MANHATTAN, Kan. (5/17/03)- A season that saw the North Texas men's golf team return to prominence came to an end in the final round of the NCAA Central Regional as the Mean Green fired a final round 291 at the Colbert Hills Country Club to finish tied for 17th place with Kent State.
North Texas rebounded from yesterday's difficult round to fire a three-over par score but came up eight shots short of advancing to the schools first trip to the NCAA Championship since 1963.
"Were disappointed that we played poorly in the second round because I know that if we played like we did today that we would have had a chance to advance to the finals," said North Texas head coach Jim Bob Jackson. "Were all disappointed but we had a great season and a great year".
Junior Zach Atkinson led the way for the Mean Green as he fired a final round 73 to end the regional at one-over par 217 and finish tied for 32nd place. Junior Thomas Kulcak had the best day round of the day for North Texas as he shot a one-under par 71. Kulcak had two rounds of 71 in the first and final day, but stumbled in his second round with an 86.
Playing in their final tournaments for North Texas seniors Brad Besler and Freddy Espericueta went out with solid performances. Besler, the 2003 Sun Belt Conference Champion, shot a final round 74 to end at 224. Espericueta shot a final round 73 to finish one shot behind Besler at 225. Brad Gibson had a solid three rounds as he finished with a final round 75 to end the tournament at six-over par tied for 67th.
"Were already looking forward to next year," said Jackson. "I think the guys learned a lot about how they can play as individuals and how good they can be. This was a great season for us winning the Sun Belt title and we accomplished all of our goals except making it to the finals".
North Texas Scores
T32. Zach Atkinson 70-74-73-217
T67. Brad Gibson 71-76-75-222
T85. Brad Besler 76-74-74-224
T96. Freddy Espericueta 73-79-73-225
T115. Thomas Kulcak 71-86-71-228