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Virginia men’s golf falls to Wake Forest in the semifinals of the ACC Championship

The Cavaliers finished third in stroke play to advance to match play, but could not defeat the Demon Deacons

<p>James finished tied for third place in stroke play but fell in his matchup with Wake Forest's Scotty Kennon.</p>

James finished tied for third place in stroke play but fell in his matchup with Wake Forest's Scotty Kennon.

After an exceptional performance in the Chitengwa Memorial Tournament hosted at home in Charlottesville, No. 16 Virginia men’s golf traveled to Pinehurst, N.C., to compete in the ACC Tournament at the Golf Club of North Carolina.

The Cavaliers began their first round of postseason play with a lineup of freshmen Ben James and Bryan Lee, juniors George Duangmanee and Chris Fosdick and senior Pietro Bovari to play against the 12 team lineup.

Virginia played their first round of postseason play by shooting 7-under 281. James, Lee and Duangmanee all shot under par to put the team in third place after the morning session. In the afternoon round, the Cavaliers were unable to gain any ground on the first place Georgia Tech squad, shooting a 7-over 295. 

James led the team shooting an even par 72, with the rest of the lineup shooting over par. He finished the first day of play in a tie for fourth place at 4-under 140. Lee and Duangmanee tied for 22nd place at the end of Friday and Fosdick claimed 42nd at 4-over 148. Bovari occupied 49th place after shooting opening rounds of 73 and 78.

Virginia was paired with Louisville and Duke in the final round of stroke play. The top four teams after the round would compete in match play to determine the ACC Tournament champion. Players teed off early Saturday morning, but play was suspended due to inclement weather until the following morning.

The third round was completed Sunday morning with the semifinals matchplay slated for Sunday afternoon. The Cavaliers shot a 4-under 284 to complete the stroke play portion at 4-under 860 which advanced them into match play.

James shot 3-under and finished the day tied for third place. Bovari had a double bogey on the fifth hole, but had six birdies during the round to shoot 3-under 69 and tie for 34th. Lee and Duangmanee both shot rounds of 73 to place tied for 23rd. Fosdick finished Sunday tied for 49th.

Virginia competed against the Demon Deacons in the first round of match play where they were defeated 3-0-2. Wake Forest advanced to the championship round where they played Georgia Tech for the second year in a row.

Wake Forest’s senior Mark Power won against Duangmanee in 17 holes and sophomore Scotty Kennon defeated James up five with four holes to play. Junior Michael Brennan — who would go on to place first in the tournament — beat sophomore Deven Patel. Bovari and Lee were tied in their matches following 18 holes.

Despite not being able to overcome his matchup against the Demon Deacons, James tied for third place in the tournament, his ninth top-four finish in 11 tournaments. Virginia also picked up the point for the Smithfield Commonwealth Clash in the all-sports competition against Virginia Tech, who finished the tournament in 12th place.

As with many other spring teams, men’s golf will next play in the NCAA Championship, starting in one of six regional sites. The Cavaliers’ assignment will be released May 3, and play will take place May 15-17. Following the regional competition, the top five teams from each site and the top individual not on a winning team will continue play in Scottsdale, A.Z. at Grayhawk Golf Club May 26-31. 

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