The TCU men’s golf program is headed back to the NCAA Championships.
It’s the 20th trip for the program, seventh in the last 11 years, and the first since 2016.
The Frogs finished second at the NCAA Regional in Austin, posting a combined score of 847 (5-under) over the 54-hole event at The University of Texas Golf Club. The Longhorns won the NCAA Regional with a combined team score of 827 (25-under).
TCU senior Stefano Mazzoli led the way for the Frogs and was co-champion with a 9-under 204 score for the tournament, tops along with Texas golfers Cole Hammer and Steven Chervony.
“I’m really happy with how I played today, one of the best rounds of golf of my life,” said Mazzoli, who shot a 7-under 64 on Wednesday.
“I knew we had to do something good and I’m really happy our team made the NCAA Championships. I’m proud of the way the whole team played down the stretch.”
Other schools advancing along with Texas and TCU were Clemson (1-under), Pepperdine (6-over) and Southern California (8-over).
Mazzoli started off his final round with a bogey on No. 10, but responded with an eagle on No. 11. He then found himself in position to win going into the final hole after draining a 20-foot birdie putt on the par-3 eighth (his 17th hole).
Instead of making birdie on finishing par-5, though, Mazzoli settled for par and being co-champion. Either way, it’s a nice momentum boost going into the NCAA Championships.
“I’ve never been to the championships, so I’m excited,” said Mazzoli, an Italian who played in the 2016 British Open.
“Playing like this in the last round is definitely a positive. Hopefully I can bring this game up there.”
The Frogs will compete at the NCAA Championships from May 24-29 at Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
This marks the 17th time in Bill Montigel’s tenure that the team has reached the championships (individual players reached two other years). TCU last reached the championships in 2016, finishing T14th.
The best the Frogs have finished in the championships Montigel era is T7th in 1996-97. TCU will be looking to top that later this month, and have the players to do so.
Mazzoli is fresh off being co-champion of the NCAA Regional, and senior Hayden Springer won the Big 12 tournament last month.
“We have a really good group, really talented players,” Mazzoli said. “We’re all playing good and we’re really happy we’re going.”