Oregon men’s golf to play for back-to-back national titles on Wednesday
For the second year in a row, the Oregon men’s golf team will be playing for a national championship. To get there, the No. 5 Ducks had to defeat the No. 4 seed Oklahoma State Cowboys and the No. 1 seed Vanderbilt Commodores back-to-back on Tuesday.
They won both matches 3-2, thanks to a clutch performance from Sulman Raza. But that’s nothing new for the senior. Last season, Raza drained the clinching putt to win the schools first ever national championship.
In the semifinals, Norman Xiong won his match 3 and 2 over Patrick Martin, and Wyndham Clark won his match 4 and 3 over Will Gordon. Ryan Gronlund lost his matchup, giving Vanderbilt one point, and Edwin Yi fell to John Augenstein in extra holes to make the match even at 2. In the last matchup of the round, Raza captured the deciding point against Vanderbilt’s Matthias Schwab to put the Ducks into the championship match.
The two went to the 18th hole with Schwab needing to beat Raza to force a tie. Raza ended up winning the hole by two shots, winning the matchup 2UP and clinching a spot in the finals for the Ducks.
On Wednesday, The Ducks will meet with the Oklahoma Sooners in the championship round, who qualified by defeating the Illinois Ilini 3-1-1 on the other half of the bracket. The Sooners advanced to the semifinals last season, but were stopped short by the Texas Longhorns.
After the semifinal round, the pairings for tomorrow’s championship were determined. Xiong will start the day off at 12:10 p.m. against Blaine Hale. Ten minutes later, Yi is paired with Max McGreevy. Every 10 minutes following the next pair will begin their round. Clark will play Rylee Reinertson, Gronlund will play Grant Hirschman and Raza will round out the day against Brad Dalke.
In the quarterfinal round against the Cowboys Gronlund, Raza and Yi led the Ducks to the three deciding points needed to advance while Clark and Xiong were defeated in their matchups.
If the Ducks win the championship this year, they would be the first champions to repeat since Alabama in 2013-14.
Follow Zak Laster on Twitter: @zlast3445
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