CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.---It was a bit of a Cinderella story as Augusta State captured its first NCAA Division I Men's Golf Championship over tradition-rich Oklahoma State, 3-1-1, at The Honors Course Sunday. The event, co-hosted by the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, spanned six days and 108 holes of action.
The Jaguars got off to a quick start. After three holes, ASU led in four of five groups. That start was led by Henrik Norlander who was 3 up through four holes in the fourth group, while Taylor Floyd matched that effort in the fifth and final group.
The match tightened from there, OSU's Sean Einhaus won four straight holes to make the turn 3 up after a birdie on nine in group one. Teammate Kevin Tway was in command of his match as well through nine holes at 4 up just behind Einhaus.
ASU was firmly in charge of the next two groups as well. Patrick Reed was 4 up on Peter Uihlein, while Norlander pushed to a 6 up lead. The Floyd-Trent Whitekiller match looked to be the decider as it was all square through nine.
Norlander closed out Morgan Hoffmann on 14 winning 5&4. Shortly after, Reed and Uihlein shook hands on 16 green for Reed's 4&2 win.
OSU got on the board next with Einhaus taking a 2&1 win after a par on 17. After taking a 3 up lead on 10, Einhaus parred his way in to close out Carter Newman.
While the Floyd-Whitekiller match continued to see-saw, the Tway-Mitch Krywulycz began to tighten. Down 4 through 11, Krywulycz won four straight holes with a par and three birdies to make it all square through 15.
Both players parred their way through 18 setting up dramatics on the first hole, the 19th of the day. Each found the fairway off the tee and then the right side of the green.
Krywulycz's birdie effort from 20 feet was just a couple of rotations short giving him a par. Tway's 18-footer was four feet long. His par effort just missed giving ASU the winning margin. The coaches agreed to halve the Floyd-Whitekiller match to provide the final score of 3-1-1.
It was an amazing effort by Augusta State which is ranked in the top 10 of every golf ranking. Reed and Norlander lost a combined four holes on the day and only to birdies. Krywulycz battled back from four down to win and Floyd was playing with a stomach virus.
It was an impressive week for the Cowboys as well. They captured the top seed in match play by virtue of a 14-under par (850) effort in the stroke play qualifying. That was followed by impressive wins over second-ranked Stanford (4-1) and top-ranked Oregon (3-1-1) to make it to the final.
The 2011 championship will be played at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla.