PINEHURST, N.C. – Freshman Matt Ball Jr. (Richmond, Va.) staged a furious final-round rally to claim runner-up honors, and Virginia Commonwealth University turned in an outstanding team finish at the Pinehurst Intercollegiate at Pinehurst No. 6.
Ball carded a personal-best 66 on Sunday, the lowest by a Ram this season. The Richmond-native booked seven birdies to tie UNCW's Josh Brock with a 54-hole total of 212. In a one-hole playoff, Brock birdied No. 9, a 441-yard par 4 - while Ball made par - to earn the individual title.
Down the stretch, Ball was nearly flawless, firing birdies on the final three holes to tie Brock and force the playoff. Ball excelled in the short game Sunday and recorded just 21 putts.
As a team, the Rams tied for third with Penn State with a three-day total of 882 (+30), VCU's best final standing in a tournament this season. UNC Wilmington continued its impressive season, capturing the team crown (873). Virginia Tech was second (879).
Senior Mark Jargren (Helsingborg, Sweden) tied for eighth place after matching his season-low round of 69 on the 6,880-yard, par 71 course.
I think there were four rounds under 70 and two were us. That's pretty good, and it's not because the course was easy," said VCU Head Coach Matt Ball.
Freshman Rocky Khara (Sebring, Fla.) and junior Matt Smith (Lancaster, Pa.) tied for 42nd for the Rams.
VCU returns to the links on Thursday, March 17 when it heads to the Desert Shootout at the Palm Valley Golf Club in Goodyear, Ariz.