Oklahoma finished No. 2 again.
Just like the men’s gymnastics team and the women’s gymnastics team earlier this spring, the Sooners’ men’s golf team fell just short of winning a national championship on Wednesday, falling to Pepperdine in the match play finals at the NCAA Championships at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, AZ.
OU was trying to repeat as national champions for the first time since winning it all in 2017.
The crown came down a tight match between the final two pairings that went back and forth most of the day.
In the end, OU’s Ben Lorenz conceded a one-foot putt to Pepperdine’s Clay Feagler on 18 to decide the championship.
Lorenz and Feagler traded blows down the stretch. Lorenz built a two-hole lead with a birdie on the 10th, but three holes later it was gone as Feagler birdied the 12th and 13th to tie it. Feagler then dropped in a 40-foot birdie putt to win 14 and take the lead, but Lorenz, a freshman from the Phoenix area, tied it with a birdie on 15. Feagler took the lead again with a birdie on 16, then drained a 10-foot par putt to halve No. 17.
They both had long birdie putts on the 18th. Lorenz hit first and ended up about a foot short, while Feagler hit his shot about a foot long, leading Lorenz to concede.
Oklahoma’s Logan McAllister held a one-hole lead over Joey Vrzich through seven, but extended that lead to two with a hole-in-one — his second ace of the week. Vrzich, however, sunk a 35-foot putt to win the 13th and take back the lead, and McAllister dropped a 3-footer for par on the 15th to tie it again. McAllister birdied 17 to take a one-hole lead and hung on for the Sooners’ second point, but it was too little, too late.
OU senior Jonathan Brightwell put Oklahoma’s first point on the board by sinking a four-foot par putt to win 18 and win his match with Dylan Menante 1-up. Brightwell trailed by a hole, but turned things around when he dropped a birdie putt to win 15, then sunk a 4-foot par putt to win 16 and take a one-hole lead.
Sooners senior Quade Cummins never had the lead against William Mouw. He opened with a bogey then tied it with a birdie on 3, then gave it back with a bogey on 4. Another birdie on the par-3 No. 8 tied it again, but Cummins trailed by one at the turn and then bogeyed No. 11 to fall behind by 2. Cummins’ day ended on 15 when he hit a 23-foot putt just wide.
Oklahoma’s Garett Reband played strong down the stretch but dug himself an early hole and couldn’t get closer than three on the back nine before falling 4 and 3.
It was the second time this season that Oklahoma and Pepperdine met head-to-head in match play. At the East Lake Cup in Atlanta last October, Pepperdine won four of the five matches.
Match Play Finals
Grayhawk Golf Club, Scottsdale, AZ
Pepperdine 3, Oklahoma 2
- Jonathan Brightwell (O) d. Dylan Menante 1-up
- Joe Highsmith (P) d. Garett Reband 4 & 3
- William Mouw (P) d. Quade Cummins 4 & 3
- Clay Feagler (P) d. Ben Lorenz 1-up
- Logan McAllister (O) d. Joey Vrzich 1-up