Capping off one of the best seasons in college golf history, Oklahoma State won the NCAA Championship on Wednesday by shutting out Alabama in the match-play final at their home course, Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla.
The Cowboys are the first No. 1 seed to win since the match-play era began nearly a decade ago, and they left no doubt whatsoever about the result. The last match of the day was the first to end – Zach Bachou’s 8-and-7 drubbing of Alabama’s Jonathan Hardee – and Viktor Hovland soon would add a second point on the board with a convincing 4-and-3 triumph against Lee Hodges.
That left the door open for the NCAA Freshman of the Year, Matthew Wolff, to clinch the championship. Wolff rolled in a 12-foot birdie putt at the par-3 15th hole to defeat Davis Riley, 4 and 3, and emphatically thrust his fist into the air.
That sent thousands of orange-clad Oklahoma State fans surrounding the green into a frenzy. Their 11th national championship, the first one since 2006, became official.
“This is everything I could dream of,” Wolff said. “I couldn’t be happier to be here and I couldn’t be happier to be a national champion.”
It was nothing short of a special season for the Cowboys, the first team to win 10 tournaments or more during the year while also ending in a national title since Houston did so in 1977. Only Houston (16) has more championships in college golf history than the Cowboys.
All four Oklahoma State coaches now have captured a national championship. Alan Bratton, a national champion with the Cowboys as a player back in 1995, relished the opportunity to win a title as a coach on home turf.
“It’s just special,” Bratton said. “What a great environment for college golf. I can’t thank Oklahoma State enough for providing this atmosphere. This is bigger than just Cowboy golf. There were so many former players here in the crowd this week and we were all standing on their shoulders this week.”
In the stroke-play portion of the event, Broc Everett, a first-team All-American from Augusta University, defeated Auburn’s Brandon Mancheno in a playoff to win the national championship. Playing as an individual after his team missed the 54-hole cut, the 23-year-old walk-on claimed his first college victory at a great time.
Everett is the first player to have his first and only college win be the national championship since Florida’s Nick Gilliam in 2001.
“It’s been my goal for a long time to win a collegiate event,” Everett said. “I’ve had a bunch of seconds, thirds and fourth … lots of top-10s. To see the patience and hard work pay off, it’s very rewarding.”