Lee Bedford Finishes Runner-Up At ACC Championships
April 22, 2012
NEW LONDON, N.C. - Wake Forest All-American Lee Bedford fired his third-straight under-par round on Sunday at the ACC Championships but came up one shot short, finishing in second place at 9-under par.
For the second-straight day, Bedford made bogey at the par-3 third hole but that would be his only bogey of the day. He birdied Nos. 8 and 11 to get to 1-under for the round and 9-under for the tournament and then closed with seven-straight pars to claim the clubhouse lead.
Playing in the first wave on Sunday morning, Bedford would have to wait out the rest of the field to see whether his score would hold up. As the rain began the freshen, Bedford's 9-under 207 began to look better and better. But Virginia's Ben Rusch was not deterred by the damp conditions. He birdied five of his first 12 holes and had a 3-shot lead over Bedford with four holes to play.
Rusch then made back-to-back bogeys at Nos. 15 and 16 to drop back to 10-under for the tournament and just one shot clear of Bedford. He made a nice up-and-down from right of the green on No. 17 and a conventional par on the par-5 18th for the ACC Individual title.
"This was an excellent way for Lee (Bedford) to end his career here at the ACCs," said Wake Forest head coach Jerry Haas. "He didn't have his best stuff the last couple of days but he showed a lot of patience and scored the ball. Hats off to him. He's gotten better each year and he was willing to learn. I think he's got a real got bright future in this game. He has that "it" factor that a lot of guys don't have."
Bedford's 9-under par finish was his best showing of the season and it was the highest finish for a Demon Deacon at the ACC Championship since Webb Simpson claimed medalist honors in 2008. It was also his second top-10 at the ACCs as he finished tied for sixth as a freshman in 2009.
As a team, the Deacons put together a decent round of 6-over 294 in cool, rainy conditions and finished in eighth place at 4-over par. Wake came into the final round on Sunday in 10th place.
"We just have to get better at scoring the ball," said Haas. "Physically, there isn't a better team in this conference. Our swings are solid and our short games are pretty good but when it comes down to it, we're just not scoring. Mentally, we need to get a little tougher. We'll head into the regionals a little bit under the radar but I think if we get it going, we'll have a good shot at getting out to California for the finals."
Junior Evan Beck and freshman Cyrus Stewart each finished with rounds of 2-over 74 on Sunday. Beck made three birdies in a six-hole span midway through the round but bogeyed three of the last four to settle for his second-straight 74. He finished the tournament at 2-over par and tied for 27th. For Stewart, it was his third-straight round of 2-over 74 and he finished his first ACC Championship in 43rd place at 6-over par.
Sophomore Thomas Birdsey and junior Charlie Harrison both finished the weekend in a tie for 45th at 9-over par. Harrison opened with rounds of 74-76 and made five birdies through 17 holes on Sunday and stood at even-par. But a closing eight at No. 18 left him with a 75. Birdsey carded a 75 on Friday and then a solid round of even-par 72 on Saturday but finished-up with a 78.
Georgia Tech came into the final round with an 11-shot lead over Virginia at 32-under par. The Hoos trimmed the lead down to just four shots with a hot start but Georgia Tech showed why it was the most dominant team this weekend. The Yellow Jackets posted a final round 293 and claimed its fourth-straight ACC Championship. Virginia finished in second place while Florida State was third and Virginia Tech and Clemson tied for fourth.
The Deacons will now wait to find out where they will be headed for the NCAA Regionals. The regional announcement is set for Monday, May 7 at 9 p.m. The selection show will be shown live at ncaa.com.