National co-runner-up Ross Steelman two-putted for par to beat Peter Fountain 1 up, giving Georgia Tech a 3-2 victory over top-seeded North Carolina in the NCAA golf semifinals Tuesday in Scottsdale, Ariz.
The Yellow Jackets will play for their first national championship Wednesday. They will face Florida. Ricky Castillo birdied the third extra hole to beat Brett Roberts and give the Gators a 3-2 victory over Florida State.
Georgia Tech needed extra holes to secure its quarterfinal match against Pepperdine in the morning, moving on when Hiroshi Tai birdied the 19th hole against Roberto Nieves.
North Carolina got the early lead in the semifinals when Dylan Menante won six straight holes starting at No. 6 to beat Christo Lamprecht 6 and 5.
Georgia Tech’s Bartley Forrester beat Ryan Burnett 4 and 2. Connor Howe followed with a 4-and-2 win over Austin Greaser.
David Ford then closed out Tai 1 up with a par on 18 to pull North Carolina into a tie at 2-all.
That left it up to Steelman.
The senior had three-shot lead through 15 holes Monday in the individual finale, but closed with three straight bogeys to end up a shot behind Biondi.
He finished it off this time.
Leading 1 up, Steelman dropped in a birdie on 17, but Fountain matched him with a birdie putt that rolled around the lip before dropping. Fountain had to lay up after hitting into a fairway bunker and Steelman hit it to the middle of the green.
Fountain conceded the winning putt after Steelman rolled it up to about a foot.
Florida’s Castillo rallied from 2 down with three holes to go with birdies on 16 and 17. Neither player could get up and down for par on No. 18, sending the match to extra holes.
After trading three pars, Roberts missed a birdie putt on the par-4 10th hole. Putting on the same line, Castillo rolled his in, pumping his fist as the Gators rushed onto the green in celebration.
It didn't look good for the Gators for a while.
Florida State won the first two matches, starting with freshman Jack Bigham's 6-and-5 win over Yuxin Lin. Frederik Kjettrup followed with a 3-and-1 decision over Matthew Kress.
Florida tied it when NCAA individual champion Fred Biondi birdied the par-4 17th to beat Cole Anderson 1 up, then John DuBois beat Luke Clanton 1 up with a par on No. 18.
Castillo, a senior with three career wins, caught Roberts down the stretch with two birdies and made the final one to cap a day that started with an early morning 3-2 win over Virginia in the quarterfinals.