The No. 2-ranked Florida State Men’s Golf team goes for its second ACC Championship title on Monday. The Seminoles clinched a spot in the match play championship after defeating No. 17 North Carolina, 4-1, in Sunday’s match play semifinals at the Capital City Club in Atlanta.
Florida State seeks its first ACC Championship title since 2008 and its second in program history on Monday when it faces 10th-ranked Clemson at 9 a.m. on ACC Network Extra.
“It was a very long day today with another 7:30 start, and it was a struggle in the stroke play portion to get to match play,” FSU coach Trey Jones said. “That was our goal, to get there. I’m really proud of our guys for getting us the opportunity and playing all the way to the end and getting to match. In this league it’s something to be proud of to be one of the final four teams.
“We knew we had a big obstacle to overcome in North Carolina, who just blew out the field in the stroke play portion. They had four guys in the Top 6 or 7 in the tournament. It didn’t bother our team. We sent Freddy (Kjettrup) out first and he faces the player who won the individual tournament and he never trailed.”
Freshman Brett Roberts came up huge yet again as he clinched the match for the Seminoles when he defeated Ryan Burnett of North Carolina, 2&1. Up by two holes headed to the 17th, Roberts matched Burtnett’s par on the par-3 hole to put FSU ahead 3-0 overall, sinking a putt of decent length to get the par.
Redshirt senior Greyson Porter, who came to the ACC Championship as an alternate, filled in for match play in the semifinals and made the most of his opportunity. He clinched FSU’s second point in the match to put the Noles up 2-0, taking down UNC’s Austin Hitt 5&4.
“Greyson has been our captain and an unbelievable teammate to our guys,” Jones added. “We knew we wanted him to play because he’s such a good player and such a tough competitor. When we called his number, once again he wins 5&4. That was huge.”
Freshman Frederik Kjettrup started FSU off with a 5&4 win of his own when he took down Peter Fountain to put the Seminoles ahead 1-0 in match play. Senior Vincent Norrman also won his match, 3&1, over Ryan Gerard, as he was the final Seminole to earn a point.
It was nail-biting action just for the Seminoles to make it to the match play semifinals. FSU entered Sunday’s final stroke-play round in that coveted fourth and final spot, and just hung on at the end as it battled neck-and-neck with Georgia Tech (+6) and Wake Forest (+6). Clinging to a one-shot lead at 5-over as a team, John Pak was the last Seminole to finish on the 18th hole and recorded a par to clinch a spot in the semifinals.
Pak tied for fifth in the stroke-play portion of the ACC Tournament at 4-under (70-67-69), carding a clutch score of 69 in his final round. He began the back nine stretch with three straight birdies on holes 10-12. Although a double bogey on the par-4, 480-yard 14th hole cut it close for the Seminoles, he finished with pars on holes 15-18 when many other competitors found it difficult to maintain those scores in a tough final four holes played.
Norrman’s final-round 71 was much needed for the Noles as well, as he tied for 12th at 1-under in his ACC Championship debut. Norrman had two birdies in his Sunday stroke-play round, and despite carding consecutive bogeys on holes 15 and 16, he maintained his poise at the end with two pars that aided Florida State’s match-play hopes.
Roberts tied for 19th at 2-over, while Kjettrup (+12) and senior Connor Futrell (+12) tied for 47th.
“It’s really quality to get a win against a team that easily won the stroke play portion,” Jones said. “We have to turn around and get out and go play a Clemson team that is spirited, with their coach retiring and this is his last ACC Championship. We’re going to be that way as well and we look forward to tomorrow morning.”
Monday’s match play finals will be carried live on ACC Network Extra beginning at 9 a.m. In addition, a one-hour recap show of the best of the ACC Men’s Golf Championship will air on ACC Network on May 3 at 7 p.m.