Defending national champion Alabama and Oklahoma State will face off on Wednesday for the 2014 NCAA Division I Men's Golf Team Championship.
No. 2 seed Alabama advanced to the title match for the third straight year by virtue of wins on Tuesday over No. 7 SMU (3 and 2) in the quarterfinals and No. 3 LSU (4 and 1) in the semifinals, while No. 4 Oklahoma State scored wins over No. 5 Georgia Tech (4 and 0) and No. 1 Stanford (3 and 2).
Tuesday's semifinals featured the top four seeds coming out of individual play for the first time in match play history, which began in 2009. Play took place at the Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson, Kan.
Wednesday will mark the third straight national championship match play final for Alabama, which won the title in 2013, defeating Illinois, 4-1 in the final round of match play held at The Capital City Club, Crabapple Course in Atlanta, Ga. Oklahoma State will be looking to garner its 11th men's golf national championship.
Championship match play will begin at 2:10 p.m. CT tomorrow at Prairie Dunes. Golf Channel will provide live coverage from 4 to 7 p.m. CT. Golf Central will have pre-championship coverage beginning at 12 p.m. CT.
Oklahoma State's men's golf team advanced to the NCAA Championship title match for the second time since the implementation of the match play format in 2009 with a dramatic 3-2 semifinal victory over Stanford.
With the victory, the Cowboys will seek the program's 11th national title and first since 2006.
"It was a great match out there. Just exciting. That's what you play for is an opportunity like that. It took all five of our guys. That's been the strength of our team all year is the depth, and everybody up here got a point in one of the matches and some guys got two," OSU head coach Alan Bratton said.
"It's awesome to see them step up on a big stage, and also great to see Prairie Dunes and what it's all about. This is a wonderful place."
Stanford's Cameron Wilson put the first point of the match on the board, logging a 4-and-2 victory over Cowboy senior Ian Davis.
Freshman Zachary Olsen produced the first point of the afternoon for OSU, knocking off David Boote, 3 and 2. Boote won the second before Olsen squared the match at the sixth. The duo halved the next five holes before Olsen took a lead he would not surrender by claiming the 12th and 13th holes. He then closed out the match at the 16th with a birdie.
Patrick Rodgers put the next point on the board for the Cardinal, defeating sophomore Jordan Niebrugge by a 2-and-1 count.
Senior Talor Gooch came up clutch for the Cowboys, surviving a 21-hole battle with Maverick McNealy. Neither player ever held more than a 1-up lead and McNealy held the advantage heading to the 16th hole where Gooch rolled in a birdie to square the match. After Gooch added another birdie at the 17th to move in front, McNealy sent the match to extra holes with a par at the 18th.
The duo replayed holes 10 and 11 before Gooch rolled in a 30-foot birdie at the 12th to tally OSU's second point.
Redshirt freshman Wyndham Clark closed out the match with a 1-up victory over Viraat Badhwar. Clark won the first and never trailed in the match. Badhwar moved back to all square at the second before Clark won the eighth to reclaim the lead. After going back to square at the ninth, Clark reeled off three straight wins at Nos. 11, 12 and 13 before Badhwar countered by taking the 14th and 15th. Both players made 4s over the final three holes to seal the outcome.
The Cowboys advanced to the semifinal round after knocking off fifth-seed Georgia Tech, 4-0-1. OSU's semifinal appearance was the third in program history and its first since making back-to-back trips in 2010 and 2011.
Gooch moved his all-time record in NCAA match play to 3-0 with a 2-and-1 victory over Richy Werenski. Starting on the back nine, the two players alternated wins over Nos. 10 through 12 with Gooch emerging 1-up before extending his lead with a win at the at the 15th. Werenski scratched back with a win at the 17th and squared the match at the first. After Gooch won the fourth and fifth, he put the match away with a win at the seventh before halving the eighth to secure the point.
Point No. 2 came courtesy of Olsen, who posted a 1-up victory over Bo Andrews. Olsen quickly took a 3-up lead with wins at Nos. 11-13 and counted an Andrews win at the 15th by taking the 17th. Andrews chipped away with a win at the second and the seventh before narrowly missing his birdie attempt at the ninth to square the match.
Clark clinched the match with a 1-up win over Anders Albertson. Clark won the 10th and never trailed in the match, taking a 3-up advantage to the front nine. Albertson pulled within one with victories at the sixth and seventh. However, his chip shot at the last failed to drop and resulted in a pair of fours to give Clark the victory.
Despite battling an illness, Davis went toe-to-toe with the nation's No.3-ranked player and NCAA runner-up, Ollie Schneiderjans. With Schneiderjans 1-up with three to play, Davis won the seventh before halving the eighth and ninth to halve the match.
Niebrugge logged the match's fourth point with a 2-and-1 triumph over Seth Reeves. The two players made the turn all square before Nierbugge won the fourth and fifth to take the biggest lead of the match. The sixth, seventh and eighth were all halved to close out the match.
CHAMPIONSHIP PAIRINGS – MAY 28 (all times CT):
Bobby Wyatt (Alabama) vs. Talor Gooch (Oklahoma St.), 2:10 p.m.
Robby Shelton (Alabama) vs. Zachary Olsen (Oklahoma St.), 2:20 p.m.
Tom Lovelady (Alabama) vs. Wyndham Clark (Oklahoma St.), 2:30 p.m.
Trey Mullinax (Alabama) vs. Ian Davis (Oklahoma St.), 2:40 p.m.
Cory Whitsett (Alabama) vs. Jordan Niebrugge (Oklahoma St.), 2:50 p.m.
SEMIFINAL MATCH PLAY RESULTS:
Alabama def. LSU, 4 and 1
Bobby Wyatt (Alabama) def. Benjamin Taylor (LSU), 3 and 2
Robby Shelton (Alabama) def. Stewart Jolly (LSU), 2 and 1
Tom Lovelady (Alabama) def. Smylie Kaufman (LSU), 1 up
Trey Mullinax (Alabama) def. Curtis Thompson (LSU), 4 and 2
Zach Wright (LSU) def. Cory Whitsett (Alabama), 1 up
Oklahoma State def. Stanford, 3 and 2
Talor Gooch (Oklahoma St.) def. Maverick McNealy (Stanford), Half-W
Cameron Wilson (Stanford) def. Ian Davis (Oklahoma St.), 4 and 2
Wyndham Clark (Oklahoma St.) def. Viraat Badhwar (Stanford), 1 up
Zachary Olsen (Oklahoma St.) def. David Boote (Stanford), 3 and 2
Patrick Rodgers (Stanford) def. Jordan Niebrugge (Oklahoma St.), 2 and 1
QUARTERFINAL MATCH PLAY RESULTS:
Match 1 - No. 2 Alabama def. No. 7 SMU – 3 and 2
Match 2 - No. 3 LSU def. No. 6 UCLA – 4 and 1
Match 3 - No. 1 Stanford def. No. 8 Illinois – 3 and 2
Match 4 - No. 4 Oklahoma St. def. No. 5 Georgia Tech – 4 and 0