On Saturday morning, play resumed and the Tar Heels had to finish both the first round and the second round. After the first round, the team combined for a score of eight-over-par, sitting them in 22nd place. In the second round, they improved with a one-over-par score — moving up to a four-way tie for 13th place.
But only the top 15 teams advance to the fourth round of the NCAA Championship, so the third round was the Tar Heels' last chance to move up, or at least stay where it was to continue playing on.
In the third round, North Carolina stumbled and shot nine-over-par, but survived in 15th place, nabbing the last qualifying spot for the fourth round.
Before the fourth round, the Tar Heels made a roster change. After the third round, senior Montaño flew home to Cochabamba, Bolivia to compete in the South America Games. First-year Gerard replaced Montaño in the lineup and made his NCAA Championship debut.
After the fourth round, only the top-eight teams advance to the match play quarterfinals. UNC didn't make the cut, but it closed out one of its most successful seasons in recent memory.
Who stood out?
Griffin stood out for the Tar Heels in the final tournament of his collegiate career. Griffin climbed the individual leaderboard over the course of the tournament, shooting a four-over-par the first round to start in 102nd place, then moved up to 77th with a one-over-par second round. He shot a two-under-par in the third round for 43rd place and finished his career with a four-over par final round to finish in a seven-way tie. In his last tournament, he shot eight-over-par overall.
Martin also stood out for the Tar Heels throughout the tournament. He shot even-par in the first round for 38th place, then holed three birdies in his first four holes for a three-under second round and 13th place. In the third round, he shot one-over-par and finished tied for 14th place, but fell to 52nd after a fourth round falter four-over-par. His stellar play through three rounds still made him one of UNC's best players all tournament.
When was it decided?
Though the Tar Heels were in 15th place after the third round of competition, they were unable to secure a top-eight place finish and qualify for the quarterfinals. In the fourth round, they shot 17-over-par, which kept them in 15th place on the team leaderboard and sealed their fate for the season.
Why does it matter?
In head coach Andrew DiBitetto’s first season at the helm, UNC advanced to the NCAA Championship and placed 15th, the team's highest national finish in the past fifteen years. It was the 44th time and second consecutive year North Carolina played in the NCAA Championship, an indication that the team might be headed for bigger things in the coming years.
It was also the final tournament for three seniors Griffin, Montaño and Register who are 1-2-3 all-time in stroke average in UNC history and were also named to the PING’s All-East Region team.
When do they play next?
The Tar Heels won’t be back in action until the fall season.
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