For the sixth time in program history, the Ole Miss men’s golf team punched its ticket to the NCAA Championships following a third place finish at the Norman Regional on Wednesday.
Finishing with their second consecutive team round of 281 (-7) and a three-day score of 849 (-15), the Rebels blazed the course their final two days at Jimmie Austin Golf Club.
Senior Jackson Suber’s led the way for Ole Miss, doing something that no Rebel had done before, capturing an individual regional championship. The Tampa, Florida, native fired a final round 67 (-5) to finish 11-under par on the week with a score of 205. Suber’s 14-birdie performance on the week saw him soar to the very top of the leaderboard, ultimately claiming the individual title in Norman.
“I am so incredibly happy and proud of this group,” head coach Chris Malloysaid. “All year long I bragged to anyone that would listen about how special this group is, even when we went through some tough stretches.
“People counted us out after we struggled at our conference championship. This group never wavered and stepped up when it mattered most. We are far from done with our season, and I can’t wait to watch them continue to respond in Scottsdale.”
Only the top five finishing teams were able to clinch spots in the NCAA Championships at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona, along with the top individual from a non-advancing team. Ole Miss, alongside Oklahoma (838), Auburn (848), Texas (852) and Utah (860) all advance out of the team portion of the Norman Regional, while South Carolina’s Evans Lewis (210) advances on the individual side.
The third place showing marked the team’s highest finish at a regional in program history, surpassing the team’s 2017 fourth place finish at the NCAA Austin Regional. The Rebels will now be aiming to earn a new program-best finish on the national level, which currently stands at a fourth place finish at the 1985 NCAA Championship in Haines City, Florida.
Suber’s final round would include yet another rarity, with Suber draining hole-in-one on the course’s par 3, 173-yard second hole. The shot proved to be the difference-maker for Suber in the end, with the individual crown ultimately being decided by just one stroke.
“It’s a great feeling to go out there and play solid all week,” Suber said. “We have worked so hard this season and to finish off our season at the National Championship is an incredible opportunity.”
Settling into a tie for 14th overall after logging a score of 214 (-2) on the week was Evan Brown, who capped off his Norman Regional with a 73 (+1) in round three. Brown scorched the par-5 holes of Jimmie Austin Golf Club, finishing fourth in the field in par-5 scoring (-8) on the week, while also tallying 12 total birdies in his three rounds of play.
Senior Jack Gnam showed up big for the Rebels on the week, earning his first top 20 finish of the season playing out of the No. 5 spot. Despite not playing in a tournament since the team’s trip to the Irish Creek Intercollegiate on April 2-3, Gnam was cool, calm and collected on his way to shooting an even 216 on the week to capture a share of 20th.
Redshirt freshman Kye Meeks’ first collegiate regional appearance would end with the Walnut, Mississippi, native finishing 27th overall after logging back-to-back rounds under par to close out his week. Over his final five holes of play, Meeks would finish 4-under, tallying birdies on No. 5 and 7, as well as sinking an eagle on No. 8 to bring home his best round of the tournament on Wednesday with a 70 (-2).
Rounding out pay for the Rebels in Norman was Sarut Vongchaisit, who finished 40th after golfing a 222 (+6) on the week. Vongchaisit’s tournament ends with the senior having made nine total birdies.
The Rebels now turn their attention to the biggest stage in college golf, with Ole Miss traveling to Scottsdale, Arizona for the NCAA Championships. The tournament is set to run May 27-June 1 with four rounds of stroke play, as well as three rounds of match play set to decide the 2022 National Championship.
Courtesy of Ole Miss Athletics