OCALA, Fla. — The Georgia Southern Eagles recorded a 1-over, 289 final round on Saturday to cap off its season with an eighth-place finish in the NCAA Southeast Regional. Senior Logan Blondell guided the Eagles to a 4-under 860 team total (285-286-289) by firing a 209 (-7) to finish in a sixth-place tie. Florida, playing host to the 14-team field at the par-72 6,994-yard Golden Ocala Golf Club, won the tournament with an 18-under 846.
“We got off to a rough start [Saturday], but I’m really proud of the boys for showing a lot of heart and coming back,” said GSU coach Larry Mays. “Our whole grouping got off to a horrible start on the back nine. We recovered and really dug down deep to have chance at the end. We had great performances coming down the stretch and made it close.”
The region-champion Florida Gators (-18) finished six strokes ahead of second place Augusta State (-12). Kennesaw State finished one stroke back of the Jaguars in third place (-11) while N.C. State finished in fourth place at 9-under. Arkansas rounded out the top five at 8-under. The top five teams advance to the NCAA Championships at Karsten Creek in Stillwater, Okla., May 31st-June 5th.
Blondell, who finished runner-up in the 2010 NCAA Southeast Regional, carded a pair of 69s and a 71 to conclude his Georgia Southern career with a top-10 finish in the 2011 regional. He started the day battling the back nine and making the turn at 1-over. Blondell’s scorecard changed on the front nine with birdies on hole No. 1, 3, 7 and 8 to finish at 3-under.
Hayden Anderson concluded his freshman campaign with a tie for 14th-place finish (-3), his best of the season. Starting the front nine at 3-over, Anderson quickly lowered his round with a birdie on the par-4 first and third. He also played holes No. 5 and 8 at 1-under each to sign for a 1-under 71.
Lewis Gruber moved up the individual standings for the second-straight day. The junior scattered six birdies around the course to help him conclude the final round at 1-over. Gruber finished the tournament with a 225 (+9) for a 54th-place tie with Senior Matt Deal.
Sophomore Florian Sander concluded the tournament two strokes back from Gruber and Deal in a 60th-place tie (+11).
*1. Florida -18
*2. Augusta State -12
*3. Kennesaw State -11
*4. NC State -9
*5. Arkansas -8
6. Missouri -6
7. Baylor -5
8. Georgia Southern -4
9. Notre Dame +1
T10. UCF +9
T10. Oregon +9
T10. SE Louisiana +9
13. Jacksonville State +40
14. Jackson State +79
*Advance to national championship