STILLWATER, Okla. – Buckle up your seat belts because the semifinals at the NCAA Championship could prove to be one wild ride.
Saturday’s semifinal at Karsten Creek Golf Club will pit top-ranked and host team Oklahoma State against defending NCAA champion Augusta State.
These same two teams – almost to the player – battled it out in the championship match last year at the Honors Course where the Jaguars claimed their first NCAA golf title with a 3-1-1 victory.
Four players from each team from last year’s final will be teeing it up again tomorrow.
Expect the already large and partisan orange-and-black-clad Cowboy fan contingent to be enormous. And you can bet the bulk of them will be following the final match of the day.
That one is made up of both teams’ No. 1 players: Peter Uihlein of Oklahoma State and Patrick Reed of Augusta State. Both were named first-team Ping All-America selections.
These two also battled it out last year at the Honors Course. Uihlein, the reigning U.S. Amateur champ, will have revenge on his mind as he tries to atone for Reed’s impressive 4-and-3 victory.
Another repeat match-up in the semis will have Oklahoma State’s Sean Einhaus facing Augusta State’s Carter Newman. Einhaus won a year ago, 2 up, giving the Cowboys their only point.
Augusta State’s Henrik Norlander and Mitch Krywulycz and Oklahoma State’s Morgan Hoffmann and Kevin Tway are also back from last year, but will flip flop opponents this year because of their seeding. Norlander will take on Tway while Hoffmann will meet Krywulycz. At the Honors course, Norlander defeated Hoffmann, 5 and 4, and Krywulycz edged Tway on the 19th hole for the deciding point. (Break out the sheriff’s posse because some crowd control might be necessary for this one.)
In the other semifinal showdown, Georgia will take on Duke. The Bulldogs were 2-2 this spring in the Callaway Match Play Championship and placed 10th even though their cumulative individual record was 12-6-1.
Don’t forget that Duke won the Callaway most impressively. Not only did the Blue Devils go 4-0 in their matches, their combined individual won-loss record was 16-3-1.
Believe it or not, this should also be quite a battle. It’s just too bad only family and close friends will be watching it!