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Giant Killers: Augusta State Beats Oklahoma State to Win NCAA Men's Championship
Augusta State, a team that plays all its sports in Division II other than golf, did the unthinkable: it beat powerhouse Oklahoma State Sunday in the finals of the NCAA Men's Golf Championship.
Augusta State's Mitch Krywulycz was all-square with OSU's Kevin Tway, son of PGA Tour veteran and OSU grad Bob Tway, through 18 holes. On the 19th hole, Krywulycz was in with a par while Tway faced a 3-footer to continue the match. But Tway missed, giving Krywulycz the win and Augusta State its first national title in golf in 11 tries.
The team from Georgia forged a 3-1-1 victory at the Honors Course in Chattanooga, Tenn.
"I thought that he would make it," Krywulycz said. "You have to just think the unexpected is going to happen. He is a great player and putter, and I just thought he would have made it."
All Tway could do was crouch in the shadow of his golf bag as Krywulycz's teammates celebrated.
"I waited 21 years to play something like this, and to have it end this way is pretty sickening to my stomach," Tway said. "I guess you just take it and try to learn from it and see if I can do better next time."
Top-seeded Oklahoma State was the clear favorite to win for the 11th time in its storied history. The Cowboys have made every NCAA Division I men's tournament in the 64-year history of the championship. Bob Tway won a championship on the 1980 Oklahoma State team.
"It means everything. It is a dream come true," said Augusta State coach Josh Gregory. "It has validated the success of the coaches before me and the players before them. College golf means something to Augusta, Ga., and it doesn't happen without us."
Among the team members who won was Henrik Norlander, who beat OSU's Morgan Hoffman 5 and 4. Patrick Reed then beat highly regarded Peter Uihlein 4 and 2.
OSU's Sean Einhaus notched a 2-and-1 win over Carter Newman. It was looking good in the final match as Tway had a 4-up lead through 11 holes over Krywulycz. It wasn't looking good for the Panthers as Taylor Floyd, who played sick Saturday, had his match with Trent Whitekiller on Sunday delayed to the finale so he could receive treatment.
"For him to even be able to play golf today is remarkable," Gregory said of Floyd. "I didn't think he would be able to go today, but he told me, 'Coach, there is no way I would miss it for the world.' For him to play and fight it and somehow finish his match today and yesterday is unreal."
Despite appearing ill, Floyd managed to lead 1-up through 12 holes. Then Krywulycz came back. Tway bogeyed the 12th to drop to 3-up, then Krywulycz birdied the next three holes to make the match all square at the 15th. The pair matched pars through regulation, sending it to overtime, Tway's miss, and Augusta State's big victory.
"This team should figure out something to learn from this to make yourself a better player, as should Tway," Oklahoma State coach Mike McGraw said afterward.