Oklahoma rallies, Vanderbilt survives a scare in NCAA golf

Solenn Plantier
Juin 2, 2017

Dalke's father, Bill, started at linebacker on Oklahoma's 1975 national championship team, and his mother, Kay, was a member of the school's first women's golf team.

The Sooners entered the match-play portion as the No. 2 seed, but almost went out against Baylor in the quarterfinals as they trailed in all five matches at one point on the back nine. They really played a great back nine, and I wouldn't be too surprised to see them win it all.

OU earned wins from sophomore Blaine Hale (4&3), Max McGreevy (3&2) and Brad Dalke (2&1) to claim the title.

"We didn't play our best (and) Oklahoma played wonderfully", OR coach Casey Martin said.

Without a furious charge up the leaderboard during the final round of stroke play - stroke play determined the eight teams that would advance to match play - OR wouldn't even be in this position. The Ducks took it from there, beating Oklahoma State in the quarterfinals and riding the clutch play of Sulman Raza in the afternoon. Dalke led 2-up through eight holes, but Raza won nine and 10 to bring the match back to all square. Raza, who made the NCAA championship-winning putt past year for the Ducks, took the lead in a tight match with Schwab at the twelfth, and remained 1 up until the final hole.

"We had an wonderful run at the end of our round, and under the pressure and under the tough weather, other teams kind of crumbled", OR head coach Casey Martin said, "and here we are". "And then to reach this moment with my teammates and having another chance to repeat, there were definitely a lot of expectations, some nerves, but I'm still so proud of these guys". "I guess there's something to never quitting". Hang in there somehow.

Said Hybl: "It's our time to show what we got".

Oklahoma wins their second national championship to go with their first one they won in 1989 at Oak Tree Country Club in Edmond. The Sooners completed their semifinal triumph when Rylee Reinertson won the third pairing, 3 & 1, as he clinched with a win on the 17th. The Bears won the first two points as Cooper Dossey was a 1-up victor in the opening pairing and Braden Bailey won 2 & 1 in the second.

They will face the defending national champion Oregon University, who defeated Vanderbilt University in the other semifinal match.

"This is a great opportunity for us to finally break through that barrier and make a super-regional", said Big East player of the year Rylan Bannon. "But then to do it here in Chicago and trying to back it up, it's hard to put into words, and I'm proud of the guys and how they've played all year, and then in particular how they battled to get here because we were way on the outs, and here we are".

"We (Hale and I) are the two most emotional guys on the team", McGreevy said.

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