Lee Men Top Georgia Southwestern In Match Play Semifinals
Thursday, May 19, 2022
The No. 3 Lee men's golf team made history as it fired past No. 9 Georgia Southwestern in the match play semifinals with a 3-2 victory on a sun-splashed Thursday at the TPC at Michigan.
Dalton Chuba started things off with a four-stroke victory for the Flames over McLain. In the second match once again, Connor Pollman came up clutch as he birdied 18, rolling in a 7-foot putt from the fringe to win his match by two strokes over Estrada.
Oliver Lewis-Perkins provided the semifinal clinching win with a four-shot victory over Fogel.
Dustin DeMersseman and Beck Burnette lost their matches, but the party was already on off the 18th green for the Flames.
"It feels incredible to be in the national championship. We felt like we could get to this point but it's certainly not easy and I'm so excited for the guys. They've put in the work all year long and today they took advantage of their opportunity and came out hungry and focused," said Lee Director of Golf John Maupin. "Depth is our strength and you saw that today with each guy winning a match. I thought Ollie played his best golf of the year out there for us and Connor had two very important wins as well. But each player has contributed to getting us to this point and we look forward to tomorrow and what should be a great championship matchup with Oklahoma Christian."
Earlier in the day the Flames claimed their first National Championship Match Play victory by knocking off the No. 1 team in the country, Barry, 4-1. Pollman, Lewis-Perkins, DeMersseman and Burnette all scored victories in that match.
"We came so close last year and we felt like we had unfinished business this year so it feels great to be able to get back here and get to this point," said Lewis-Perkins. "I just tried to stay in my routine and process all day long and I've been playing some good golf so just trusting my swing helped keep me calm out there."
When asked if any shots stuck out, Lewis-Perkins was quick to highlight his match clinching 30-foot birdie putt on his 18th hole against Barry and a beautiful approach over the trees that sealed the semifinal match against Georgia Southwestern, "the putt on 18 against Barry was obviously a special moment and that was a great moment to really be able to help put that win away for us and then again this afternoon. I was stuck behind some trees but hit a good approach within 15-feet and from there just two-putted to get another victory. It was great to help contribute the team victory."
The Flames will make the program's first NCAA National Championship appearance against Oklahoma Christian beginning at 9 a.m. on Friday. Chuba will be the first out at against Brictson. Pollman will be in his usual No. 2 spot and will battle Pulcini. DeMersseman will go out third and be paired with Nikku. The penultimate group will be Lewis-Perkins squaring off with Armijo. Finally, the anchor match will be Burnette and Rodriguez.
Oklahoma Christian defeated Missouri-St. Louis, 4-0-1 in the quarterfinals and topped Central Missouri, 3-1-1 in the semifinals.