Men’s Golf National Runner-Up at 2024 NCAA Championships

The Carnegie Mellon University men’s golf team finished second to Methodist University at the 2024 NCAA Division III Championships on Friday in Boulder City, Nevada. After heading into the final round holding a one-stroke lead, the Tartans carded a team score of five-under par 283 on the final day to finish 2nd of 43 teams. 

How it happened

The Tartans were trailing by one-stroke as senior  Brian Xu  approached the 18th tee box. Xu reached the green in two shots, leaving his ball 6 feet from the hole for a birdie attempt. Methodist’s Cooper Hrabak was also on the green in two shots, facing a 16-foot birdie putt to secure the win. Hrabak made his putt, and Xu followed by sinking his birdie putt to conclude the championship.

Xu carded a three-under par 69 Friday and ended with a 72-hole score of eight under par 280 (72-71-68-69), tying him for third individually in a field of 221 golfers.

Sophomore  David Zhang  fired a two-under par 70 Friday and finished with a seven-under par 281 (69-71-71-70) for the championship, placing fifth individually.

Carding his third straight round of one-under par 71 was junior  Justin Chan  during the closing round. The junior finished with a 54-hole score of three-under par 285 (72-71-71-71).

Freshman  Ryan Dannegger  shot a one-over par 73 over the final round and ended with a 290 (69-75-73-73).  Dannegger was named University Athletic Association (UAA) Rookie of the Year this year.

Another one-over par 73 was had on Friday by sophomore  Jay Saluja  and he finished with a 292 (75-74-70-73).

The Tartans’ 72-hole score at this year’s championship of 1,132 (-20) is the lowest four-round score in program history.

Xu broke his school record for the best four-round score with an eight-under par 280. He and Zhang held the record at one-under par 287 set last year at the NCAA Championships.

Zhang has the second lowest four-round score with a seven-under par 281 and Chan the third lowest with his three-under par 285.

An impressive season

This was the Tartans’ seventh NCAA Championship Tournament appearance and fifth straight. The Tartans  claimed the NCAA title last year , the first team NCAA Division III Championship in university history.

Four Carnegie Mellon men’s golfers were recognized for their play on the course this season by the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA). Xu,Chan, Zhang and freshman Dannegger were named to the 2024 PING Region 5 team. The Tartans also claimed their second straight UAA Championship this season and third overall.

Head men’s golf coach Dan Rodgers was named a finalist for the 2024 Division III Dave Williams Award presented by Golf Pride Grips as announced by the GCAA. This marks the second straight year that Rodgers was named a finalist.

After guiding Carnegie Mellon to last year’s championship, Rodgers led the Tartans to top-10 finishes in all’eight tournaments this season with two wins, including the Visit Florence Intercollegiate.

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