Match play set for NCAA Division I Men’s Championship

Cory Whitsett has Alabama in first place after three rounds (Photo by Alabama Athletics/NCAA)
Cory Whitsett has Alabama in first place after three rounds (Photo by Alabama Athletics/NCAA)

After three rounds, the 30-team field has been cut to eight at the 2012 NCAA Men’s Division 1 Championships taking place at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades. Kent State knocked off Florida State this morning in a sudden death playoff to secure the eighth and final spot in the match play quarterfinals.

Alabama, No. 2 in the country coming into the event, sits atop the leaderboard at 7-over thanks to phenomenal rounds from sophomore Cory Whitsett (73-68-71–212, T-4th individually) and freshman Justin Thomas (70-70-73–213, T-7). They will face Kent State (No. 17) today as the tournament format switches to match play.

No. 5 ranked UCLA, led by the world’s top ranked amateur Patrick Cantlay (74-72-66–212, T-4), shot 9-over, landing them the second seed in the quarterfinals. The Bruins will tee off against No. 7 ranked Oregon as Cantlay tries to maintain his momentum from yesterday’s 5-under 66 round.

Jordan Spieth rebounded from a day-two 79 disaster to shoot 69 in his third round, helping Texas to the third seed in quarterfinals play. The Longhorns, ranked No. 1 in the country at the start of the tournament, will have their hands full when they meet No. 8 Washington in match play.

San Diego State (No. 10) and California (No. 3) tied for fourth place after three rounds, each posting cumulative scores of 871. They will face each other in match play later today.

Two teams that have to be disappointed with their performances are No. 4 Auburn and No. 6 USC. Both teams shot 880 over the course of the first three rounds, finishing in tie for 15th place and five strokes outside the cut. The result is particularly unsatisfying for USC, as they were unable to cash in on having home-course advantage.

Live scoring of the event is available at calgolfnews.com.

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