Oklahoma State sweeps Alabama for 11th NCAA title

May 31, 2018

STILLWATER, Okla. — Oklahoma State put Zach Bauchou in the anchor match Wednesday as the Cowboys set out to try to claim another NCAA golf title, this time on their home course.

The last one out turned out to be the first to finish. Bauchou’s record-tying rout set the tone for Oklahoma State, which rolled over Alabama to win the NCAA men’s golf championship at Karsten Creek. The Cowboys won three matches without any of them getting past the 15th hole, and the celebration was on.

“I was the last out, but the first in, and that was pretty cool,” Bauchou said after his 8-and-7 victory over Jonathan Hardee in the anchor match. He matched the most lopsided win since the NCAA switched to match play in 2009. “I got to see a couple of the other guys finish up. I just want to give credit to the other four guys here. They played so well all week.”

The No. 1 team in golf ended the season with a national championship.

“They’ll never forget how they stepped up on that stage, and this will be a big catalyst for all the things they will do in the future,” Oklahoma State coach Alan Bratton said. “I talked about the goals we had at the start of the week. We got them all.” Oklahoma State won its 11th NCAA title, second only to the 16 won by Houston.

Vitkor Hovland never trailed in the opening match against Lee Hodges in a 4-and-3 victory. Bauchou won five straight holes, holing out a bunker shot to shoot 29 on the front on his way to his rout. Matthew Wolff delivered the clinching point, a 4-and-3 victory over Davis Riley.

The Cowboys had the home crowd on their side — more than 3,000 people following along the matches — and they gave their orange-clad fans plenty to cheer.

The score is recorded as 5-0 because Oklahoma State was leading the other two matches when it clinched the title. It was the first time an NCAA champion was credited with winning all five matches since it switched to this format in 2009.

The Cowboys last won an NCAA title in 2006 when it was stroke play. In the match-play era, they reached the championship twice without winning. One of those setbacks was in 2014 to Alabama at Prairie Dunes in Kansas.

The Tide advanced to the championship match by sweeping the five matches against Duke in the semifinals. Alabama fell behind big in three matches against Oklahoma State, and the Cowboys wasted little time closing it out.