Home course advantage helped Oregon win its first-ever NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship as it defeated Texas, 3-2, at Eugene (Ore.) Country Club Wednesday afternoon.
The championship was decided in the fourth match of the day in 21 holes between Oregon junior Sulman Raza, a native of Eugene, and Taylor Funk, son of PGA Champion Tour player Fred Funk, when Raza sunk a 5-footer birdie on the par-4 10th.
“This is a dream come true,” Raza said.
“It’s just surreal,” Oregon head coach Casey Martin said. “We have the individual champion, we have the team champion and we have the local boy who made the putt to win it. It’s just unbelievable.”
Oregon freshman Edwin Yi (def. Gavin Hall, 4 and 3) and senior Zach Foushee also earned victories in the title match. Foushee earned his point by concession when Texas junior Beau Hossler injured his shoulder in Tuesday’s semifinal match against USC and couldn’t play in the championship match. Texas started the title match with a 1-0 deficit.
NCAA individual champion Aaron Wise didn’t win his match falling to Texas sophomore Scottie Scheffler, 4 and 3, but with the Ducks’ championship win, Wise becomes the eighth player in NCAA history to win the individual and team championship in the same year.
Sophomore Doug Ghim also won his match for Texas as he took down Oregon’s Thomas Lim, 2 and 1.
“You work hard as a coach and for these players,” Texas head coach John Fields said. “… It stings, it’ll be tough for our guys, but that’s what its all about. You have to get keep getting better. It’s going to keep stinging and it’ll sting until next year when we get back here.”
Oregon becomes the first host school to win both the individual and team titles since Ohio State University in 1945.
Oregon’s path to the championship match wasn’t easy, by any means. The Ducks defeated defending national champions LSU in the quarterfinals Tuesday morning, 3-1-1, and then beat championship-favorite Illinois, 3-2, in the semifinals later in the afternoon.
Before Wednesday’s championship match, Oregon had only advanced to the NCAA semifinals in the 2010 and 2012 championships.