Florida State and Auburn to meet for NCAA men's golf title

Published May. 28, 2024 10:55 p.m. ET

CARLSBAD, Calif. (AP) — Auburn freshman Jackson Koivun got up-and-down for birdie from a back bunker on the 21st hole Tuesday to beat Adam Wallin of Ohio State and send the Tigers into the championship match against Florida State, with both teams seeking their first title in NCAA men's golf.

The Seminoles reached their first championship match by beating Georgia Tech in another semifinal decided in extra holes when Tyler Weaver outlasted Kale Fontenot in 19 holes.

Koivun denied Wallin a second remarkable comeback at La Costa. Wallin came from 2 down with two holes left to beat former NCAA champion Gordon Sargent of Vanderbilt in 19 holes in the quarterfinals earlier Tuesday.

Koivun was 2 up with two to play when Wallin hit his approach to 6 feet for a conceded birdie on the 17th, and Koivun took bogey on the par-5 18th hole with Wallin in tight for birdie to force extra holes.


Both players made pars on the 16th and 17th, and Wallin's pitch from light rough on the 18th went just long into the collar. He missed his birdie attempt, and Koivun blasted out to 4 feet for the winner.

“We're playing for so much here. I don't want to let anyone down,” Koivun said. “Coming down the stretch, I made some hiccups. I was definitely feeling the nerves.”

It was the fourth match to go 21 holes since the NCAA went to match play in 2009.

British Amateur champion Christo Lamprecht, the top-ranked amateur in the world ranking, was back in the lineup for Georgia Tech after missing three days with a back injury, and he had control of his match against Luke Clanton of Florida State.

And then it went all wet. Lamprecht was 2 up with five holes to play when he took bogey on the 14th to lose the hole and went into the water on the 15th and made double bogey. Then, his gap wedge to the par-3 16th came up short and rolled back into the water.

Clanton suddenly had a 1-up lead, and he closed out him out on the 17th when Lambrecht went over the green into deep rough and lost a fourth straight hole with a bogey.

The Seminoles advanced when Weaver held on to win. He missed a 5-foot birdie putt on the 18th for win over Fontenot. They went down the first, and Fontenot three-putted from long range to give Weaver the win and send Florida State into the championship match Wednesday.

“Those guys did their job,” Florida State coach Trey Jones said. “For Luke to come back against Christo shows a lot about Luke Clanton. We're going to get our opportunity now.”

The tight semifinal matches followed a morning at La Costa when the top four seeds were all eliminated.

Illinois became the latest No. 1 seed to get eliminated. Since the NCAA switched to match play, Oklahoma State in 2018 is the only top seed to win.

The Illini, who advanced out of stroke play with a 16-shot margin over Vanderbilt, were knocked out in the quarterfinals by Georgia Tech.

Vanderbilt also got bumped in shocking fashion when Sargent, the No. 2 player in the world amateur ranking, lost a 2-up lead when he bogeyed the 17th and 18th, and Wallin beat him on the first extra hole.


AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf