Behind a 3-1-1 victory over Oregon in the championship final, the OU men’s golf came back to win the title of national champion.
The Sooners were chosen as the No. 13 seed entering stroke play. Throughout the season, OU earned two regular season wins and a program-best five individual titles, setting team and individual records along the way.
“This is what we come to work for every day, and that’s why you’ve got to come out and practice every day,” eighth-year head coach Ryan Hybl said. “This isn’t about me, it’s about what these guys were able to do this week… We give them the resources to be successful, but ultimately, especially in this game, it’s on them individually to try and get as much as they can out of their own games.
“We didn’t have a weak link this week, and that’s big because when you’re playing team golf, a lot of times somebody just doesn’t have their game, you know, doesn’t show up. And all these guys, everybody won a match, at least one match, and they all produced in stroke play… It was a great week from start to finish for our guys.”
This is the Sooners’ second national title in program history, with the first coming in 1989 under head coach Gregg Grost. The 2017 championship comes in the program’s second all-time and second consecutive appearance in match play, which was introduced to the championships in 2009.
“We’re just really excited about having the opportunity for one today, to go out there and win, and the guys did it,” Hybl said. “They executed when they had to, and I can’t be any more proud of these guys than how I feel right now. I know my assistant Jim Garren feels the exact same way.”
In the championship match, OU got wins from sophomore Blaine Hale, senior Max McGreevy and sophomore Brad Dalke to beat Oregon, the defending national champion.
“I just felt really comfortable this week,” Hale said. “I played [well] in stroke play, and I just kind of had a calmness about me this week. Whenever I stepped up on the first tee, I just knew it was going to be a good day. My last two matches, though, I played really well. I didn’t really give up any easy holes, which is huge in match play.”
“I couldn’t be happier that I’m right here winning this championship with the guys on my team,” McGreevy said. “It’s been a long journey. I’ve had a lot of opportunities, whether it be a Big 12 championship or national championship.”
Dalke’s 2 and 1 win over Solomon Raza sealed the national title for the Sooners. While Dalke won the first hole and led throughout the first eight holes, Raza took the ninth to put the match at all square headed to the back nine.
“This has been a week to remember for sure,” Dalke said. “We’ve had this goal in our minds since Pebble Beach, the beginning of the year. We knew we had the team to do it. We have a lot of depth on our team I feel like, and we’re all super talented, we’re gritty, and we fight until the very last stroke.”