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Thursday June 8th

UNC men's golf ties for fifth-place finish at the NCAA Championship

<p>Ryan Burnett putts in the green at the Rod Myers Invitational at the Duke University Golf Club on Sunday, September 15, 2019.&nbsp;</p>
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Ryan Burnett putts in the green at the Rod Myers Invitational at the Duke University Golf Club on Sunday, September 15, 2019. 

The UNC men’s golf team finished its run in the 2022 NCAA Championship with a fifth-place finish on Tuesday in Scottsdale, Ariz, at Grayhawk Golf Club. 

What happened?

The No. 5 seed men's golf team teed off on Friday, May 26. The Tar Heels got off to a good start as senior Ryan Burnett and first-year David Ford both shot 1-over-par 71s, placing UNC in seventh with a final round of 8-over par 288. 

On day two, Burnett had the best stroke of the day, shooting with 1-under 69 to lead UNC. Ford shot an even-par 70 on the day after two doubles bogeys, tying for ninth. He also led UNC in birdies for the second straight day, with five on day two. Fifth-year senior Ryan Gerard’s stroke play led him to an even-par 70 like teammate Ford, and tied him for eighth.

On day three, Burnett and Gerard each shot another even-par 70, and UNC stood solidly at fourth place overall with a total score of 849. Burnett, Ford, and junior Austin Greaser were named to the 2022 PING All-East Region at the end of stroke play on the day. Burnett also moved 1-under on hole 10 for the championship.

On Monday, the fourth day of stroke play, UNC advanced to NCAA quarterfinals match. Burnett finished the day in a four-way tie and replayed the 18 hole for the individual championship, but he was out-stroked by Vanderbilt’s Gordon Sargent with a birdie on the par-4 hole. Burnett finished on the day tied at second and Ford tied at fifth. The lowest stroke on the day came from Greaser 1-under 69.  

In the semifinals of match play against the defending champions, the No. 6 seed Pepperdine Waves, Ford won his match against senior Joe Highsmith while Greaser beat junior William Mouw. 

The Tar Heels lost in a 3-2-0 match. 

Who stood out? 

Ford and Burnett have notched almost identical scores throughout the entire course of the NCAA Championship, and lead their team in scoring.

Neither player scored over a 71 in stroke play and both shot 1-under 69 in the alternating rounds. Both earned All-America honors and became the first pair to finish in the top five.

When was it decided?

Derek Hitchner, of the defending champions Pepperdine, made a birdie on the 16 to take the lead for the Waves by one against Gerard in match play. Hitchner won the last two holes leading by two.

Why does it matter?

This is the second consecutive year the Tar Heels have appeared in the NCAA Championship and ended in the top five. 

When do they play next?

This marks the end of the UNC men's golf team's 2022 season.

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