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No. 1 NSU Men’s Golf Ends Championship Run in Semifinal Tiebreaker

Sharks fell to Barry by two-strokes in tiebreak decision..

HERSHEY, Pa. – The No. 1 Nova Southeastern men’s golf team fell short on its championship run in the semifinals at the NCAA Division II National Championship at the Hershey Country Club East Course, falling to Barry 2-2-1 on a stroke tiebreaker.

The Sharks competed in 36-holes today, starting with a head-to-head match up against CSU-Monterey Bay in the quarterfinals. NSU defeated CSU, 3-2, in the five-player match play, which consisted of an 11-stroke victory by Hunter O’Mahony (Fr., Jupiter, Fla.) in his pairing, a two-stroke victory by Ian Facey (So., Miami, Fla.) and a one-stroke victory by Benjamin Taylor (Jr., Leatherhead, England) to advance to the second 18-holes of the day, the semifinals.

NSU as the third seed took on second seeded Barry in the semifinals in what proved to be a devastating ending. The defending national champion Sharks fell to Barry by two strokes after each team won two of the five individual matches and split in another. NSU led the entire round up until the final two holes, in which Barry pulled even with the Sharks, defeating them in the tiebreaker decision.

First off the tee for the Sharks was O’Mahony, who was in a dead-lock tie the majority of the round, made his move on the back nine and chalked up the first point for the Sharks, shooting a 2-over 73, defeating Marcus Segerstrom by three strokes. O’Mahony carded a 1-over 37 on the front and back.

The second point for NSU was registered right after O’Mahony’s pairing by Mitch Farrer (Jr., West Sussex, England), who carded an even-par 71. Farrer shot an even 36 on the front with and even 35 on the back to defeat his opponent, Scott Smyers, who shot a 3-over 74 by three-strokes to give the Sharks a 2-0 lead.

Facey who played in the third pairing, started out with a significant lead until Barry’s Simon Forsslund came from five strokes down on the back nine to tie Facey on the 18th. Facey, carded a 2-over 73, which consisted of a 3-under 33 front with a 5-over 40 on the back.

Competing on one of the most challenging course all season, Ricardo Celia (Jr., Barranquilla, Columbia) had a rough go on his final 18-holes, carding a 7-over 78 to fall in his pairing to Jared Dalga, who defeated Celia by six strokes. Celia shot a 1-over 37 on the front and ran into trouble on the back, carding a 6-over 41 on the back.

In the final pairing, the top two nationally ranked players in the tournament battled it out. Taylor and Adam Svensson traded blows, but it was Svensson that essential made two less errors. Taylor, who eagled the par-5 first hole, led by one stroke after the front nine, but Svensson made nine consecutive pars on the back nine to Taylor’s three bogies to trail by two strokes. The two-stroke victory was all that was needed to decide the tiebreak victory.

The Sharks played a strong tournament and did not have a disappointing performance from any individual, Although the Sharks did not get the grand prize this year, they are in great shape to make another run at several titles in the future.

The tournament served as a testament to the strength of DII men’s golf in South Florida. Lynn, a school out of Boca Raton, and Miami’s Barry will be going head-to-head for the national title.

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