Jace Long fired a school-record tying 10-under-par 62 to earn medalist honors and lead Missouri Golf at the 2011 NCAA Southeast Regional, Saturday afternoon in Ocala, Fla.
It was an unprecedented effort for a Tiger in NCAA action. Long shot an incredible 29 on his first nine holes (began the round on #10) and finished the round with nine birdies, an eagle and just one bogey. He had five birdies and that eagle on the par-4 (383-yard) 16th hole to surge up the standings and advance to next week’s NCAA Championship (May 31-June 4) at Karsten Creek in Stillwater, Okla.
The Dixon, Mo., native played his final 36 holes 11-under-par after shooting a 1-over-par 73 in Thursday’s opening round. Long became the first Tiger ever to win an NCAA Regional and Missouri’s sixth-place finish as a team is the best since 2005. Head Coach Mark Leroux’s club narrowly missed advancing to NCAA Championship play as a team as well, finishing just two strokes behind fifth place Arkansas. Mizzou did complete the tournament 6-under-par as a team and the 274 shot on Saturday is a record for postseason play.
Long tied for NCAA Regional medalist honors with Augusta State’s Patrick Reed and North Carolina State’s Mitchell Sutton. Overall Long defeated 15 ranked opponents. He entered the event ranked 51st nationally.
Long’s 62 tied the school record set earlier this year by teammate Stuart Ballingall. The United Kingdom native shot 62 in the opening round of the Jackrabbit Invitational on March 14 in Las Vegas.
Emilio Cuartero shot a final-round 72 to finish tied for 26th. He began the day in 29th place and played his final two rounds 2-under-par thanks to his second-round 70. Will Harrold also finished strong, shooting a 2-under-par 70 to tie for 29th. Harrold moved up 16 spots from his second round score.
Ballingall played well in the finale, shooting a 1-under-par 71 to finish 37th, while Nick Wilson shot a 1-under-par 71 to tie for 47th.
Long is the first Tiger individual to qualify for NCAA Championship play since John Utley in 1990. Mizzou also advanced as a team in 2005