WVU Golf Comes Up Two Shots Short In NCAA Regional

A green at the White Day golf course

WVU Golf Comes Up Two Shots Short In NCAA Regional

West Virginia’s golf team came oh so close of advancing to the NCAA Championships.

Competing in the NCAA Regionals Monday through Wednesday at the University of Louisville Gold Club in Simpsonville, Kentucky, the Mountaineers fell just two shots shy of earning a spot in the 2019 NCAA Championships, which will be held May 24-29 at Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

WVU head golf coach Sean Covich

WVU finished the three-day Regional in sixth place with a total score of 862. The top five teams in Louisville moved on to the NCAAs.

North Florida, which is ranked the No. 13 team in the country, edged out West Virginia for fifth place, as the Ospreys carded an 860. NFU and WVU each shot a 283 in Friday’s final round.

West Virginia actually found itself leading North Florida through the first 15 holes Wednesday, but the Mountaineers’ four scoring golfers played the final three holes at +3 while UNF’s were -4 over that same stretch. Thus West Virginia’s lead and its hope of a trip to Arkansas were erased.

Oklahoma State, which is the defending NCAA champion and again ranked No. 1 this season, went into Wednesday’s round trailing No. 11 Auburn by eight strokes, but the Cowboys powered their way to a 277 over the final 18 holes and surged past the Tigers by a total of 838-842.

Both teams will still advance to the NCAA Championships in Fayetteville, as will Baylor, which finished third in the Regional with an 845, host Louisville, which was fourth at 859, and North Florida, fifth at 860.

Behind WVU in the Louisville Regional was Mississippi State (866), Iowa State (867), Arizona (869), Southern Illinois (877), Arkansas State (878), New Mexico (881) and Jacksonville State (886). Five other Regionals around the country will also send qualifying teams and individuals on to Fayetteville.

As far as individuals go, West Virginia’s Matthew Sharpstene and Logan Perkins each tied for 22nd with three-round totals of 215, which was +2 for the event. Max Sear was 29th at 217, Philipp Matalari was 35th at 218, followed by Etienne Papineau, who was 44th at 220.

Sharpstene carded an eagle on No. 4 before adding a birdie on No. 7 to make the turn at three-under par Wednesday. Despite some struggles on the back nine, he came through with three more birdies to post West Virginia’s best score of the day with a one-under-par 71.

Perkins birdied five holes Wednesday to finish the round even par with for a three-day score of 70-74-71.

A senior, Sear used a trio of birdies on the front nine and another on No. 13 to finish even par in the final round of his collegiate career. He capped the event with a 54-hole total of 74-72-71.

Matlari birdied a trio of holes on the front nine Wednesday, making the turn at two-under par following a bogey on No. 9. He added two more on the back nine, but a double-bogey on No. 18 moved him to even par with a 71.

Papineau birdied a pair of holes in the final round to shoot two-over par, finishing with scores of 73-74-73.

The medalist for the Regional was Iowa State’s Tripp Kinney, who carded a three-day total of 206. Kinney will advance on to the NCAAs as the lowest scoring individual at the Regional who was not on a qualifying team.

WVU’s golf team was competing in the NCAAs for the first time in over 70 years. West Virginia restarted its golf program in 2015-16 after a 34-year hiatus. It had not participated in the NCAAs since 1947.

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    WVU Golf Comes Up Two Shots Short In NCAA Regional West Virginia’s golf team came oh so close of advancing to the NCAA Championships. Competing in the
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    Still a good year for this team.  Mostly underclassmen and should be better next year.


    Yes, tough finish but great showing.

    Final three holes was actually +3 for WV and -5 for North Florida.

    Seems crazy and catastrophic, but having been through that scenario, it’s just what happens.

    Bottom line is there can be little doubt that we have the right guy running the program.

    Well done Coach Covich and crew… on to bigger and better things next season.


    Great year for a team that didn’t exist just a handful of years ago.

    Next step is to get the funding to build the practice facility – that will help a great deal in recruiting and practice.


    I don’t think it was the final three hole stretch that did WVU in, though playing very well on the final day put them in position for that.

    The damage was done on Day 2 when they slipped from 5th to 8th.

    Its a testament to how the game of golf goes. You could come out and feel like utter garbage and play like Tiger in his prime. And you can come out feeling rested, ready, practiced and spot on and spend more time in the trees than in the fairway.

    Its a tremendous accomplishment for a team in its infancy to even qualify for the NCAA tournament, much less come within two shots of advancing out of the regional.

    Results like this will make it just a bit less difficult to raise the funding for better facilities.


    Deuce, Fair point but in any golf event your goal is to get into a position to give yourself a chance down the stretch. WVU, even with a poor day 2 (also in the closing holes), did that and then faltered a bit as North Florida sprinted to the finish.

    Forget the final three holes, just look at the 18th hole… we gave up 4 shots on that hole alone.

    So they came to the closing hole 2 shots to the good and played it 3 over while UNF played it 1 under.

    It’s certainly a tough pill to swallow and I know all too well.

    Back in the day at GSC I was in the last group and came to the last hole 3 shots clear (something I didn’t know as we didn’t have live scoring and our coach was at the green with the rest of the team). Well, 20 minutes and a very ugly double-bogey later made worse by the opponent’s birdie on the hole I had not only lost the individual title (and automatic qualification into the national championships) but we dropped into a tie as a team and lost on the awful tie-breaker which was the 5th man scores. Rather than on to the national championships as we had expected we were done, game over… that was how my college career ended.

    Those kids will replay those holes in their head a million times. Heck, Nearly 30 years later I can visualize each painful shot on that final hole, down to the missed 3 foot putt and the subsequent apologies to my coach and teammates.

    Chin up fellas… it’s just a blip on the radar. Onward and upward,




    Ouch. Painful story mex, and thanks for sharing. I think those sorts of personal experiences allow us to be more sympathetic when things go south for our players.


    Yep, you feel a close loss for years – especially if in losing you contributed to the loss.

    Anyway, this has been very close to a 4 year miracle.  That’s right, we’re finishing year 4 after starting from scratch basically 3 strokes out of the national championship rounds.  Kind of staggering, actually.  Sure as hell hope the funding materializes for the new facility.




    Former GSC golfer from 30 years ago, I’m sure we know each other, trying to figure out how to PM you. I didn’t play or even attend GSC but know the coach very well


    Its a fair point Mex.

    But if you take a look at the days in particular, the BEST score on Day 2 by WVU’s guys was a 72. The WORST score on the final day was a 73 and all four of the other guys shot 71 or better.

    WVU shot -1 on the final day as a group, and +10 for the tournament.

    I stand by my feeling that the tournament was lost before Day 3.

    It was only the fact that these guys played pretty darned strong on Day 3 to even get in the position to advance. And then they failed to finish.

    But, again, these guys doing this at this point in WVU’s program is phenomenal. I guarantee you they are all disappointed. They’ll be picking apart decisions and shots from this for months.

    But that’s golf baby. The most fun and infuriating thing you can ever volunteer to put yourself through.


    Georgia, shoot me an email at gtmex@outlook.com

    I certainly wasn’t Coach Carney’s favorite back in the day but he did like to win.

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