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Augusta State Repeats as NCAA Champions
For the second straight year Augusta State has surprised the golf world, becoming the first school to capture back-to-back victories in the NCAA Men's Golf Championship, beating in-state rivals University of Georgia in the match-play finale, 3 and 2. The event was held at Karsten Creek in Stillwater, Okla.
The small school in Georgia's second largest city, located 2 miles from Augusta National Golf Club, home of the Masters, was led by Patrick Reed, who beat Georgia's Harris English 2 and 1. Reed, a junior, played at Georgia before transferring to Augusta State. "I actually liked it because I felt really comfortable with the guys," Reed said. "I played with them all the time from being there. We just had a great time."
Also getting wins were Mitch Krywulycz and Carter Newman. Reed and Newman went undefeated in match play at 3-0, while Krywulycz went 2-1.
Before edging Georgia for the championship, the Jaguars beat No. 2 seed Georgia Tech, and tournament host and national powerhouse Oklahoma State. It became the first school to win two in a row since the University of Houston in 1984-85.
It's unlikely that Augusta State will win three state titles as the entire team - including head coach Josh Gregory, who's taking over as the head coach at his alma mater, SMU, and Reed, who's turning pro - is moving on.
"It was a bittersweet win," Reed said. "We're all glad to win, but at the same time we're sad it's over because that means all of us are going different directions and none of us are coming back."
The team was motivated to do what no university has done since the Cougars 26 years ago. "It's been our rallying cry all year," Gregory told Augusta State's website (http://www.jaguarsroar.com/sports/mgolf/2010-11/releases/201106050a8dqw). "Nobody's won back-to-back national championships since the mid-80's and I said 'Why not us? Somebody has to do it; somebody has to break the streak.'
"These kids probably don't realize the historical significance, regardless of what sport it is," Gregory added. "It's college golf, maybe its not big-time football or basketball, but they just made history and to be able to do that, win back-to-back national championships, and to do it in the fashion they did is remarkable. It's something I've never dreamed of; something I can't believe just happened to us, and that's exactly what the kids say."
The Jaguars, which compete in all Division II sports except golf, were making their 12th appearance in the NCAA Championships in the last 19 years.
Louisiana State's John Peterson won the NCAA Men's Golf Championship individual title last week.