GOLF Franken Preps the Tee

Senior Stephen Franken prepares to tee off at Lonnie Poole Golf Course on Oct. 6, 2018. Franken finished round two with a score of -3.

The season came to an end for the NC State men’s golf team Wednesday afternoon at the Stanford Golf Course in Palo Alto, California, as the Wolfpack tied for eighth place in the Stanford Regional to bow out of the NCAA Tournament.

The top five schools in the regional advanced to the NCAA Championships, as NC State finished just seven strokes behind fifth-place LSU for the final spot. The Pack finished up the three-round tournament with a 9-over-par 849, led by junior Benjamin Shipp’s 1-under-par 209, good for a 12th-place tie.

Stanford won the regional with an 817 (-23), while the Cardinal’s Isaiah Salinda won individually with a score of 200 (-10). Joining Stanford in the NCAA Championships from the regional will be Arizona State, UNC-Chapel Hill, Georgia Southern and LSU.

The Wolfpack opened up competition Monday with its worst round of the week, a 10-over-par 290. After 18 holes, the Pack sat in second-to-last place of the 13-team field. NC State bounced back well on day two, shooting a 2-under-par 278 to jump up three spots to ninth place. On the final day of competition Wednesday, the Pack regressed to a 1-over-par 281 after starting out hot, wrapping up the tournament in eighth.

Shipp played consistent golf throughout the week, shooting two rounds at even par and one round at 1 under. He opened up competition with a 70 (E), before shooting a 1-under-par 69 on the middle day. After an eagle on the first hole Wednesday, Shipp shot another 70 (E) to finish up the tournament at 1-under-par.

Behind Shipp on the Pack’s leaderboard was senior Stephen Franken, who tied for 17th with a score of 211 (+1). Franken’s worst round came on the first day, as he opened with a 2-over-par 72. He bounced back to shoot 69 (-1) on day two, wrapping up his tournament with an even-par 70.

Junior Christian Salzer tied for 43rd with a three-round score of 216 (+6), ending competition with his best round, a 69 (-1). Salzer shot 74 (+4) and 73 (+3) on the first two days, respectively.

Sophomore Easton Paxton had the Pack’s best single round of the regional, as he shot a 4-under-par 66 to lead the Wolfpack during its strong second day. However, Paxton didn’t fare nearly as well in the other two rounds, as a first-round 78 (+8) and a third-round 74 (+4) led him to a tie for 53rd with a score of 218 (+8).

NC State’s final golfer was senior Harrison Rhoades, who shot a three-round score of 221 (+11). Rhoades improved each round, finishing with a 72 (+2) after shooting 75 (+5) and 74 (+4).