 13 shots out of the top eight.
Texas, Illinois, LSU, Southern California, Vanderbilt, Oregon, South Carolina and Oklahoma will move on to compete for the title.