Team winner: Oklahoma State (33-under 831)
Individual winner: Emilio Cuartero, Missouri (11-under 205)
Also moving on: 2. Arkansas (836), 3. Missouri (837), T-4. LSU, Iowa State (849)
Individual advancing: Denny McCarthy, Virginia (7-under 209)
• • •
Lucky No. 10
Oklahoma State got the hard stuff out of the way early at The Club at Old Hawthorne in Columbia, Mo. The Cowboys came out of the gate two days ago and lapped the field with a 16-under 272. As regionals go, it was an easy ride from there.
“The conditions the first two days gave it some teeth,” head coach Alan Bratton said of Old Hawthorne.
The Cowboys bookended the tournament with another 16-under 272 on Saturday, and at 33-under 831, won by five shots. It’s the 10th time in program history Oklahoma State has won a regional.
“It always feels good to win, it doesn’t matter what it is,” Bratton said of regionals. “…It’s really my favorite week of the year, every year.”
Now, the team will chase an 11th national title at Prairie Dunes in Hutchinson, Kan. It’s a place from which the Cowboys, especially Bratton, get good vibes. Bratton played the Big 8 Championship there as a Cowboy, and Oklahoma State has enjoyed success there through the years as a team.
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Top of the pack
Iowa State’s mission entering the final round was clear. The Cyclones had to beat at least one of the teams with which they were paired, LSU and Arizona State, to climb into the top 5 and advance to the national championship. That reality must have motivated Iowa State as the Cyclones outscored everyone Saturday and easily qualified for their first national championship since the 1950s.
“We just had all five guys play well,” head coach Andrew Tank said. “We got off to a good start, something that we have been capable of doing all season long.”
Iowa State, in sixth place after two rounds, was one of five teams with a very real shot at climbing into fourth or fifth place in Columbia (Oklahoma State, Arkansas and Missouri had the top 3 positions all but wrapped up entering the final round). The Cyclones had the luxury of being paired with LSU, in fourth place, and Arizona State, in fifth.
“We were in a good position,” Tank said. “We were only a couple shots back, but starting in sixth place, you feel like you only have everything to gain and nothing to lose.”
In qualifying for the national championship, Iowa State had to overcome some adversity. It started the week without standout freshman Nick Voke, at home with an injury. Still, the team counted two rounds of 66, a 68 and a 70.
Such a historic week truly was a team effort.
• • •
Once again, starting times were delayed by an hour because of frost. The same thing happened in Round 2. . . . Arizona State’s Jon Rahm shot a back-nine 30 as a final push to get the Sun Devils to the national championship. The team, however, fell nine shots short of advancing. . . . Virginia and Ohio State both went 12 under in the final round, but neither could make it into the top 5 to advance.