Oklahoma Sooners with local assistant coach Jim Garren win 2017 NCAA Championship
The Oklahoma Sooners with assistant coach and Cartersville native Jim Garren defeated the Oregon Ducks in the final match to win the 2017 NCAA men’s golf national championship Wednesday at Rich Harvest Farms Golf Club in Sugar Grove, Illiniois.
The title is the second all-time for the Sooners and their first since 1989. They held off Oregon 3.5 to 1.5.
With the win in the finals, Oklahoma denied Oregon a chance at back-to-back championships. The Ducks were the 2016 national champions.
The Sooners finished in second place behind Vanderbilt in the 72 hole stroke play segment of the championship last Friday through Monday to earn a spot in the eight-team match play portion. Oklahoma then made a tremendous back-nine charge in the quarterfinals Tuesday morning to overcome Baylor 3-2. That put the Sooners in the national semifinals where they defeated Illinois 3.5 - 1.5.
In the finals against Oregon, Oklahoma jumped out to an early lead with two match points secured by Blaine Hale’s 4&3 win and Max McGreevy’s 3&2 win. Rylee Reinertson fell in his match and Grant Hirschman was all-square in his pairing when Brad Dalke secured his 2&1 win to clinch the deciding match for the national title. Dalke overcame Oregon’s Sulman Raza on the back nine and closed him out on the 17th green.
Dalke almost clinched the title on the 16th hole, positioning himself for a six-foot putt to close out his match with Raza. But his putt went just wide and Raza was able to sink a clutch 10-footer to extend the match one more hole.
Raza hit his tee shot into the waist-high rough on the 17th, and recovered for a bogey. That enabled Dalke to two-putt for bogey and lock down the final point needed to raise the NCAA trophy.
Hale, McGreevy, Reinertson, and Dalke were all 2-1 in match play. Hirschman was 1-0 and was all-square in two matches when the Sooners secured wins.
Back during stroke play, Hale tied for 11th overall to lead the Sooners with a 286 total (72-69-70-75). McGreevy tied for 16th at 287 (69-72-68-78). Hirschman (73-72-72-74 — 291), Dalke (70-70-79-77 — 296), and Reinertson (74-68-74-83 — 299) rounded out Oklahoma’s stroke play scoring.
Karsten Creek Golf Club, the Oklahoma State home course in Stillwater, Oklahoma will host the 2018 Division I Championship.
PHOTOS: (L-R) OU team Tuesday evening after reaching finals. Head coach Ryan Hybl. Assistant Coach Jim Garren.
MATCH PLAY PAIRINGS / RESULTS
Tuesday, May 30 Quarterfinal Round
(1) Vanderbilt defeated (8) UNLV
(5) Oregon defeated (4) Oklahoma State
(3) Illinois defeated (6) USC
(2) Oklahoma defeated (7) Baylor
Tuesday, May 30
(2) Oklahoma defeated (3) Illinois (5) Oregon defeated (1) Vanderbilt
Wednesday, May 31
Championship Match (2) Oklahoma defeated (5) Oregon