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Matthew Wolff (Photo illustration)
It seemed appropriate that freshman Matthew Wolff
was the player to drain a 15-foot birdie putt for the clinching point in Oklahoma State’s first national title in golf in more than a decade
. It was a fitting end to a 10-win season for the Cowboys, and a fitting beginning for Wolff, a college-golf star in the making.
Much has been said about Wolff’s swing, a unique but powerful movement that drew attention as the national championship was televised on Golf Channel. Wolff, who hails from Agoura Hills, Calif., certainly has swagger.
That swagger has been earned. Wolff won the Phil Mickelson Award in the spring, given to the nation’s top freshman, and was Oklahoma State’s low scorer in NCAA match play. He won two of his three matches. During the regular season, he had six top-5 finishes in 13 starts. In fact, his worse finish was a T-28.
As for the swing?
Wolff has an extremely weak grip and brings the club back with minimal rotation. At the top, his hands are high and the club is pointed well across the line. His left heel comes high off the ground, a remnant of his baseball days,
AmateurGolf.com contributor Sean Martin wrote from Stillwater, Okla., during national-championship week.
It’s a swing that has been refined by a social-media-savvy coach, George Gankas, who is known for having a little moxie of his own. Gankas has amassed nearly 100,000 Instagram followers by posting videos that teach players how to maximize their swing speed. Gankas, known for his flat-brim hats and SoCal skater bravado, also teaches PGA TOUR players Adam Scott, Padraig Harrington, Sung Kang and Danny Lee.
When Wolff came back to Stillwater as a sophomore, he did something that’s believed to be a first in Oklahoma State’s deep history books: go undefeated in stroke play in the fall season. (We have to give props to Golf World’s Ryan Herrington
for tackling a thick Oklahoma State record book to dig up that stat.) Wolff won the Carmel Cup and Fighting Illini titles, then tied teammate Viktor Hovland for the Royal Oaks Collegiate title. Oklahoma State’s other two fall start were in match-play events.
Wolff’s swing and his quick success transcends college golf – he’s a popular topic for golf writers and golf lovers at all levels of the game. He seems to be thriving under the spotlight.
ABOUT THE NCAA Division I Championship
30 teams and 6 individuals not on a qualifying
team make up the field for the championship of
Division I women's golf.
After 72 holes of stroke play, the individual
champion is crowned, and the low 8 teams advance
match play to determine the team champion.
View Complete Tournament Information