Third-Place NCAA Finish Best Ever for Oregon

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. -- The University of Oregon's historic run came to an end Saturday on The Honors Course as the top-ranked Ducks bowed out against Oklahoma State in the semifinals of the NCAA Men's Golf Championships.

The Cowboys, seeded No. 1 in the match play portion of the championships, defeated the fifth-seeded Ducks, 4-1, to set up Sunday's title match against either Florida State or Augusta State.

Despite the loss, Oregon secured the program's top season in school history with a tie for third place at the national tournament.

Jack Dukeminier rounded out his outstanding postseason effort by winning his match over OSU's Sean Einhaus, 4-and-3 (i.e. up by four holes with three to play). The junior from Eugene, who also won his quarterfinal match on Friday against the University of Washington, never trailed and was 2-up or better from the fifth hole on.

Andrew Vijarro, who had one of UO's three victories against the Huskies to advance to the Final Four, played all square with OSU's top man, junior Kevin Tway. The sophomore from Bend trailed most of the way, but rallied back from 4-down on the 10th to take a 1-up lead with a par on the par-3 16th. Vijarro's bogey at the par-4 17th brought the pairing even once more and they walked off No. 18 after dueling pars.

Isaiah Telles (Tualatin, Ore.) ran into a red-hot Trent Whitekiller, who took their match 5-and-4. Telles had four birdies over the 14 holes played, but Whitekiller was under par on half of the holes, carding six birdies and an eagle.

Oregon's top two, Eugene Wong and Daniel Miernicki, each went down 3-and-2. A day after lifting the Ducks into the semis with a clutch par on 18, Wong managed only two birdies in his match against Morgan Hoffmann. The Cowboy golfer turned the match in his favor with back-to-back birdies at Nos. 9 and 10, taking a 2-up lead that he would not relinquish.

Wong still had an eventful week, capping his incredible sophomore campaign with first-team PING All-America honors and a tie for ninth in the NCAA individual championship. The Pac-10's co-Golfer of the Year from North Vancouver, B.C. leads head coach Casey Martin's entire roster back for next season.

Miernicki fell behind Peter Uihlein early and couldn't climb back after going 2-down after a bogey at the par-4 12th.

Miernicki may not have had the NCAA experience that was anticipated, finishing as UO's high man in individual play, but the Santee, Calif. product pulled more than his share of the weight to get the team to Chattanooga. The sophomore was the Ducks' top finisher at the Pac-10 Championships and the runner-up at the NCAA Southwest Regional won by Oregon.

All told, UO won four regular season tournaments and its first ever NCAA regional in 2009-10. Wong's ninth-place NCAA individual finish is believed to be the highest in school history, while the team's tie for third is most definitely the program's top result.

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