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Florida State and Auburn to face off for NCAA men’s golf title

CARLSBAD, Calif. — Auburn freshman Jackson Koivun made a birdie from a back bunker on the 21st hole Tuesday to beat Ohio State’s Adam Wallin and send the Tigers into the championship match against Florida State, the two teams seeking their first title in NCAA men’s golf.

The Seminoles reached their first championship game by defeating Georgia Tech in another semifinal decided in extra holes when Tyler Weaver outlasted Kale Fontenot in 19 holes.

Koivun denied Wallin a remarkable second return to La Costa. Wallin came back from 2 down with two holes to play to beat former NCAA champion Gordon Sargent of Vanderbilt in 19 holes in the quarterfinals earlier Tuesday.

Koivun was 2 points ahead with two to play when Wallin hit his approach to 6 feet for a conceded birdie on the 17th, and Koivun took a bogey at the par-5 18th hole with Wallin tight for birdie to force extra holes.

Both players made pars on 16 and 17, and Wallin’s throw from slight rough on 18 went just deep into the pass. He missed his birdie attempt and Koivun blasted to 4 feet for the winner.

“We play so much here. I don’t want to disappoint anyone,” Koivun said. “During the final stretch, I had a few hiccups. I was really nervous.

It was the fourth match to go 21 holes since the NCAA moved into match play in 2009.

British amateur champion Christo Lamprecht, the top-ranked amateur in the world, was back in the Georgia Tech lineup after missing three days with a back injury, and he was in control of his match against Luke Clanton of Florida State.

And then it got all wet. Lamprecht was leading 2 with five holes to play when he took a bogey on the 14th to lose the hole and went into the water on the 15th and made a double bogey. Then his gap to the par-3 16th failed and went back into the water.

Clanton suddenly had a one-point lead, and he closed it on the 17th when Lambrecht drove across the green into deep rough and lost a fourth straight hole with bogey.

The Seminoles advanced when Weaver held on to win. He missed a 5-foot birdie putt on the 18th to defeat Fontenot. They lost the first and Fontenot three-putted from long range to give Weaver the victory and send Florida State into the championship match on Wednesday.

“These guys did their job,” Florida State coach Trey Jones said. “Luke coming back against Christo says a lot about Luke Clanton. We will seize our opportunity now.

The tight semifinals followed a morning at La Costa where the top four seeds were all eliminated.

Illinois became the latest No. 1 seed to be eliminated. Since the NCAA moved to match play, Oklahoma State in 2018 is the only top seed to win.

The Illini, who advanced out of Stroke Play with a 16-shot margin over Vanderbilt, were eliminated in the quarterfinals by Georgia Tech.

Vanderbilt was also shockingly bumped when Sargent, the No. 2 player in the world amateur rankings, lost a 2-point lead when he bogeyed the 17th and 18th, and Wallin beat him on the first hole additional.