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Eagles stumble to 12th place finish

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Georgia Southern golf team capped a tough weekend at the NCAA Regionals by shooting a 309 in the third round at Ohio State’s Scarlet Course Saturday as the Eagles placed 12th in the tournament.
    New Mexico shot a team low 283 to move from fifth to first (+18), while Auburn (+20) and South Carolina tied for second. UNLV (+26) and Texas Tech (+27) rounded out the top-5 to advance to the NCAA Championship finals at the Capital City Club Crabapple Course in Atlanta May 28-June 2.
    Virginia’s Denny McCarthy posted a tournament low 66 today to tie for second (+1) and earn the individual bid to the finals. New Mexico’s James Erkenbeck fired a 68 to finish 3-under for the tournament, the only player under par, and take medalist honors.
    Christian Humber led Georgia Southern, which teed off on hole 10 again today, with a 75, and Scott Wolfes posted a 76. Hayden Anderson finished with a 78, Will Evans notched an 80 and Charlie Martin, who fought his swing all week and valiantly battled through the three rounds, posted an 86.
    The weekend was not indicative of the Eagles’ season as Georgia Southern won three team tournaments and finished in the top-5 in six of their 12 events. GSU won consecutive tournaments for the first time since 1982 and won three tourneys in a season for the first time since the 2008-09 campaign.
    The Eagles lose just one senior and return their quintet from this weekend, which also played in the SoCon Championships, to next season’s roster. Matthew Mierzejewski, who played on the Eagles’ two tournament-winning teams in the fall and recently qualified for the U.S. Open Sectionals, also returns.
    “We took a step forward this season,” said Georgia Southern coach Larry Mays. “We were a top-55 team, posted three tournament wins and made a regional. We still have a fairly young nucleus, and this taste of an NCAA Regional Tournament will certainly be beneficial in the future.”
    Humber birdied hole 14 today and was 1-over through 11 holes. The junior bogeyed holes 3, 4 and 8 on the front to finish 4-over for the third straight day. Wolfes double bogeyed 16 and was 3-over through his first 12 holes. The sophomore posted bogeys on holes 4 and 6 to finish 5-over. The pair tied for 43rd at 12-over for the week.
    Anderson birdied 10 and 12 and was even through his first eight holes before hitting a snag on hole 18. He tried to cut the corner on the par-4 dogleg left, and it went through some trees and through the fairway where it apparently got lost in the rough. The junior had to tee it up again, and he struggled through the rest of the hole, making a nine. He recovered to birdie hole 1 but made three straight bogies on holes 4, 5 and 6.
    “If it wasn’t for bad luck, we wouldn’t have had any at all,” said Mays. “Our day’s round was summed up by Hayden having to take a lost ball after hitting one just off the fairway.”
    Evans was 3-over through his first nine holes and parred four straight holes as he made the turn. A double bogey on hole 2 started a downward slide, and the junior posted three straight bogeys on holes 4, 5 and 6.
    Martin’s highlight of the day was a chip-in for birdie on hole 12, but the sophomore finished his first nine holes 9-over with three double bogeys.