Michigan State golfer James Piot advances to NCAA Championships

Casey Harrison
The Detroit News

For the first time since 2002, an individual Michigan State men's golfer is going to be competing for an NCAA championship.

Spartans senior James Piot is heading to the NCAAs after shooting a second straight 3-under par 68 Wednesday in the final round of the NCAA Kingston Springs Regional. Piot finished the tournament 5-under par 208 (72-68-68), which placed him tied for fourth place.

Michigan State senior golfer James Piot, left, and Spartans golf coach Casey Lubahn. Piot finished fourth in the NCAA Golf Championships East Regional to qualify for the national championships.

Piot claimed the only individual bid in the tournament as he was the top finisher out of those players not on one of the five teams to advance to the NCAA Championships. In doing so, he's the first MSU player to play in the NCAA Championships since MSU qualified as a team in 2007.

San Diego State's Puwit Anupansuebsai won the regional and shot an 8-under 205. He was followed by Arkansas' Tyson Reeder at 7-under 206 and William Moll, who shot a 6-under 207 for Vanderbilt. Those three were part of the five teams — Vanderbilt, Arkansas, SDSU, North Carolina State and Clemson — to advance to the NCAA Championships.

Piot was one of four players who tied for the fourth-place spot, along with Clemson's Turk Pettit, SDSU's Youssef Guezzale, Vanderbilt's Reid Davenport and NC State's Maximillian Steinlechner. 

Piot bogeyed on his first hole, but recovered for four straight pars before back-to-back birdies on the sixth and seventh holes to get to 1-under par. The Canton product birdied on a par-4 12th and hit four straight pars to put him at 2-under heading to the 17th hole.

He birdied the par-5, 580-yard 17th hole to move into fourth placed and sealed his bid to the national championships with a par-4 on 18. 

The 2021 NCAA Championships will be played at Grayhawk Gold Club in Scottsdale, Arizona, from May 28-June 2. The last Spartan to play as an individual for a national title was Eric Jorgensen in 2002. 

charrison@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @Casey_Harrison1