STILLWATER, Okla. – Sophomore Austin Cook of the University of Arkansas men’s golf team shot one-over par during the final round of the 2011 NCAA Championships on Thursday to finish in a tie for 10th overall at one-over par for the 54-hole tournament. As a team, the Razorbacks finished 15th, ending their season.
Cook’s finish was the best by a Razorback individual since Andrew Dahl tied for 10th at the 2003 NCAA Championships with a score of seven-over par. His one-over par score is the lowest by an Arkansas player since four members of the 1994 team shot even or below par.
"I am really proud of what these guys did all week," Arkansas head coach Brad McMakin said. "I’m not sure that we could have played much better than we did and still had an opportunity to make the final eight as we made the turn today. This has been a great year and the future is bright as we only lose one player and have some very good recruits lined up. I wish that we could have made the final eight so Jamie (Marshall) could continue to play, but he has had a tremendous career and will be a very good pro."
Cook’s day began with par, but the Jonesboro, Ark., native quickly moved under par on the third hole and he was two-under by the fifth hole. Cook gave one back on 17 with a bogey, but made the turn at one-under par. A birdie to begin the back side of the course was cancelled out by a bogey on two and he was back at even par after a bogey on four. He would hit par on each of his next four holes before a bogey on his final hole gave him a score of 73 for the day and 217 for the three-day affair.
For Arkansas as a team, it was the first hole of the day, No. 10, which doomed the Razorbacks. The first four players on the hole accounted for three double bogeys and a bogey, putting the Razorbacks at five-over par as a team before the round really began. Arkansas’ team did well to finish the day 15-over par, a score that was in the middle of the pack on a day where team scores skyrocketed.
Junior Ethan Tracy posted Arkansas’ second best score on the day when he shot three-over par, 75. One of Arkansas’ double bogeys on 10, Tracy played the rest of the course at one-over par with two birdies and three bogeys to arrive at his final score. The Hilliard, Ohio, native was two-over par as he made the turn and was back at one with a birdie on No. 1, but bogeys on three and eight cost him his best round of the tournament. Tracy finished tied for 74th overall with his three-day total of 227.
Playing in his final collegiate round, Marshall put together a solid effort with a score of five-over par 77. Like Tracy, Marshall opened with a double bogey, but birdied his next hole. He shot three bogeys and another birdie on his front nine to make the turn at three-over par. Three more bogeys and a birdie on the back nine, including Arkansas’ only birdie on the par four fifth hole completed the senior’s career with a tie for 74th place at the national championship.
Freshman Sebastian Cappelen, was Arkansas’ No. 2 individual finisher despite a third round score of six-over par, 78. Cappelen opened his round with a bogey and carded two more before making the turn. On a day where it appeared that his shots wouldn’t fall, Cappelen still worked hard and after a pair of bogeys and a birdie was four-over par with two holes to play. Unfortunately, Cappelen’s long shot from the left fairway on the eighth hole found the deep rough and it took two strokes to get the ball on the green which gave him a double bogey for the hole. Arkansas’ best player throughout the season, Cappelen completed his first NCAA Championships in a tie for 66th.
Wrapping up Arkansas’ NCAA Tournament, freshman Will Pearson scored a final round 80, to finish in a tie for 119th. Two birdies, nine pars, five bogeys and a pair of double bogeys accounted for his eight-over par round. Despite his score, McMakin beamed about his play throughout the week and expects the Memphis native to make significant strides in the offseason.
Now that the NCAA season has come to a close for Arkansas, its individuals will now play in various summer amateur events. Cappelen will represent Europe in the Palmer Cup next weekend while Marshall plays in a U.S. Open qualifier just to name a few.