Arkansas finishes 10th in NCAA golf

ATLANTA — It was a tough final day for the Arkansas men’s golf team on Thursday at the NCAA Championships as the Razorbacks finished the stroke play portion of the event at three-over par as a team, good for 10th place.

Freshman Nicolas Echavarria and junior Sebastian Cappelen tied for 13th and 16th, respectively, to lead the Razorbacks.

Arkansas’ final tally was one shot shy of a four-way tie for sixth place, a position that would have sent the Razorbacks back out on the course to determine the final participants in match play which is scheduled to begin today.

“I was really pleased with the way that we played throughout the tournament,” Arkansas head coach Brad McMakin said. “We didn’t have a good day today, but we still had a chance to make match play late in the round and that is all you can ask for. Nicolas had a great tournament and he was really upset that he wasn’t able to make that putt, but we would not have been in that position if he hadn’t played so well all week.”

As a team, the Razorbacks were six-over par on Thursday which included five double bogeys, a total that exceeded their double bogey total from the first two days combined. Those miscues were too much for Arkansas’ 13 birdies to overcome and placed the Razorbacks in 10th, their best finish since the NCAA runner-up performance in 2009. The top 10 placing is the second for McMakin as Arkansas’ head coach, just the ninth top 10 finish in program history and only the second since 1994.

California, ranked No. 1 in the country, finished first in stroke play at 16-under par as a team and was followed by No. 7 and host Georgia Tech at 10-under par. No. 2 Alabama and No. 4 Texas tied for third with Illinois fifth and No. 6 New Mexico, No. 21 Texas A&M, UNLV and Arizona State all tied for sixth at two-over par.

Cappelen closed out the NCAA tournament with an even round of 70 on Thursday to shoot three-under for the three days. Playing in his first NCAA event, Echavarria closed with a score of four-under and tied for 13th after a two-over 72 on Thursday.