It wasn't the ACC Championships that the Virginia Cavaliers wanted coming into the week, but the Hoos’ Jimmy Stanger outlasted all the other participants to take the ACC men’s golf individual championship. The senior posted a six-under total over the three-day tournament and won a four-way playoff with a birdie at the 18th on the first playoff hole.
Saturday’s final round didn't start out how Stanger would have hoped. After a bogey at the tenth (his first hole of the final round) and a double-bogey at the 12th, the senior faced an uphill battle. But a three-hole stretch of birdie, eagle, birdie got Stanger right back in the mix. The eagle came off a hole-out with a wedge at the 401-yard, par four 14th and ignited his round.
But after playing his next 11 holes in one over par, Stanger needed a birdie at his final hole to qualify for a playoff and a chance at an ACC title. He’d connect to force a playoff with Ben Griffin from North Carolina, Paul McBride from Wake Forest, and Bryson Nimmer from Clemson.
The quartet went to the 18th for a sudden death playoff. There Stanger, McBride, and Nimmer all put their drives at the par four square in the middle. From there it would be a putting contest as Stanger put his approach about 12 feet, while Clemson’s Nimmer put his approach tight to about eight feet. In cold-blooded fashion, Stanger drained his birdie putt, dead center, forcing the pressure onto the Clemson sophomore. From there Nimmer missed on the left side giving Stanger the win.
Here’s the video of the championship-winning birdie putt.
For the individual ACC title! ⛳️ #uvamensgolf #accmgolfPosted by Jimmy Stanger on Saturday, April 22, 2017
“It obviously didn’t happen in regulation, but for it to happen like that, be able to fist pump it, and see the whole team right there, it’s a dream come true for sure and something I’ll say my prayers for tonight,” Stanger said.
No. 21 Duke won the team title, shooting 14-under 850, while No. 14 Clemson finished second at 2-under 862. Virginia placed sixth at 10-over 874, earning the Commonwealth Clash point with a better finish than Virginia Tech, who placed ninth. Next up for Stanger and No. 13 Virginia is the NCAA Regionals. Action tees off on May 15 as the Hoos hope to advance to the NCAA finals for the third consecutive year.