NCAA Regional Roundup And Madness: Jacksonville Player Drops Ball In Water By Accident, Strips Down To Help Team

You know this blogging thing yields some strange stories, and in reading about the NCAA men's regionals I'm not sure it gets any more peculiar than the plight of Jacksonville's David Wicks who...oh let's Ryan Lavner explain.

He crouched on a steep bank to read his putt, but as he stood up and reached for the ball in his right front pocket, he dropped it.

Of course, it didn’t just fall straight down. No, it kicked off the back of his shoe, rolled off the green, around a bulkhead, and after a brief chase he watched it tumble into the water on the left side of the green.

“I looked at my playing partners, they looked at me, and there was that awkward silence where we both knew it’d be a penalty,” Wicks said by phone Wednesday night.

Said his coach, Mike Blackburn: “Just a stroke of bad luck.”

Here was Wicks’ predicament: He needed to find his original ball or he would be assessed a two-shot penalty, under Rule 16-1. In contention both in the team and individual race, Wicks said, “I was always going to go in. If I hadn’t gone in and we’d lost by a shot, the nine-hour drive back I would have been thinking about it the whole time. At least I know now.”

Here is the video of Wicks making the desperate search as his playing partners look on in silence.



Jacksonville made it through for the first time ever in a playoff over Northwestern, as Brentley Romine notes in Golfweek's roundup of that wild and wacky region.

Oklahoma State edged Texas in the Austin regional, Romine notes in this roundup.

UCF advanced in a region that also saw Lipscomb make it to the finals.

As Golfweek's Kevin Casey reports, Oklahoma and Stanford headline the west region qualifiers that also included Pepperdine.

Go Waves!

The NCAA finals start Sunday for the women and a week later for the men.