Fayetteville, Ark. Kansas University senior Chris Gilbert birdied two of the last three holes and tied for eighth at the Fayetteville Regional, but he fell short of qualifying for the NCAAs.
Gilbert shot 73-72-73—218 (2 over par) at Blessing Golf Club.
He was five strokes behind champion Mario Clements of SMU.
“I played well all three rounds, just had some bad stretches, had a couple of weird breaks,” Gilbert said. “You never know what’s going to happen. I was a little bit of an SMU fan there for a second, hoping they’d be in the top-five, because I knew Mario Clemens would hang in there. I wanted to win everything, but the most important thing was to survive.
“I played all right, gave myself a chance — it just wasn’t enough. I was a little sad it was the end, but I didn’t feel bad. I didn’t leave anything out there effort-wise. I’m going to go right back to playing golf this summer, and hopefully I have a lot of golf ahead of me in my lifetime.”
Gilbert was as low as 2-under for the round after back-to-back birdies on Nos. 12 and 13 but bogeyed four of five while making the turn, including three straight to move to 2-over.
“On the front nine it got out of hand a little bit with the bogeys, then I had a good sand save to stop the bleeding,” Gilbert said. “I tried to keep my composure and finish. I’m glad I could end with a couple birdies. The key was to calm down and take it shot by shot. The last hole was one of the easier ones, so I took advantage of it.”
Gilbert closed his season with a 72.02 scoring average, the third-best by a Kansas golfer since current records started in the mid-1980s.
Illinois claimed the regional title with an 863.