Nittany Lion Golfers Qualify For NCAA Championships With Tie For 8th At Central Regional
May 17, 2008
Columbus, Ohio, May 17, 2008 - On an extremely difficult day in which only three players posted par or better at the NCAA Central Regional, the Nittany Lion golf team secured an eighth place finish behind the terrific play of senior Robert Rohanna (Waynesburg, Pa.) and grabbed its third NCAA Championship berth in the modern era, all under coach Greg Nye. It is the 16th NCAA Championship appearance for the program overall, but just the third since regional play began.
Rohanna was outstanding as he tied for the best score of the third round with a 1-under par 70 while playing in winds that blew 25-30 miles an hour and made scores soar on the par-71, 7,455-yard Ohio State Scarlet Course.
"It was not for the faint of heart out there today," Nye said. "The competition was tough enough, and then Mother Nature just made it even harder."
In fact, only one team, No. 6 ranked Oklahoma State, broke a score of 300 on the day. Rohanna's tournament total of 2-over par 215 (75-70-70) was good for a second place tie, equaling the best finish ever for a Nittany Lion golfer in an NCAA Regional. Adam Decker also tied for second in 1996.
"Robert's play today was talked about by many coaches and they were in awe of what he was able to shoot under the conditions," Nye said. "He carried the team today with an outstanding round and the team posted a great score on Friday to put us in position."
Rohanna posted four birdies, one bogey and one double-bogey on the day and made a great up and down scramble for par on his last hole to preserve his score of 70. The two-time All-Big Ten selection finished just one shot off the pace of individual winner Kevin Tway of Oklahoma State who posted a 1-over par score of 214 after shooting a 75 on the day and making a scramble of his own to save par and secure the win on his final hole.
Rohanna's score was huge in helping the Nittany Lions, who started the day tied for third, in maintaining a Top 10 finish and earn and NCAA Bid. No other Lion posted a scoree better than 78 on the day and three shot 80 or better. Penn State finished with a score of 46-over par 898 (304-286-308) and in a tie for eighth with Kent State. The Nittany Lions second round total of 286 held up as the best score of the tournament.
Nineteenth ranked Wake Forest held on to win the Regional with a total of 27-over par 878 while Oklahoma State was second at 37-over par 889. Penn State, ranked No. 37 by Golfstat, joined fellow Big Ten teams Illinois (third) and Indiana (10th) in qualifying for the NCAA Championships and finished better than three teams ranked in the Top 20 in the tournament.
Sophomore Kevin Foley (Somerville, N.J), who began the day tied for eighth with Rohanna, finished in a tie for 33rd after closing with an 80. He posted a tournament total of 12-over par 225 (75-70-80). Fellow Sophomore T.J. Howe (Osceola, Pa.) also posted 80 in the final round and finished tied for 59th with a 15-over par total of 228 (76-72-80). Senior Harvin Groft (State College, Pa.) shot a final round 78 and finished tied for 75 at 17-over par 230 (78-74-78) and junior Chad Bricker (Waynesboro, Pa.) finished tied for 133rd at 30-over par 243 (84-75-84) after struggling with a closing round 84.
The top 10 teams in each of three NCAA Regionals advance to the NCAA Championships, May 28-31, on the Kampen Course at the Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex in West Lafayette, Ind.
Penn State T8th 304 286 308 898 +46
Robert Rohanna T2 75 70 70 215 +2
Kevin Foley T33 75 70 80 225 +12
TJ Howe T59 76 72 80 228 +15
Harvin Groft T75 78 74 78 230 +17
Chad Bricker T133 84 75 84 243 +30
NCAA Qualifying Teams
1. #19 Wake Forest +27 (878)
2. #6 Oklahoma State +37 (889)
3. Illinois +39 (891)
T4. #10 Florida +42 (894)
T4. #28 Lousiville +42 (894)
6. #3 Alabama +44 (896)
7. #26 Texas A&M +45 (897)
T8. #37 Penn State +46 (898)
T8. #34 Kent State +46 (898)
10. #23 Indiana +49 (901)