news-category: Athletics

Gardner-Webb’s Zack Byers Advances to NCAA Championship with Strong Finish in Palm Beach Regional

Zack Byers receives a congratulatory hug from Coach Tee Burton

Tournament Begins May 27 in Scottsdale, Ariz., at Grayhawk Golf Club

Courtesy of GWUSports.com

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Gardner-Webb senior Zack Byers qualified for the upcoming NCAA Championship next week with a final round of 71 on Wednesday, May 18, at the Palm Beach Regional.

The Shelby, N.C., native continued his sensational week, closing the 54-hole tournament under par. Byers advances to Scottsdale, Ariz., and the pristine Grayhawk Golf Club as the low individual scorer not on an advancing team.

“Why not me?,” said Byers soon after his round was finished. 

Vanderbilt, Florida State, Florida, South Florida and College of Charleston Southern finished in the top-5 and Byers finished the tournament in a tie for sixth – a safe four strokes in front of his next closest competitor for the individual bid to the NCAA Championships.

Photos courtesy of Tim Cowie

Byers shot par on his first two holes before sinking a birdie on No. 3. He moved to 2-under par with another birdie on No. 6 and bounced back from a double bogey on the seventh hole with his third birdie of the round on the eighth. He birdied No. 10 for the third time in three rounds to get back to 2-under par and shot par on the final six holes of the day to secure his advancement to Arizona.

Byers (72-70-71-213) finished just four strokes back of the overall lead, with Florida State’s Brett Roberts taking medalist honors with a 209. Byers finished tied with South Florida’s Sam Nicholson and finished in front of 15 golfers who entered the week ranked in the top-100 nationally.

The 7,048-yard PGA National Champion Course was no match for Byers this week. He shot 9-under par on the course’s Par 5 holes (4.25 stroke average), sank 14 birdies to rank among the tournament leaders and didn’t have consecutive holes above par over the final 42 holes of the tournament. Byers had just five holes above par over the final two rounds.

The NCAA Championship will be broadcast live on the Golf Channel, with the 7,289-yard (Par 70) Grayhawk Golf Club serving as the host venue. The tournament will be held from May 27 through June 1, with four rounds of individual stroke play over the first four days. 

The field includes 30 teams and just six individuals – one golfer from each regional. The Golf Channel coverage will begin at 2 p.m. and will re-air the same day at 7 p.m.

Gardner-Webb University is North Carolina’s recognized leader in private, Christian higher education. A Carnegie-Classified Doctoral/Professional University, GWU is home to six professional schools, 14 academic departments, more than 80 undergraduate and graduate majors, and a world-class faculty. Located on a beautiful 225-acre campus in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb prepares graduates to impact their chosen professions, equips them with the skills to advance the frontiers of knowledge, and inspires them to make a positive and lasting difference in the lives of others. Ignite your future at Gardner-Webb.edu.

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