The champs are still alive.
The LSU men’s golf team is returning to the NCAA championships for a shot at repeating last year’s title after finishing in a third-place tie Wednesday in the NCAA Franklin (Tennessee) regional at the Vanderbilt Legends Club outside Nashville.
LSU shot a final-round 9-under 279 to finish at 25-under 839, tied with Houston. Texas won the regional at 819, while host Vandy was second at 830.
The top five teams from six regionals, plus the top individual golfer in each whose team didn’t advance, now move on to the NCAA championships, May 27-June 1 in Eugene, Oregon. It is LSU’s sixth trip to the championships in the past seven seasons.
Junior Eric Ricard led the Tigers individually, tying for ninth. Ricard stumbled out of the gate with a 2-over 74 Monday but sizzled to a second-round 65 and shot 69 on Wednesday to finish at 8-under 208.
Freshman Sam Burns was another stroke back in a tie for 14th at 7-under 209 after a final-round 72. Senior Zach Wright posted the best Wednesday round for the Tigers, a 5-under 67, to finish in a tie for 22nd at 4-under 212.
The Tigers had an easier time advancing than they did at last year’s regional in New Haven, Connecticut. LSU went into the final round a year ago 11 strokes out of the fifth and final team qualifying spot before rallying to finish with a 12-under 268 to wind up fifth.
The Tigers went on to claim the school’s fifth NCAA golf title and first in 60 years in Bradenton, Florida.
In the NCAA Stillwater (Oklahoma) regional, Southland Conference champion McNeese State went into the final day with a shot to advance but ended up in a tie for eighth at 924, 14 strokes out of fifth place. UL-Lafayette’s Haraldur Magnus, playing as an individual medalist, tied for 70th after a final-round 84.
In the NCAA Marana (Arizona) regional near Tucson, Conference USA champion Louisiana Tech finished 12th at 897. Tech’s Victor Lange finished with a 7-under 65 Wednesday to wind up in 11th at 2-under 214 but did not advance individually.