Three New York Natives to Compete in NCAA's This Weekend
SUGAR GROVE, ILL. -- Three collegiate golfers from upstate New York will be among the 154-player, 30-team field in this year’s NCAA Division 1 Championship in Sugar Grove, Illinois. Pittsford native Gavin Hall along with brothers Derek and Alec Bard from New Hartford will be competing with their teams in hopes to propel past the individual stroke play rounds and into the match play formats early next week.
Hall, the lone senior on 10th seeded University of Texas, aims to finish his college career on a high note before testing out the professional ranks. Throughout this season, he’s had five top-10 finishes, 19 out of 34 rounds at or under par, and has only finished outside the top-22 during competitions once. This will be his fourth time competing in the NCAA Finals, and he along with junior teammates Doug Ghim and Scottie Scheffler bring a wealth of talent and experience to the table. Hall currently ranks 29th on the World Amateur Golf Rankings, the 14th highest ranked American.
Last year, the Longhorns entered the Championships as the top-seeded team and advanced through match-play into the finals before losing to 6th ranked Oregon in the National Championship match, 3-2. Individually, Hall finished tied for 26th with a four-round total of 287 and helped guide Texas to their second-best NCAA finish since 1994 (the better being in 2012 when a young Jordan Spieth led the Longhorns to a national title).
Bard, who gained national attention after finishing runner-up in the 2015 U.S. Amateur, and competed as one of six amateurs in the 2016 Masters, will finish up his career for the 14th seeded Virginia Cavaliers. He led his teammates through the NCAA regionals at Baton Rouge with his 12th-place finish and three-day total of 4-over 220. Earlier this spring, Bard became the fourth men’s golfer in UVA history to earn all-conference honors for three consecutive years and continued to prove his excellence on the links this season with four top-10 finishes and a victory at the Palmetto Intercollegiate in March, his third career collegiate victory. He is currently ranked 23rd on the WAGR and the twelfth highest American.
In last year’s NCAA tournament, Bard competed as an individual and finished tied for 17th with a four-round 285. The Cavaliers failed to qualify for the tournament in the two previous years Bard was on the team.
Derek’s younger brother Alec, who’s currently a freshman at Penn State, will join the team in their first trip to the NCAA Championship since 2010. Although Bard is new to collegiate competition, having only competed in three tournaments this season, his past successes on the golf course are more than noteworthy.
Before joining the Nittany Lions, Alec was a back-to-back New York State Boys’ Amateur Champion in 2011 and 2012. Coincidentally, Gavin Hall too claimed consecutive titles in the NYS Boy’s Amateur in ‘08 and ’09, as well as a NYS Junior Amateur Championship in 2012.
NCAA Championship Format
Friday, May 26: Round One, 18 holes of stroke play
Saturday, May 27: Round Two, 18 holes of stroke play
Sunday, May 28: Round Three competition (18 holes to determine the top-15 teams along with the top nine individuals not on an advancing team for final round of stroke play competition)
Monday, May 29: Final round of stroke play (18 holes to determine the top-eight teams to participate in match play competition/72-hole individual champion crowned)
Tuesday, May 30: Quarterfinals and semifinals of match play
7 a.m. – Seed #2 vs. #7 (1st tee) Seed #3 vs. #6 (10th tee)
7:50 a.m. – Seed #1 vs. #8 (1st tee), Seed #4 vs. #5 (10th tee)
1:30 p.m. – Match 1
2:20 p.m. – Match 2
Wednesday, May 31: National Championship match
2:10 p.m. – Final Match