FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The No. 8 University of Arkansas men’s golf team won a pair of matches at the Callaway Collegiate Match Play Championship on Sunday, advancing to the round of four in the 16-team event. The Razorbacks, the No. 1 seed, defeated No. 16 Washington State, 3-2, before knocking off No. 9 East Carolina, 4-1.
Overall, three Razorbacks were perfect on the day, sophomore Sebastian Cappelen
, and freshmen Kolton Crawford
and Thomas Sorensen, while senior Ethan Tracy
split his matches and junior Austin Cook
Cappelen and Sorensen, had equally impressive days in their wins. Cappelen took his first match against Washington State, 3 & 2, then took it to his East Carolina opponent, winning 6 & 5. Sorensen’s victories were 3 & 1 against Washington State and 7 & 6 against East Carolina.
Cappelen began the match against Trent Sanders of Washington State with a win on the first hole and never looked back. Up by six at the turn, Sanders made a run by winning four holes on the back nine, but the match was decided by 17 and the two players went back to the clubhouse. Cappelen’s second match against Adam Stephenson was closer at the start, but the Razorback was able to put away his opponent earlier. Up three at the turn, Cappelen won holes 11, 12 and 13 to finish the round early.
Sorensen had to rally in his match with Kent Hagen of Washington State, but left no doubts in the round with Eric Brady of East Carolina. Sorenson found himself down by two three holes into the first match, but worked it all square with a par and birdie. He would go down by two again midway through the back nine, but rallied again with a par and birdie to make it all square with five holes to play. He would win three of the next four holes to take the match. Over his second 18 holes, Sorensen did not lose a hole while taking victories on four, the first hole of the day, eight, 10, 12, 13, 14 and 15.
Crawford’s first match was close from the outset as he traded holes with Michael Anderson of Washington State. The two players would exchange wins in each of the first eight holes before their first tie, but Crawford would move it back to all square a hole later. The Mansfield, Texas, native would take his first lead on the 12th hole of the day, but gave it back on the next-to-last hole before sinking a par putt on the final hole to win the match. Against Ryan Eibner of East Carolina, Crawford won his first hole with a birdie and never looked back, going up five with four holes to play to take the win.
Tracy lost his first hole to Sang Lee of Washington State and even after getting it back to all square by the third hole, was never able to find his stroke as Lee regained the lead on the fourth and clinched the match on 17. Rebounding during his second round, Tracy won the first hole with a birdie and held the lead through 14 before Harold Varner of East Carolina moved it to all square on 15. The two players would trade wins over the next four holes with Tracy clinching the victory with a par to Varner’s bogey on 18.
Cook’s first match with Hank Frame of Washington State was also a close affair with Frame taking the early edge before Cook tied it up and took a lead of his own over the middle holes. Frame would however tie it up again and take a lead on 15 before putting it away on the second to last hole of the round. In the second match, Cook got an early lead and went stroke-for-stroke with David Watkins of East Carolina. Leading as the players made the turn, Watkins tied it up on 10 and took his first lead on 13. Watkins would win four straight holes to take the match 4 & 3
With its wins, the Razorbacks will face the No. 5 seed Chattanooga in Monday morning’s semifinal. The winner will take on the winner of No. 3 Duke and No. 2 California in the finals on Tuesday.