published Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

UTC Mocs golfers finish second by one shot in SoCon tourney

UTC coach Mark Guhne
UTC coach Mark Guhne
Photo by Angela Lewis /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga men's golf team made the NCAA selection show at 10 a.m. on May 5 must-see TV.

That's because the Mocs won't know until then if their season will continue. Tuesday in Pinehurst, N.C., they finished one shot behind Georgia Southern for the Southern Conference championship and an automatic spot in an NCAA regional.

"It's going to be nerve-racking because we know we could have had all of that taken care of if we won," senior Davis Bunn said on the trip back. "It's going to be a waiting game, and we'll sit there and twiddle our thumbs and wait to see what happens.

"Hopefully it goes our way."

The three-day SoCon tournament at National Golf Club almost went their way. The Mocs finished at 10-over-par 874. They shot 9 over in the first round, 4 under in the second round and 5-over 293 on Monday.

"We dug ourselves a hole and we kept having to play our way out of it," coach Mark Guhne said over the phone. "We did take the lead and we were tied today. We made a lot of mistakes down the stretch and Georgia Southern made mistakes coming in. We made one more than they did, and that was the tournament."

UTC senior Chris Robb fired a final-round 7-under 65 that made the team competition close, but no other Moc broke par. Robb finished runner-up in the medalist competition at 8 under compared to the 10 under fired by J.T. Poston of Western Carolina.

"I'm feeling mostly disappointment," Robb said. "To come so close, we're all very upset. I'm happy personally with my round, but I'll be able to think about that later. We tried our best. We were one shot off."

No other UTC player finished inside the top 20.

"Chris had a fantastic tournament and didn't make a bogey in his final 38 holes," Guhne said. "I couldn't be happier for him."

A victory would have ensured UTC a spot in one of six NCAA regionals that begin the national championship tournament. Instead, GSU's Eagles earned the automatic bid and will be watching the GolfChannel to see where rather than whether they'll play.

"We'll be watching," Guhne said. "I think this week helped us a little bit, but you don't know until it all plays out.

"We were one shot away, so that's where we are."

Contact David Uchiyama at duchiyama@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6484. Follow him at twitter.com/UchiyamaCTFP.

about David Uchiyama...

David Uchiyama is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who began his tenure here in May 2001. His primary beats are UTC athletics — specifically men’s basketball and athletic department administration — and golf, which includes coverage from the PGA Tour to youth events. He also covers other high school sports, outdoor adventures, and contributes to other sections of the newspaper when necessary. David grew up in Salinas, Calif., and began working ...

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