Clutch Birdie Sends Lee Bedford To NCAA Championship
May 21, 2011
ZIONSVILLE, Ind. - Wake Forest junior Lee Bedford made a clutch birdie at the final hole of the NCAA Central Regional to secure the individual qualifying spot and earn a berth to the NCAA Championship. Bedford's round of 2-under 69 led the Demon Deacons who finished with a final round 290 and tied for eighth.
"We finished with a couple of solid rounds but we put ourselves in too big of a hole after the first day," said Wake Forest head coach Jerry Haas. "Lee (Bedford) made a good birdie to get him through and I thought Evan Beck also had a very good week. We'll hopefully be able to learn from this week and draw on those experiences next year."
Bedford made eight pars and a birdie to make the turn at 1-under par. He fell back to even with a bogey at No. 1 but quickly got it back with a birdie at the par-5 third. Another birdie at No. 5 got him to 2-under but a bogey at No. 7 dropped him one shot behind David Chung of Stanford. Both players parred their 17th holes, Bedford No. 8 and Chung No. 17, and then Bedford birdied the ninth to slip past Chung who bogied the 18th.
Bedford finished the tournament at 1-under par 212. It was his eighth tournament this season in which he finished the 54-holes under-par. Bedford is the first Demon Deacon to qualify as an individual for the NCAA Championship since Bill Haas in 2004.
Evan Beck made three birdies and a double-bogey in his round of 1-under 70 on Saturday. The Virginia Beach, Va., native finished a solid week with a total of 13 birdies and was 1-over par. He finished the tournament tied for 14th.
Sophomore Charlie Harrison followed a pair of 77s to open the tournament with a 4-over 75 on Saturday, that included three birdies. He finished the tournament at 16-over par and tied for 57th.
Michigan fired a final round 275 to come back and win the event by two shots over Illinois. The Wolverines were 11-under par for the week while Illinois finished at 9-under. Alabama was third at 5-under par and Tennessee and Iowa snagged the final two spots as both tied for fourth at 13-over.
Illinois' Luke Guthrie and Michigan's Lion Kim shared medalist honors. Both players finished at 8-under par, two shots ahead of Alabama's Bud Cauley.
Bedford will open the NCAA Championship, which is being played at Karsten Creek in Stillwater, Okla., on Tuesday, May 31. An individual champion will be crowned at the end of 54-holes on Thursday, June 2.