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Gophers golf: Stillwater’s Ben Warian punches ticket to NCAA Championships

Gophers senior Ben Warian carded seven birdies en route to a 5-under-par round of 65 — the second-best round of the day Tuesday — in the final round of the Stanford Regional at Stanford Golf Course to jump into a tie for second place overall and punch his ticket to the NCAA Championships.

Warian finished the week at 11-under par, two shots behind regional champ Max Herendeen of Illinois.

“It was a fun round and a great tournament overall,” Warian said in a news release. “Excited to be moving on to the NCAA Championships. This is what it is all about.”

The Stillwater native and Hill-Murray graduate advances to the men’s championship one week after Gophers sophomore Bella McCauley advanced to the women’s championship. Both competed as individuals at regionals, meaning they had to be the top player outside of the top five teams in the regionals, who all automatically qualified for the NCAA Championships.

Warian will make his NCAA Championships debut May 24-29 at Omni La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, Calif. He’ll be the first Gophers player to compete at the NCAA Championships since the team qualified in 2007, and he is the first U golfer to reach the tournament as an individual since 1996.

“Super proud of Ben and his performance this week,” Gophers coach Justin Smith said in a release. “There is no question he can compete with anyone and he proved it this week. It is going to be so exciting to see him compete at the NCAA Championship.”

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