Senior Trey Mullinax rolled in an eagle putt on the 17th hole to clinch the NCAA Division 1 Men’s Golf Championships for the Alabama Crimson Tide. The Oklahoma State Cowboys were a formidable opponent, but Alabama defeated the Cowboys 4-1 to win their second consecutive national championship.
The finals were much closer than the 4-1 score. Alabama freshman Robby Shelton was two down through eleven, but he birdied six of the final seven holes to win by one stroke over Zachary Olsen of Oklahoma State. Shelton’s match was the second of five matches on the day, and the momentum would have swung in the Cowboy’s favor if Shelton had failed to make a birdie run.
Before all the drama went down, Alabama head coach Jay Seawell said a team meeting set the tone for a successful afternoon, “I’m really proud of these guys. I knew it would hit me in a minute. I’m really proud of them. We had a moment, we made kind of an impromptu get‑together this morning at 11:45 that wasn’t planned. I don’t know why we wanted to do it or why we did it. We brought our team chaplain in. We heard the buses from Oklahoma State were coming, and we thought we might better have one more quick meeting and one more time together as a team. I think it was just me not wanting them to say goodbye one more time.”
Alabama senior Bobby Wyatt beat OK State senior Talor Gooch 3&2, and he spoke about the leadership of his coach, “It’s amazing. It’s something that I wasn’t sure if we would win back‑to‑back. I definitely believed that we would win one. It’s why Coach Seawell recruited us. I really believe in him, and what he had to say and how he leads us. I can honestly say he’s been my father for four years away from home. He’s turned all of us from boys into men, even Robby, 18 years old. Obviously birdieing six of the last seven is pretty manly.”
Fellow senior Cory Whitsett echoed the idea of being recruited to win a championship, “Like Bobby said, we come here to win. That’s why I came here, that’s why Bobby came here, Trey, Tom, Shelton came here, and we spend every day with that in our minds. We worked toward that. And this is just a byproduct of what we do throughout the year.”
Senior Trey Mullinax made the clinching putt on the 17th hole, and said his teammate playing well behind him eased the tensions in a pressure-packed match, “Cory [Whitsett] had his guy dormie, and that gave me a lot of confidence knowing that Cory was already 2‑up going into his last two holes. It took a lot of pressure off me, a lot of pressure off that putt. But hitting that putt on 17 is something that I think, like I said before, you always dream about. You’ve got that [putt to win] the national championship, and to have that go in and to share that with Coach Seawell, who’s mentored me for four years now, and has done so much for me in my golf career that I can’t tell him thank you enough. He means the world to me, and to have him by my side and my teammates today was just really special.”
The Oklahoma State Cowboys had one heck of a run to the championship match, but they fell one short. Head coach Alan Bratton said the loss is painful, but he stressed that his players should be proud of their season, “These kind of losses are never easy. The season always comes to an abrupt end. But after we get over the hurt of not quite climbing that last hurdle, I know our guys will look back on this year and be proud of what they’ve accomplished. We’ve got nothing to hang our heads about, and I’m really pleased with the way the year went.”
CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH RESULTS:
ALABAMA 4 – OKLAHOMA STATE 1
Bobby Wyatt (Alabama) def. Talor Gooch (Oklahoma St.), 3 and 2
Robby Shelton (Alabama) def. Zachary Olsen (Oklahoma St.), 1 up
Wyndham Clark (Oklahoma St.) def. Tom Lovelady (Alabama), 3 and 1
Trey Mullinax (Alabama) def. Ian Davis (Oklahoma St.), 2 and 1
Cory Whitsett (Alabama) def. Jordan Niebrugge (Oklahoma St.), 2 and 1
–Bernie D’Amato (@bdamato711)
Quotes are courtesy of ASAP Sports.