SUNRIVER, Ore. (June 3, 2006) -- Powered by individual medalist Jonathan Moore's 12-under performance over the four-round tournament, the Oklahoma State Cowboys won the 2006 NCAA Division I Men's Golf Championship on Saturday afternoon. The tournament, held at Crosswater Club, was hosted by the University of Portland.
The Cowboys entered the final round of the tournament in a three-way tie for second place, three strokes behind Washington. Oklahoma State overtook Washington early in the day and withstood a strong challenge from Florida to claim its first NCAA men's golf championship since 2000 and its tenth in school history. The Cowboys finished three strokes ahead of Florida and four strokes ahead of both Minnesota and Wake Forest.
"Our guys tried to remain emotionally even this week and not go through the highs and lows," first-year Oklahoma State head coach Mike McGraw said following the event. "To get both titles (team and individual) is pretty special, and I can't even put into words what I'm feeling right now."
Moore, a redshirt freshman from Vancouver, Wash., carded a final-round 69, the third time this tournament that he shot in the sixties. His final shot of the tournament was fitting, rolling in a downhill 12-foot putt for a birdie on the par-4 18th.
"I thought the pressure was just going to be unbearable in the beginning," Moore said. "But I just got out there and felt really calm. I'm just happy to be with these guys - they work really hard and they have great drive."
Moore becomes just the seventh player in history to earn an NCAA individual championship as a freshman. Ironically, one of those seven also participated in this tournament. Arizona State's Alejandro Canizares, now a senior, won medalist honors in 2003 and finished in a tie for sixth place at 4 under this weekend. Washington senior James Lepp, who won the NCAA individual championship in 2005, finished in a tie for eighth with a 3-under 285.
Washington, the tournament's leader after three rounds of play, struggled during the final round. The Huskies were the lone school to exceed a team total of 300 on Saturday, shooting a 13-over 301 despite having much drier conditions than the teams faced on Friday. Washington ended up in a tie for ninth place at 6 over.
The 2007 NCAA Division I Men's Golf Championship will be held from May 30 to June 2, 2007 at the Golden Horseshoe Golf Club in Willamsburg, Va.
2006 Ping All-Americans
Ryan Baca, Baylor
Rhys Davies, East Tennessee State
Matt Every, Florida
Oscar Floren, Texas Tech
Billy Horschel, Florida
Dustin Johnson, Coastal Carolina
Chris Kirk, Georgia
Pablo Martin, Oklahoma State
Jonathan Moore, Oklahoma State
Jack Nicklaus Award: Pablo Martin
Mike McGraw, Head Coach, Oklahoma State (Team Champion): "I don't think there's any way to put it into words. I don't know if we were suppose to win this year or if we had the best team or not, but we shot the lowest score and that's good. There are a lot of great teams out here."
"To get both titles is pretty special. I don't know what to say. I can't even put into words what I'm feeling right now because I don't even know what I'm feeling."
"We played pretty steady this week. There were several teams that shot lower single rounds, but we played pretty steady, which was good. We had one round, the second, where we didn't play very well and that kind of put us back in the pack. Fortunately we played well yesterday to put us into contention."
"Our guys tried to remain emotionally even this week and not go through the highs and lows. That was kind of our thought for the week. We tried to remain in that mindset and remain patient and calm. It seemed to work."
Jonathan Moore (Fr.), Oklahoma State (Individual Champion): "It's just so great. I don't think this would be anywhere near as special if the team hadn't won. That's the whole reason why you come here. You try to win as a team and if that means winning as an individual helps, that's great, but you do whatever it takes."
"I felt better this morning than I thought I would. I thought the pressure was just going to be unbearable in the beginning. I woke up about five this morning and didn't sleep a whole lot after that. But I just got out there and felt really calm."
"I'm just happy to be with these guys (teammates). They work really hard and they have great drive. They motivate me and it's just exciting to help them. That's all I wanted to do today, help these guys."
Buddy Alexander, Head Coach, Florida (2nd): "We played so poorly yesterday, but we knew we had a good round in us. We've been pretty solid all year, pretty consistent. Yesterday was just a little bit unusual for us. This team has been pretty good all year, pretty resilient."
"We knew that yesterday was just an unusually poor day. I told the team that sometimes you get mad, and then you start feeling sorry for yourself. Then sometimes you get mad to the point where you just won't take it anymore, and that's kind of where we were after yesterday's round."
Chris Kirk (Jr.), Georgia (T-2nd): "That was fun. I was three over after the first five holes and I was feeling down, but I just told myself I was not going to make any more bogies. I was going to try to make as many birdies as I could and see what happened."
Brad James, Head Coach, Minnesota (T-3rd): "Today was a great round. We came out really strong and I'm proud of the guys. The guys just stayed patient all day and that's what you need to do during the national championship that's four rounds. We definitely had a chance."
"We've been playing in horrendous weather the past six weeks so this definitely helps us."
NOTE: For complete team and individual results, click the tournament name at the top of this story. (amateurgolf.com Premium Membership requested)