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The Daily Tar Heel

Ryan Burnett captures NCAA Men's Golf Regional Title, UNC advances to NCAA Championship

Menante ACC Rd 1 (Mead) 05.JPG

UNC senior Dylan Menante swings his golf club during the 2023 ACC Men’s Golf Championship at the Dogwood Course in Pinehurst, N.C. on April 21, 2023.
Photo Courtesy of Andy Mead/YCJ.

The No. 2 North Carolina Men’s Golf team qualified for the NCAA Championship for the sixth consecutive year. The team finished third at the Salem Regional at The Cliffs at Keowee Falls. Tar Heel senior Ryan Burnett captured the individual title by two strokes after three days of play. 

What happened?

After their lackluster performance at the ACC Championship – not making the cut for the semifinals – the Tar Heels were hoping for a strong showing at the Salem Regional of the NCAA tournament. 

The Tar Heels showed command on the first day of the regional with Burnett tying his career low of 63, on par with the best round by a Tar Heel in an NCAA tournament. Burnett took the lead after the first day following his spectacular performance which included an eagle on 18 to lead the field.

Burnett was followed in the standing by former NCAA regional champion senior Austin Greaser who sat eighth after shooting five-under 67. The five Tar Heels combined to go 15-under 273 pushing them into third place behind Arkansas and New Mexico. 

The Tar Heels continued their consistent manner of play heading into the second of three days, with three Tar Heels shooting in the 70s and Burnett anchoring the team with a 68 to maintain his one-shot lead of the tournament. UNC, who came into the regional as the top seed, maintained their position at third as the day concluded with Greaser, sophomore David Ford and senior Dylan Menante all shooting two under par as the Tar Heels cumulatively posted 10 under for the day. 

The three-day tournament concluded on Wednesday as the Tar Heels punched their ticket to the NCAA championship in Scottsdale, Arizona. 

On the final day, UNC shot 18-under 270 to finish third behind Georgia Tech and Arkansas with a total score of 43 under. 

Burnett led the team making his second straight 68 of the tournament with another productive ending to the day birding the 18th hole. Menante made nine birdies and moved up 16 spots due to his season-low 64, to finish tied for 12. 

The entire team found success on the final day with junior Peter Fountain and Ford shooting their lowest of the regional with a 71 and 69 respectively. 

Who stood out? 

Burnett won his second title of the season and tied his career-best on Monday with a 63 (9-under par). He became the first-ever North Carolina player to achieve a stellar 9-under-par score in a single round during an NCAA regional tournament with himself and teammate Greaser, also shooting 63 during an NCAA regional.  

When was it decided?

The Tar Heels, while the top seed in the regional, maintained their third place the entire tournament having a team-best day on Wednesday shooting 18 under. 

Why does it matter?

After not making match play in the ACC tournament, the No. 2 ranked Tar Heels were hoping for a better showing in the NCAA regional, something they achieved led by Ryan Burnett’s individual victory. With their third-place finish, the Tar Heels have punched their ticket to a sixth consecutive NCAA championship. UNC’s total of 273 is equivalent to its second-lowest round in an NCAA regional. 

When do they play next?

The Tar Heels will travel to Scottsdale, Arizona for the NCAA championship that begins on May 26 at Greyhawk Golf Club. 


@dthsports |

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