The younger Newman redshirted his first year and soon began improving his scores. After posting a 75.07 average his freshman season, Newman averaged 73.48 strokes a round entering the NCAA Championships.
Newman said he played well in the first round but posted a noncounting 77. The following day, he posted three double bogeys en route to 83 -- his worst score as a collegian.
After his round, Newman was in a shambles. He didn't know whether he should go to the putting green or to the driving range. Augusta State coach Josh Gregory walked up and asked what happened; Newman didn't have an answer.
Gregory responded in a positive manner.
"Carter, you're one of the main reasons we're at the NCAA Championships," he said. "You will find a way when we need you most."
In the final round of stroke play, Newman's tournament turned around at the par-4 seventh, a treacherous hole featuring a water hazard running down almost the entire left side.
His playing partner, San Diego's Scott Brace, hit his tee shot into the pond. Brace believed that he hit a draw and that his ball crossed land to the right of a stake, which signified he would get a drop and wouldn't have to re-tee -- a savings of more than 200 yards.
Newman disagreed, saying the ball faded into the water on the other side of the stake.
"I'm 99 percent sure it didn't cross anything," Newman said. "I'm not saying he was trying to cheat, but some guys don't want to go back to the tee box. I don't think it crossed."
Gregory preaches to his players to stand up for what they believe in. Although Brace and San Diego coach Tim Mickelson voiced their disagreement, Newman didn't back down.
"I know what you're trying to do, but I don't think it's right," he said.
Mickelson responded: "What are you trying to say? What are you implying?"
A rules official, who eventually allowed the drop, separated Mickelson and Newman, who walked off and raised his voice.
"I'm not stupid. It's two against one," Newman said. "I wouldn't do the same."
The typically mild-mannered, red-haired Newman was angry. He finished the seventh hole with a bogey to drop to 3-over on the day. But he found a renewed focus, hit a 6-iron to a foot at the par-3 eighth and turned his tournament around.
"That kind of fired me up," he said about the incident. "The rest of the day, I just wanted to kick that kid's butt. I wanted to beat him so bad."
With Taylor Floyd struggling to 78, the team needed Newman. He remained strong, recording eight consecutive pars. At the par-5 17th hole, Newman split the fairway with his drive. He then striped a 3-wood. His ball traveled the remaining 260 yards, finishing three feet from the pin to set up an eagle to get him back to par.
After Newman hit "the shot of my life," he said, the score reverberated around the course, boosting his teammates' and his coach's spirits.
Despite making bogey at the last, Newman turned in 73, a score that Augusta State needed to advance.
"It felt amazing to be able to hit that shot and to know that it counted and we needed it," Newman said. "It hasn't been a good week, and I just had to do everything I could to try and count and shoot as low as I could."
Henrik Norlander matched Newman at 73. Mitch Krywulycz turned in a solid 72. Patrick Reed posted the team's low round with 70. With a team score of 288, Augusta State finished medal play at 1-under-par 863, five shots ahead of three teams tied for eighth place. The Jaguars advanced to match play as the No. 6 seed with a tee time against No. 3 seed Georgia Tech.
For Reed, the No. 5 player in the nation, it marked another day of improvement. After opening with a pair of over-par rounds, the three-time American Junior Golf Association All-American, Reed was just warming up.