Purdue Advances to NCAA Championships
May 17, 2017

Complete Results / Photo Gallery / Round 3 Highlights

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- For the third time in the last four years, the Purdue men's golf team has reached college golf's pinnacle event, advancing out of the West Lafayette Regional to next week's NCAA National Championships.

The Boilermakers survived a tough closure to the round, but finished fifth out of 13 teams to reach the NCAA Championships for the third time in four years. Purdue shot a 54-hole total of 18-over par 882 (292-287-303) to be inside the cutline by three shots, ahead of Augusta (885) and Saint Mary's (885). Top-seeded Florida finished eighth at 27-over par 891.

Purdue will be joined by UNLV, who won the regional at 8-over par 872 (287-286-299), Auburn (875), Illinois (878) and New Mexico (880).

The Boilermakers were sitting pretty through the middle part of the round, until it reached holes 16 through 18. The three holes were playing into the teeth of a 30-mile per hour wind, making par a strong score on each of the holes. Purdue played the final three holes in 14-over par, but managed to play well enough early and in the middle part of the round to hold on for the fifth and final qualifying spot.

"We've played this golf course so many times and we knew how 16 through 18 would play coming in," Purdue head coach Rob Bradley said. "I looked at my phone and I felt a lot better seeing how we were playing early in the round, knowing how the late holes were going to play today. It's a little bit of mixed feelings when you finish the way you do, but we are one of the few teams left that will still be playing next weekend and I know we are very proud of that."

The three holes played a combined 1.81 strokes over par per player during the final round, including 1.58 on holes 17 and 18. There were just four total birdies in round three on 17 and 18.

"Through 15 holes, we really fought today. This has been a team effort all year and am really proud of the guys for fighting all the way to the end," Bradley said. "We earned it this week. We played really well for 51 holes this week and put ourselves in the position to be where we were."

Brian Carlson once again led the Boilermakers with a 1-over par 73, playing excellent golf the last two days after an opening-round 83. The junior from Madison, Connecticut, finished tied for 49th, but his 2-over par 146 over the final two rounds was the 12th-best final 36 holes among the teams in the field.

After Monday's round, Carlson went to Coyote Crossing to play and get his swing and mindset back in order. It paid off for him during the second and third rounds.

"I refocused after my round on Monday. You're going to have bad days playing golf and that was a rough day for me, but bouncing back is really important. I think I was able to do that. It feels great to help the team back to the national championships," Carlson said.

Purdue's top finisher was sophomore Jarle Volden, who had a sensational regional, finishing tied for eighth at 2-over par 218 (74-68-76). It marked his first career top-10 finish.

Classmate Timmy Hildebrand also had a strong performance in his first NCAA action, finishing tied for 17th at 6-over par 222 (73-71-78). Hildebrand leads the team with seven top-20 finishes this year.

Seniors Austin Eoff (71-75-77=223) and Fernando Barco (74-75-77=226) finished tied for 21st and 37th, respectively.

For Eoff, who arrived with Coach Bradley at Purdue four years ago, the trip to nationals caps off a special career for the senior from Arkansas.

"It's huge for Fernando and me. I think we have helped change this program and get it to where it is today," Eoff said. "This really means a lot to us and we are going to go there and hopefully make some noise."

The Boilermakers have now advanced to the NCAA National Championships for the third time in the last four years, with the lone miss coming in 2015, when they lost in a regional playoff to Houston. Purdue will be making its 29th NCAA Championships appearance, the 19th most in NCAA history.

"This is a big deal for us. There are a lot of really good teams there and there are really good teams that won't make it. It's our goal every year. We need to learn from the last two nationals and be more competitive and put forth a good showing. This year's team is a little different and we've been there before and played Rich Harvest Farms. We can go in with a different mentality," Bradley said.

Action at Rich Harvest Farms will begin next Friday, May 26, at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Illinois. The 30 qualifying teams and 156 total players will play 54 holes, before the top 15 teams play a fourth round on Memorial Day. From there, the top eight teams advance to match play before the national championship match on Wednesday, May 31.



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