All-American Campillo Ties for Second at NCAA Finals
May 31, 2008
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Jorge Campillo fired an even-par 72 to finish in a tie for second at the finals of the 2008 NCAA Men's Championships at the Kampen Course (par 72; 7,450 yards) on Saturday. Campillo matched Wayne McDonald, who tied for second at the 1969 NCAA Championships, for the best individual placing in Indiana men's golf history.
"It feels really good. I am proud of myself and I do not know what else to say," Campillo said. "I played well and the golf course was playing very hard. It was really windy out there, but I was able to keep my ball in play all the time. I was really focused today and that is why I think I played so well."
Campillo was one of five golfers in the 81-player field to shoot even-par or lower on the final 18. He ended the championships with a 1-over-par total of 289 (75-70-72-72) and as one of only two golfers to shoot at least three rounds of even-par or lower. The other golfer was UCLA's Kevin Chappell, who won the NCAA individual championship with a 2-under-par 286 (69-73-68-76). Nick Taylor of Washington (75-66-73-75) joined Campillo at 1-over par.
"You want these kinds of opportunities and you want to put yourself in these kinds of situations," Indiana head coach Mike Mayer said. "You want to be able to showcase your talent, and obviously Jorge did just that. I do not know if people will realize how good of a score 72 was out here in these conditions today. He is an outstanding Hoosier and an outstanding young man. This is one of the greatest seasons in the history of our program and I am extremely proud to have had the opportunity to watch it all."
The accolades continued to roll in for the Big Ten champion following the completion of play. Campillo earned first team All-America honors, becoming just the fifth golfer (sixth time) in Hoosier lore to capture first team recognition and the first since 1997. He joins fellow first-teamers McDonald (1969, 1970), Kelly Roberts (1975), Shaun Micheel (1991) and Randy Leen (1997).
Campillo found his way in the final field of 81 after finishing as the top individual from the 15 teams failing to make the cut. The Caceres, Spain, native played 27 holes on Saturday, starting with the final nine holes from Friday's suspended third round. Battling high winds and difficult playing conditions, he recorded four birdies, 21 pars and just two bogeys.
After finishing the third-round back nine in 2-under, Campillo played a steady 1-over on the final round's frontside. On the par-5 10th hole, he found the fairway off the tee before pulling his second shot two feet shy of the water hazard. With minimal room to work with, Campillo had no choice but to take off his shoes and socks and wade into the water in an attempt to salvage the hole.
He managed to hit his shot back to the fairway, where he chipped his ball 18 feet short of the hole. However, Campillo calmly sank the par putt and began a stretch of brilliant play the rest of the way.
"I hit it left and they told me it was fine, but when I walked up there the ball was almost in the water hazard," Campillo said. "The only choice I had was to take off my shoes [and hit the ball with my feet in the water]. Somehow I was able to hit the ball out to the right side of the fairway and put the next shot on the green and make a putt to save par."
Four pars later, Campillo crushed his drive on the par-4 15th and dropped his approach 16 feet by the flag. He sank the putt for his second birdie of the day and found himself at even-par on the round with four holes to go.
Campillo recorded a par at the par-5 16th and avoided water on the dangerous par-3 17th, but he faced a treacherous 90-foot putt. He left the sidewinder 12 feet short before calmly sinking the par-saver. Campillo narrowly missed a birdie chance on the par-4 18th and tapped in for par and a share of second place.
As a team, Indiana earned its best finish since the 1980 season (20th place), finishing in 21st place. The Hoosiers moved to within one stroke of 15th place Middle Tennessee State at one point during the third round Saturday morning, but ultimately fell seven shots shy of making the cut.
"My kids fought and did not give up and I did not think they would give up," Mayer said. "We knew we could not win so if we could not win we wanted to make the cut. To finish 21st in the country is not a bad thing. It is a result of the hard work, effort and determination of our team. This was a good day for the Indiana golf program."
The Hoosiers improved each of the three rounds and finished the championships at 920 (313-310-297). Indiana advanced out of the NCAA Central Regional and reached the NCAA Finals for the first time since 1996. IU won two championships during the 2007-08 campaign and secured six top-three finishes facing one of the toughest schedules in school history.
Four of the five Hoosiers participating at the finals will return next season, led by Campillo. He finished the season with three championships, two runner-ups, eight top fives, nine top 10s and 12 top 25s. His 71.72 scoring average is the third-best single-season average in Hoosier history. Campillo also secured All-Midwest Region honors for the third straight year, first team all-conference honors and was named Indiana's sportsmanship honoree. He joined PGA TOUR stars Jeff Overton and Micheel as the only golfers in Indiana history to ever win a Big Ten championship, Big Ten Golfer of the Year and the Les Bolstad Award in the same campaign.
Junior Seth Brandon closed out his campaign in a tie for 82nd place with a 232. The Midwest All-Region selection opened the championships with a 78 and 79 before posting an even-par on the backside for his 75.
Alex Martin finished in a share of 100th place with rounds of 81, 78 and 75. Martin bogeyed two of his first five holes to start round three and then rattled off 10 straight pars and a birdie at the par-5 16th to get to 1-over par. The sophomore bogeyed the difficult 17th and 18th holes to finish with a 75.
Drew Allenspach claimed the third 75 in round three and collected a share of 119th place. Allenspach played the first 13 holes in even-par to give the Hoosiers an early burst of momentum. He ended the championships in a tie for 119th at 237 (79-83-75).
Senior Santiago Quirarte wrapped up his career with a 151st place finish. Quirarte posted a three-round score of 250 (83-84-83).
UCLA won the national championship by one stroke at 1,194 (297-293-298-306). Stanford (309-288-296-302) finished one stroke back, while Southern California (297-294-300-305) ended the championships two shots behind.
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