Courtesy of LA Tech Athletic Communications
Louisiana Tech’s James Swash saved his best round for last at the 2023 NCAA Norman Regional, shooting 69 (-3) on a sunny Wednesday at the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club.
The fifth-year senior closed out his Bulldog career finishing tied for 21st (72-71-69=212) after shooting -4 for the tournament. He tallied seven pars, seven birdies, and four bogeys in route to a 34 on the front and a 35 on the back.
Swash got off to a tough start to his third and final round, getting bad lies after missing the green on holes one and two that resulted in a bogey-bogey start.
“The first two holes were against me with the two lies I pulled around the greens,” said Swash. “I tried to play my game. A year or so ago, that round would have been a 79 or 80. I trusted the work I have been putting in. I knew from the first two days I was going to start making some birdies. I was due to make some putts and they finally fell.”
He bounced back in a big way in the front nine, sinking birdies on four of the next seven holes. The last one coming on the par four No. 9 when he dropped in about a 30-footer before making the turn
“It was a good day today,” said head coach Matt Terry. “I am proud for James and the way he was able to end his career with a sub-70 round. It was a tough start with a couple of bad lies around the first two holes. He kept himself in it though. He was a pro today. Now he gets to become a pro. It was a great ending to a good chapter in his life.”
Another bogey crept up on the par three No. 12, not being able to get up-and-down for par after going right of the green. He bounced back again though, securing his second birdie on a par five, this one coming on No. 13.
After his fourth bogey that came on the par three No. 15, he proceeded to birdie No. 16 for a second straight day. Arguably his best shot of the round came out of the right rough on No. 17, the hardest hole on the golf course this week. He hit 8-iron from about 185 yards out and knocked it to within five feet, making his seventh birdie (made five total through the first two rounds combined).
“It is a nice way to end my college career,” said Swash. “It was a good learning step for professional golf after this. I am excited to take that next step.”