Daniel O’Loughlin admitted a few emotions roiled up to the surface on Wednesday.
As the Colorado senior golfer hit the stretch run of his final round at the NCAA Southwest Regional, the reality that he was upon his final few holes while representing the Buffaloes was hitting close to home. When O’Loughlin wrapped up his third and final round at the University of New Mexico’s Championship Golf Course, there were plenty of hugs shared between O’Loughlin, CU head coach Roy Edwards, and assistant coach Derek Tolan.
Certainly it wasn’t the way O’Loughlin wanted to wrap up his CU career, as he struggled to his worst score of the three-round regional with a 4-over-par 76 on Wednesday. Yet after a stellar spring, O’Loughlin offered no regrets about returning for his “super senior” season after his planned senior season in 2020 was canceled at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Roy and DT came up to me and kind of gave me a hug afterward, and that was nice,” O’Loughlin said. “I’m sad that it’s over, but honestly I’m excited for the next chapter and carrying on playing golf. I played really well in the majority of the tournament aside from this one. If I’d have stayed home this year there wouldn’t have been any golf from January until March, so it definitely was the right move.”
O’Loughlin carded a 2-over 74 in the opening round on Monday and posted an even-par 72 on Tuesday. Wednesday’s effort left O’Loughlin with a three-round score of a 6-over-par 222. O’Loughlin completed the second round in a tie for 40th but finished the third and final regional tournament of his CU career in a tie for 51st-place.
For the first time in the regional, O’Loughlin failed to card a single birdie on Wednesday, saving par through the first seven holes before posting bogeys on four of the final 11 holes.
“I was pretty solid the whole way through (Wednesday). There wasn’t any crazy mistakes or anything,” O’Loughlin said. “Just a few bad bogeys. I had some looks at birdies but I didn’t make any of them. I should have at least got one of them. It was just one of those rounds.”
O’Loughlin said he is set to return to his native England within a few weeks to embark on his pro career. His effort at the Southwest Regional was not reflective of his career overall with the CU men’s golf program, and O’Loughlin expressed gratitude for his experience in Boulder as he enters a new phase of his career.
“Being a student-athlete at CU has been incredible,” O’Loughlin said. “All the people I’ve met through the athletic department, and then being with the golf team traveling around the country, you couldn’t ask for any more. I was on a great, great team and we’re really close. The way you get treated as a student-athlete at CU is a level above everything. That made it very, very memorable.”