May 17, 2008
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Junior Josh Sandman (Greensboro, N.C./Southeast Guilford) wrapped up one of the best individual seasons in Notre Dame men's golf history on Saturday, firing a final-round 75 (+4) and moving up another 26 spots to finish tied for 65th place at the NCAA Central Regional in Columbus, Ohio. Sandman ended the three-day event at 16-over par 229 (79-75-75) on the difficult Ohio State Scarlet Course (par 71/7,420 yards), which didn't allow a single player in the 141-man field to finish below par (the average 54-hole score was nearly 17-over par 230, one shot higher than Sandman's total).
Oklahoma State's Kevin Tway (son of 1986 PGA Championship winner Bob Tway) won regional medalist honors at one-over par 214, one stroke ahead of Wake Forest's Brendan Gielow and Robert Rohanna of Penn State. No. 19 Wake Forest took home the team title at 27-over par 879, 10 shots better than sixth-ranked Oklahoma State (889).
The top two individual finishers at this week's NCAA Central Regional who are not on one of the top 10 advancing teams earned individual berths to the NCAA Championship finals May 28-31 in West Lafayette, Ind. The cutline for individual advancement out of the Central Regional came at seven-over par 220, with Colorado's Derek Tolan (218, +5) and TCU's James Sacheck (220, +7) claiming the two individual spots -- Sacheck earned his berth by defeating Tennessee's Charles Ford on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff.
The first Notre Dame golfer ever to be chosen as an individual participant for NCAA regional play, Sandman carded one of the better scores during Saturday's third round, which was played in very windy conditions (consistently at 20 mph and gusts close to 35 mph) and saw no golfer post a score lower than 70 for the day. Teeing off on the back side of the course, the Irish junior went out in even-par 35, getting level with his second birdie of the round on No. 18 (his ninth hole). However, he opened with a double bogey-6 and bogey-5 to begin his second nine and remained in the black the rest of the round.
Sandman reeled off five consecutive top-10 finishes prior to this week's regional and enters his senior year as Notre Dame's career stroke average leader (73.61). A two-time all-BIG EAST Conference selection, he will be one of nine returning veterans for the Irish next season, including the top seven stroke average players from the 2007-08 season (Sandman is the lone rising senior). Notre Dame also is expected to add three talented freshmen to its roster in 2008-09, as the Irish look to reclaim their BIG EAST title (last won in 2006) and return to the NCAA Championships.
NCAA Central Regional
TOP SEVEN INDIVIDUALS PLUS NOTRE DAME FINISHERS (of 141): 1. Kevin Tway (Oklahoma State) 214 (70-69-75); 2. (tie) Brendan Gielow (Wake Forest) 215 (69-72-74) and Robert Rohanna (Penn State) 215 (75-70-70); 4. Dustin Groves (Wake Forest) 216 (72-70-74); 5. (tie) Jorge Campillo (Indiana) 217 (71-73-73) and Trent Leon (Oklahoma State) 217 (71-74-72); 7. Derek Tolan (Colorado) 218 (73-72-73); 65. (tie) Josh Sandman (ND)* 229 (79-75-75).