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Men’s golf misses out on championship berth after eighth-place finish at regionals

Sophomore Devon Bling (pictured) tied for 17th place, while junior Hidetoshi Yoshihara and sophomore Eddy Lai tied for 37th place in the NCAA regionals. The Bruins’ eighth-place finish wasn’t enough to grant them a NCAA championship berth. (Courtesy of UCLA Athletics)

By Justin Auh

May 15, 2019 11:01 pm

The Bruins’ season has come to an early close.

UCLA men’s golf finished at 11-under 829 to place eighth out of 14 teams at the NCAA regionals in Pullman, Washington. The Bruins were unable to attain the top-five finish necessary to qualify for their second straight NCAA championship berth.

UCLA was two strokes behind fifth place after the first round, sitting in a four-way tie for sixth place at 5-under with No. 17 South Carolina, Florida and Purdue. Senior Cole Madey shot 3-under Monday to pace the team. Junior Hidetoshi Yoshihara earned a team-high six birdies but totaled five bogies, tying for 23rd at 1-under.

Despite shooting 4-under in the second round, the Bruins remained in sixth place, three strokes back of the coveted fifth-place spot. Sophomore Eddy Lai shot the team round of the day at 3-under, vaulting him to a tie for 26th with Yoshihara and sophomore Devon Bling. Madey fell to a tie for 31st after shooting 2-over Tuesday.

Colorado State shot 11-under in the second round, a 10-stroke improvement, to leapfrog UCLA and take fifth place heading into the final round.

On Wednesday, Bling shot his best round of the tournament at 4-under. However, the Bruins only shot 2-under as a team, falling to eighth. South Carolina – which was one stroke behind UCLA heading into the final round – shot 13-under to tie for fifth place with Colorado State. The Gamecocks would defeat the Rams in the sudden-death playoff to complete the comeback and advance to the NCAA championship.

Bling finished tied for 17th at 6-under, while Lai and Yoshihara tied for 37th at 1-under. Madey and senior Patrick Murphy tied for 44th and 47th, respectively.

The Bruins tied for second in par-three scoring average but also finished with the fourth-worst scoring average in par-fives, only beating out the bottom three teams in the tournament. While Bling shot 5-under on par-fives, Murphy shot a tournament-worst 3-over on par fives.

No. 2 Arizona State, No. 7 USC, No. 10 California and No. 12 Stanford will represent the Pac-12 in the NCAA championship beginning May 24 at the Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

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Justin Auh | Sports staff
Auh is currently a Sports staff writer. He was previously a contributor on the men's golf, women's golf and men's tennis beats.
Auh is currently a Sports staff writer. He was previously a contributor on the men's golf, women's golf and men's tennis beats.
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