Senior Jimmy Stanger and Sophomore Thomas Walsh vaulted the Virginia golf team to the next stage of the NCAA Championship on Sunday. The duo shot a collective 9-under-par and helped the Cavaliers make the tournament’s first cut. Virginia sits in a tie for 7th headed into Monday’s fourth round.
The NCAA Golf Championship can be difficult to follow (and even more difficult to explain). The stroke play portion of the tournament started on Friday with 30 teams. The field was cut to 15 teams after Sunday’s third round. The field will be cut a second time — down to 8 teams -- after Monday’s fourth round. The eight remaining teams will then take part in a match-play bracket to determine the champion.
Like I said...clear as mud.
Here’s a look at the current standings. Virginia won’t have much room for error if it hopes to advance to the final 8. UVA doesn’t need to gain any ground: it just needs to hold its current position. A number of teams are in striking distance.
The Hoos will certainly hope for more inspired play from Stanger and Walsh. Stanger, the 2017 ACC individual champion, reeled off four back-nine birdies on Sunday. He’s currently -7 overall and in 7th place as an individual. The NCAA individual title will be decided at the end of Monday’s 4th round.
As good as Stanger was, Walsh was actually a shot better. Walsh posted 7 birdies en route to a Sunday 67. His third-round performance was the best from a UVA player in the entire tournament. Walsh currently sits in a tie for 10th as an individual.
Virginia’s chances to advance would greatly benefit from a return to form from senior Derek Bard. The 2015 US Amateur finalist shot 5-over on Sunday after shooting 4-under on Saturday. Bard’s play on Monday might be the key for UVA to make it to match play.
Golf fans will be able to watch Monday’s round on The Golf Channel from 4-8 PM EST. You can also follow scores online at golfstatresults.com.