Making seemingly every clutch putt when needed, Pepperdine held off Oklahoma to win the NCAA Championship 3-2 at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale.
It was a bitter end for the Sooners, ranked No. 1 most of the season, and particularly senior starters Quade Cummins, Jonathan Brightwell and Garret Reband. Only Brightwell, the transfer from UNC-Greensboro, managed to win his championship match, defeating Dylan Menante 1 up in the leadoff match with a clutch 4-foot par putt on the 18th hole.
Cummins, the sixth-year senior from Weatherford, lost 4 and 3 to William Mouw. Reband, still battling his swing after coming back from a wrist injury, was not himself throughout the tournament and lost 4 and 3 to Joe Highsmith.
That left it up to freshman Ben Lorenz and junior Logan McAllister. Lorenz battled gamely, but his chip up a hill from behind the par-3 16th green lodged in a sprinkler hole, costing him a reasonable chance at par and dropping him a shot behind Clay Feagler. Both players made par on the final two holes.
McAllister, who made his second ace of the tournament, was 1 up on Joey Vrzich through 17 when the championship ended with Feagler’s par on 18.
“This one hurts,” said an emotional OU coach Ryan Hybl, who has led the Sooners into the match play portion in each of the last five NCAA Championships, including winning the title in 2017. “It hurts, but it will be a great memory for these guys. The whole week. It’s still been a great year.
“Pepperdine made some big-time clutch putts,” Hybl said. “Give credit to them, they were phenomenal all week long and all year long. My guys fought their tails off, but Pepperdine is tough. Top to bottom, they have no weaknesses.”
The Sooners also lose seniors Thomas Johnson and Riley Casey but will have a stacked team returning led by McAllister and Lorenz.