Dahl Makes Final Round Charge to Earn Top 10 F
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas junior Andrew Dahl carded a one-under round of 71 in Friday’s final round of the 2003 NCAA Golf Championships to finish tied for 10th at the Karsten Creek Golf Course in Stillwater, Okla.
Dahl posted a tournament total of 295 (+7) after recording scores of 73, 81 and 70 in the first three rounds, respectively. Dahl finished eight strokes behind NCAA individual champion Alejandro Canizaras (-1) of Arizona State.
The Salinas, Calif., native was tied for 23rd entering the day, but made a final round charge to became only the fourth Razorback golfer since 1986 to record a national top 10 individual finish. Deane Pappas was the last UA golfer to accomplish the feat when he tied for 10th in the individual competition in 1992. Chris Little and Greg Reid tied for sixth in the NCAA Tournament in 1987 and 1988, respectively.
“This is a great way for Andrew to finish an outstanding season,” Arkansas head coach Mike Ketcham said. “To finish in the top 10 nationally is quite an accomplishment. It would have been easy for him to pack it in after shooting an 81, but he battled back and was near the top of the leader board on the final day.”
Dahl started his round on the 10th hole and wasted little time moving up the scoreboard. After earning a par on the 10th, Dahl birdied 11 and posted an eagle on the par-four 12th. The first-team All-Southeastern Conference selection carded three pars, two bogeys and a birdie the rest of the way to finish the first nine holes at two-under.
The Razorback junior moved to four-under with birdies on holes one and five, but promptly gave the strokes back with a bogey on six and a double-bogey on seven. Dahl recorded pars on holes eight and nine to finish the day at one-under and the tournament at five-over par.
Arkansas did not participate in the team competition on Friday after missing the final round cut. Only the top 18 teams advanced following Thursday’s third round. Dahl advanced to Friday’s final round by virtue of finishing as one of the top six individual golfers no longer participating in team competition.
The Razorbacks finished 27th with a score of 947 (+83) through three rounds. Clemson (+39) claimed the team crown edging out the host school Oklahoma State (+41) by two strokes.
With Dahl’s final round on Friday, the Razorbacks concluded a memorable season on the links. Arkansas won three tournaments and earned a berth in the NCAA Championships for the first time since 1999. The Hogs tallied 13 top-10 finishes the most since the 1992-93 campaign.
In addition, Dahl captured individual titles at the Stonebridge Invitational and the Border Olympics.
“We had a good season with many highlights along the way,” Ketcham said. “We were able to win three tournaments and re-establish our program as an NCAA Championships contender. The most exciting thing is that everyone on this team is back again next year. They should benefit from this year’s experiences and be ready for bigger and better things next season.”
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