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Weber’s Connor Howe, Georgia Tech fall painfully short of NCAA men’s golf title

By Brett Hein - Standard-Examiner | May 31, 2023

MATT YORK, Associated Press

Georgia Tech golfer Connor Howe hits from the second fairway during the final round of the NCAA men's golf championship, Wednesday, May 31, 2023, in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Weber High alum Connor Howe won his semifinal golf match 4 and 2 on Tuesday over North Carolina’s Austin Greaser to help Georgia Tech move one day away from its first NCAA men’s golf national championship in program history.

Wednesday’s title match against Florida was anybody’s game with just a few holes left. Florida had one match in the bag but otherwise, six total holes remained across the other four matches, all of which were tied and one of which was into playoff holes.

Howe rallied from down two shots early with wins on Holes 8, 11 and 13 to go 1-up against Florida’s John Dubois. Howe parred each of those holes, two of them par-3s, at Grayhawk Golf Club’s Raptor Course in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Then Howe bogeyed No. 15 to help set up the late-stage deadlock.

He and Dubois teed off on the 18th hole still knotted up but Howe hit his tee shot right of the fairway and Dubois nestled his ball a handful of feet to Howe’s left and firmly on the fairway.

Howe ironed his second shot over the green, setting up a difficult short wedge, needing to clear a bunker and stop the ball near the hole. He cleared the bunker, but the shot rolled through the green and into the rough’s edge on the other side.

Dubois sent his long birdie putt within 1 foot of the hole, which Howe conceded to hand Dubois victory.

Other matches also went in Florida’s favor, even after GT’s Bartley Forrester made up for a disastrous miss on 17 that would have defeated Matthew Kress by defeating in 20 holes.

After winning the individual national championship earlier Wednesday morning, Florida’s Fred Biondi got everything he wanted from Georgia Tech’s Hiroshi Tai before going 1-up with a birdie on the 17th. Tai’s concession to Biondi on 18 ended the match with a Florida team title, a 3-1 match advantage with one match left unfinished.

Howe finished his senior year with four straight top-10 finishes entering the NCAA tournament. That included tying for third twice: at the ACC Championship (7-under), and at the NCAA’s Salem Regional (14-under).


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