Tennessee started Thursday’s final round of the NCAA men’s golf championship three sports from qualifying for the eight-team field for match play.
Despite Rick Lamb playing for the individual title, the Vols shot a 7-over-par 287 to finish tied for 19th in the 30-team field at the Capital City Club in Atlanta.
UT’s 54-hole score of 10-over 850 was eight shots behind the four teams that tied for sixth and 26 strokes behind first-place California.
Lamb shot a 1-under-69 and finished in a six-way tied for second place at 6-under 204.
“I figured I had to do something pretty special to have a chance to win, but I really only needed to make a few more putts,” the senior said in a school release. “I hit my driver great and putted well. I just wasn’t able to get enough good looks at birdies.”
Max Homa (66) of Cal won the individual title by three shots.
“To finish runner up at the NCAA championship is a real testament to the hard work he has put in over his career,” UT coach Jim Kelson said. “It really paid off for him and he deserves to be an All-American. I couldn’t be happier for him and it’s a great way to end his career.”
UT freshman Oliver Goss (72) tied for 26th at 1 under.
UT’s other senior, Jay Vandeventer, had four birdies and shot 70 to tie for 93rd at 6 over.
“I just wanted to go out there and play my hardest to help give us a chance to advance to match play,” Vandeventer said. “I knew it wasn’t going to be easy and we couldn’t play forceful golf but I knew we had it in us. We just didn’t have our best day. It stings a little bit but it’s the way it goes sometimes.”
Also for UT, Mike Nagy (77) tied for 136th at 12 over and Brandon Rodgers tied for 149th at 15 over.