STILLWATER, Okla. – Five days of competition has left us with a pair of teams from the state of Georgia trying to add another NCAA championship trophy to their collection.
When the final match gets underway today at noon (Central time), many will wonder what to expect. The golf itself should provide excitement. The storylines are plentiful. But will top-ranked Oklahoma State’s exit from this championship suck the energy out of this event?
Let’s hope not. This truly should excite anyone who is a college golf fan.
We have Augusta State, the defending national champ going for a repeat. We have Georgia, which has been one of the better if not the best college golf program in the last 10-15 years looking to win a third national title since 1999.
Or will the atmosphere surrounding Karsten Creek flatline with the sea of orange we have grown used to seeing the last few days? Was the excitement drained away with Carter Newman’s clinching birdie putt on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff to end the Cowboys’ season?
A Bulldog victory is a fitting conclusion for the senior trio of Russell Henley, Hudson Swafford and Harris English. These three have provided so much over the years for Bulldog golf and college golf as a whole, going out with a national title is a perfect ending.
A Jaguars win would seem to have been scripted in Hollywood. Looking at tournament results, rankings and simply knowing how capable head coach Josh Gregory’s players are makes another NCAA title hardly unthinkable. However, when you think of it as Augusta State, the Div. II school competing at the Div. I level in golf, it’s just plain silly that this could happen.
No matter the outcome, this championship has provided much entertainment for college golf. Let us enjoy a few more hours of that Bulldog senior experience and Patrick Reed smiles.
Go Dawgs. Go Jaguars.