Entering the third, and final, round of Wednesday’s NCAA Stanford Regional, the UNC men’s golf team found itself in eighth place–six strokes behind the top five, which are the teams invited to the NCAA Championship tournament.
Led by a three-under par 67 from freshman Austin Hitt–as well as 69’s from Jose Montaño and Ben Griffin–the Tar Heels surged back from the dead to claim their first NCAA Championship appearance since 2007.
UNC played the first round at eight-over-par, but rallied to become one of just three teams to play the second and third rounds under par.
As a result, the Tar Heels moved past Georgia Tech, Houston and North Florida to claim the fifth qualifying spot.
It will be the team’s first championship appearance under head coach Andrew Sapp.
“I’m so proud of how hard our guys fought this week,” Sapp said afterwards. “They played clutch golf, especially down the stretch when the pressure was on. This was a total team effort with important contributions from each player.”
Now, UNC will take a week to prepare before heading to Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Illinois–where the NCAA Championship will take place from May 26-31.