Midwestern State freshman Jeremy LeGuen only needed to par on his 54th hole at the Midwest/South Central Regional at the Cherry Blossom Golf Course on Wednesday to clinch an individual berth in the NCAA Division II Championships.
But with his only double-bogey of the tournament on the par-4, 406-yard 7th hole, he posted a final round of 76 for a one-over-par 217.
"Jeremy had a great tournament," said MSU Coach Jeff Ray. "He just missed the fairways the last four or five holes and it cost him some shots."
Fate was with him as West Texas A&M's Ben Hargis bogeyed his final hole of the shotgun start at 17, but still fired a three-under 69, the best round of the day, to match LeGuen at 217 and force a playoff for the final individual spot.
Hargis, playing in the tournament as an individual, posted a birdie on the playoff hole to claim the trip to the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Florence, Ala.
"Jeremy hit a great shot and put his approach 20 feet from the hole," Ray described. "Hargis dropped his eight feet from the pin and made his putt."
Hargis joins Eric Johnson of Wayne State (Mich.) who finished third with a two-under 214 as the two top individuals not playing with a team.
The Lone Star Conference's Abilene Christian and Central Oklahoma tied for regional champion honors at 876, with Cameron third at 881. Missouri-St. Louis and Central Missouri were fourth, tied at 893 to take last two positions to the national tournament as teams.
The playoff capped a long day for all, as the tournament played 36 holes – the second and third rounds – because of rain on Tuesday.
LeGuen, who stood second after the first round, shot a two-over 74 in the morning's first round, but followed it with the four-over 76 in the final 18. His 217 tied for eighth individually.
The freshman from Highland Village/Flower Mound Marcus led the Mustangs team to a 14th place finish for the tournament. MSU put up rounds of 309 and 308 to finish at 912, two strokes behind Lewis in 13th and a stroke better than St. Mary's at 913 in 15th.
Sophomore Raine Copeland finished tied for 27th at 8-over 224 following rounds of four-over 76 and three-over 75.
Sam Smith added a pair of six-over 78 to total 231. Brett Perry carded an 81 and 79 for a 240, while Trevor Arianna turned in an 86-85 for a 251.
"We really had a good year, these kids have been through a lot," said Ray. "With the injury to Travis (Klutts) that kept him out the entire spring and a teammate quitting school, to finish where we did is great."
Ray also beamed about his conference's finish at the combined regional.
"The LSC finished 1-2-3 and Central Missouri's in our South Central Region. That's four of the five teams advancing to the national tournament."
The Mustangs return all five players for next season and Ray is also excited for the recruits he has coming for MSU.