SALEM, S.C. – Arkansas shattered overall school records, while three Razorbacks tied or broke previous program marks for lowest score at an NCAA Regional, to finish second at the NCAA Salem Regional and advance to the 2023 NCAA Championships, held May 26-31 in Tucson, Ariz., at Grayhawk Golf Club – Raptor Course.
Georgia Tech was -21 on the final day, after shooting -22 the previous day, to win with a total of 811 (-53), which ranks third-best score in NCAA Regional history. (Note: the top two results happened this week as well at the Las Vegas Regional with Arizona State’s -59 and Stanford’s -57). Arkansas shot rounds of 266-271-282 for a total of 819 (-45), which now stands as the fifth-best, 54-hole score in NCAA Regional history as Virginia came in at -49 to finish third at the Las Vegas Regional.
The other three schools advancing from Arkansas’ Regional in Salem were North Carolina (-43), New Mexico (-42) and Texas A&M (-29), which won a five-hole playoff versus host Clemson to claim the fifth and final spot.
Arkansas had all five players shoot under par for the 54 holes. Segundo Oliva Pinto finished fifth and led the way with a school record-setting, 13-under-par 203 (65-67-71). Wil Gibson tied for eighth (65-69-71=205 / -11) and Mateo Fernandez de Oliveira tied for 11th (206 / -10). He was the only Razorback to shoot in the 60’s for all three rounds (69-68-69). Manuel Lozada tied for 23rd (67-71-72=201 / -6) and Julian Perico tied for 39th (75-67-71=213 / -3).
“We went into this Regional with a lot of confidence, but you never expect to have a performance like we had,” head coach Brad McMakin said. “I couldn’t be prouder of what these guys accomplished, setting all-time school records, having some of the all-time lowest scores in NCAA Regional history and having three players tie or break the previous school records for best scores at a Regional. We led for two days and finished runner-up. I don’t know what more we could have asked from this group. It would have been great to win but you just have to tip your cap to Georgia Tech for what they accomplished today and for the Regional. This was exactly the kind of week we needed as we turn our attention to nationals.”
Arkansas finished runner-up for the seventh time in program history (fifth time under McMakin), advances to the NCAA Championship for the third consecutive year and advances from a Regional to nationals for the 20th time (ninth time under McMakin) since regional play was instituted for the 1989 season. (Note: Since 1989, Arkansas has additionally had four individuals only advance to nationals from a regional.). Overall, this will be Arkansas’26th NCAA Championship berth since 1971.
In addition to Arkansas’ success, it was a week where numerous NCAA Regional records for scoring were shattered between the Regional at Salem and one at Las Vegas. Highlights across the nation include:
• five of the top six individual 54-hole scores, four at the Las Vegas Regional.
• eight of the top 10 lowest rounds by a team, including -26 by Arizona State (RD1 in LV), -22 by Arkansas (Rd1 in Salem), -22 by Georgia Tech (Rd1 in Salem) and -22 by Stanford (Rd2 in LV).
• eight of the top 10 lowest 54-hole scored by a team, including -59 by Arizona State (winning at LV), -57 by Stanford (at LV), -53 by Georgia Teach (winning at Salem, -49 by Virginia (at LV) and -45 by Arkansas (at Salem)>
As for the Razorbacks, Arkansas posted the following in its own record book:
• lowest 18-hole total (266) by one stroke and score in relation to par (-22) by three while the score for 271 in round two stands as the third-best, 18-hole score in program history.
• lowest 36-hole total (537) by 12 strokes and score in relation to par (-39) by 13.
• lowest 54-hole total (819) by five strokes and score in relation to par (-45) by seven while the total of 819 broke the previous school mark at an NCAA Regional by 17 strokes.
• for the first time, Arkansas had all five players shoot under par at an NCAA Regional (Rd2).
• Oliva Pinto and Gibson tied the UA record for low 18 at an NCAA Regional (65 and -7).
• Oliva Pinto set the UA record for low 36 at an NCAA Regional (132 and -12).
• Oliva Pinto set the UA record for low 54 at an NCAA Regional (203) while his -13 is an overall and regional school record for low score in relation to par. Also, Gibson surpassed the previous school records with his 205 and -11 and Fernandez de Oliveira tied the previous record with his 206 with his -10 standing alone in third.
2023 NCAA Salem Regional
The Cliffs at Keowee Falls || Salem, S.C.
7,126 yards || Par 72
TEAM SCORES: (top 5 advance to NCAA Championship)
1 #11 Georgia Tech 278-266-267=811 / -53
2 #35 Arkansas 266-271-282=819 / -45
3 #2 North Carolina 273-278-270=821 / -43
4 #47 New Mexico 272-279-271=822 / -42
T5 #14 Texas A&M 281-283-271=835 / -39 *
T5 Clemson 282-278-275=835 / -29
T7 #26 Georgia Southern 279-279-278=836 / -28
T7 #23 San Diego State 284-280-272=836 / -28
9 Northern Illinois 275-278-288=841 / -23
10 Furman 283-288-281=852 / -12
11 Middle Tennessee 283-291-282=856 / -8
12 #38 Purdue 283-296-283=862 / -2
13 Longwood 284-302-288=874 / +10
14 Long Island 308-292-276=876 / +12