RICHARDSON CAPS OFF HISTORIC SEASON AT NCAA COLLEGE GROVE GOLF REGIONAL
May 17, 2017
COLLEGE GROVE, Tenn. – University of Tennessee at Martin’s Hunter Richardson put the finishing touches on his record-setting junior season today, wrapping up his participation in the 2017 NCAA College Grove Regional held at The Grove.
Richardson endured gusts of winds up to 35 miles per hour today, finishing with a 77 (+5) as only six total golfers shot under par. His three-round total of 221 (+5) placed him 26th in the 75-man field, as the Clarksville, Tenn. native was tied for the best finish of the 10 individuals in the tournament.
"It was playing tough out there,” Richardson said. “I’m not very happy with how I played but there’s always something to take away from a tournament. I enjoyed the experience – it’s always fun to be at an NCAA Regional but it just wasn’t how I wanted it to turn out. Hopefully I’ll be back next year and can finish a little bit better.”
Assigned to tee off on Hole No. 10 for the second consecutive day, Richardson was steady early on – carding six pars on his first seven holes. He double bogeyed the par-4 Hole No. 12 before a bogey on the par-4 Hole No. 17. However, he gained momentum with an impressive eagle on the par-5, 581-yard Hole No. 18. He stuck his approach shot a mere five feet from the pin before tapping in the short putt to tally a 37 (+1) on his first-nine.
Richardson’s second-nine began with back-to-back bogeys on Holes No. 1 and No. 2 but the two-time defending Ohio Valley Conference medalist shook it off and piled up his first two birdies of the day on the next three holes. He gained a shot on par-3 holes on No. 3 and No. 5, sandwiching a par inbetween on No. 4 to go to 1-over through 14 holes on the day.
However, the wind started to play a major factor over Richardson’s final hour on the course. He parred Hole No. 7 but carded bogeys on Hole No. 6 and Hole No. 8 before ending his round with a double bogey on Hole No. 9.
UCF (863, -1), Vanderbilt (865, +1), Kennesaw State (865, +1), Clemson (865, +1) and Lipscomb (869, +9) each advance to the upcoming NCAA Championships. Lipscomb’s Dawson Armstrong (208, -8) won the individual title while Troy’s Cam Norman (213, -3) also qualified for the NCAA Championships as the highest finisher not represented on the top-five teams.
“Today was extremely difficult because the wind made club selection very tough,” UT Martin head coach Jerry Carpenter said. “Hunter competed throughout the tournament and saw what it takes to get to nationals. He was right there – he could have very easily shot 3-under today like he did on Monday and he could be advancing to the NCAA Championships. That’s how close he was. I think he will build on that and come back even hungrier next year.”
Today’s result concludes a memorable season for Richardson, who became the first Skyhawk to ever claim OVC Golfer of the Year honors. He nabbed All-OVC honors for the third straight season while notching five tournament victories, including the 2017 OVC Championship.