Stanford won the 2019 DI Men’s Golf Championship on Wednesday in Fayetteville, Arkansas, riding its talented veterans to the ninth national title in program history.
Isaiah Salinda and Brandon Wu, both senior All-Americans, were unbeaten in three matches at Blessings Golf Club to lift sixth-seeded Stanford over No. 5 Texas 3-2 in the finals.
“Endurance is a big part of it. It’s hard to stay focused that whole time, especially on this course,” Stanford coach Conrad Ray said. “It’s demanding with the turnaround, and we were down early. Our guys hung in there and pushed above Texas.”
Henry Shimp, a junior, clinched the trophy for Stanford, which arrived in Arkansas as the nation’s hottest team. With two points already on the board, Shimp hit a clutch 9-iron approach shot within three feet of the cup at 16 and made birdie to take a 2-up lead against Spencer Soosman. On 17, he two-putted for par from 20 feet to win the match, setting off a celebration with his teammates on the par-3 green.
Stanford fell behind early in the championship match but seized control as the matches reached the turn and kept the pressure on the Longhorns by hitting fairways, greens and key putts.
Famous Stanford golf alums Tiger Woods and Tom Watson congratulated the team on social media.
“Isaiah (Salinda) and Brandon’s (Wu) leadership is huge,” Ray said. “They were rock solid all year, so we leaned on them a lot. They left a strong legacy of leadership. I’m happy they could end their career like this because they are a huge part of our success.”
A trio of talented freshmen steered Texas to the title match but couldn’t lead the program to its fourth national title and first since 2012. Cole Hammer, named the Phil Mickelson Award winner earlier in the day, struggled with his swing on the back nine against Salinda, who was flawless in a 4&3 victory.
Texas, in match play for the sixth time in the last eight years, also finished national runner-up in 2016. They reached the title match this week by stunning top-seeded defending champion Oklahoma State in the semifinals. Stanford needed a late rally and a clutch putt by freshman Daulet Tuleubayev to upset Vanderbilt, the No. 2 seed.
Oklahoma State sophomore Matthew Wolff, the nation’s top-ranked player, won the individual championship Monday, shooting 10-under 278 for a five-shot victory.
Stanford 3, Texas 2
Henry Shimp (Stanford) def. Spencer Soosman, 2&1
Isaiah Salinda (Stanford) def. Cole Hammer, 4&3
Brandon Wu (Stanford) def. Pierceson Coody, 4&3
Parker Coody (Texas) def. Daulet Tuleubayev, 6&5
DI men's golf championship: Live updates from match play
Matthew Wolff wins the individual DI men's golf championship
Matthew Wolff overpowered the Blessings Golf Club again Monday and rolled to the DI Men’s Golf Championship individual title in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
The Oklahoma State sophomore entered the week as the nation’s top-ranked player and other than an opening-nine 40 on Friday, looked the part. He broke par for the third consecutive round, shooting 69 on the demanding 7,550-yard layout for a five-shot victory.
“Yeah. It was an unbelievable experience,” Wolff said. “Started off kind of slow, but kind of just was mentally tough and I told myself to kind of pick it up a little bit, give myself opportunities. I have confidence in kind of just taking it shot by shot after that.”
Blasting mammoth drives and ripping towering, precise approach shots, Wolff shot 10-under 278 on a course so difficult that only five players broke par for the week. He led the field in par-4 scoring and was 9-under on the par-5s.
2019 NCAA DI Men’s Golf Championships: TV schedule, scores
Click or tap here for live scoring.
- Wednesday, May 29 - Finals, Team Match Play, 7:45 a.m. ET (Golf Channel coverage starts 8:30 a.m.)
Golf Channel is providing 15 hours of live TV coverage. Also, return to NCAA.com for daily recaps and live scores throughout the tournament. For live scoring and a look at the latest leaderboard, follow along here.
Wolff stretched the lead to six shots on the front nine and never let his challengers pull closer than four. He’ll take confidence from his ability to rebound from a slow start in the first round and win for the sixth time this season in dominant fashion.
“I just did the best I could to remind him, hey, it's a 72-hole tournament,” Oklahoma State coach Alan Bratton said. “Hopefully that's a lesson that he learned, we talked about that a lot, and hopefully that he remembers that for the rest of his life to always play that way. So certainly fun to have a front row seat for the show that he put on.”
Wolff is the ninth Oklahoma State golfer to win the NCAA individual title and the first since Jonathan Moore in 2006. Moore is now a strength and conditioning coach for the Cowboys.
“He's awesome. The last two years he's been one of the most important people on the team to me,” Wolff said. “He really, every single time I see him in the gym, at the course, eating lunch, I mean, he'll practice and play with us,” Wolff said. “He always has a smile on his face. He always just takes everything as it comes and is really blessed to be around all of us and as I am him.”
Steven Fisk of Georgia Southern closed with 71 and finished second at 283.
Now the top-ranked Cowboys turn their attention toward defending the team title. They steamrolled the field in stroke play, finishing 16-under, 31 shots ahead of Vanderbilt. Oklahoma State faces SMU, which defeated Clemson in a playoff, in the match play quarterfinals on Tuesday morning.
The Cowboys are chasing the 12th national championship in school history but trying to repeat for the first time.
The other quarterfinal matchups are No. 2 Vanderbilt vs. No. 7 Texas A&M, No. 3 Wake Forest vs. No. 6 Stanford and No. 4 Texas vs. No. 5 Oklahoma.
It was an emotional playoff victory to advance for SMU and coach Jason Enloe, who lost his wife, Katie, to leukemia last July.
“My kids just hung in there, played for each other, played so hard today. It was so hard out here. I felt bad for ‘em actually, cause this course was so brutal,” SMU coach Jason Enloe said. “They just amazed me again today.”
The Golf Channel televises the quarterfinals at 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. EST on Tuesday and the semifinals from 4 to 8 p.m.
Stroke Play results
Oklahoma State 1136, Vanderbilt 1167, Wake Forest 1172, Texas 1180, Oklahoma 1180, Stanford 1189, Texas A&M 1192, SMU 1196, Clemson 1196, California 1197, Pepperdine 1199, Auburn 1200, Ohio St. 1201, Southern California 1202, TCU 1205
- Matthew Wolff, Oklahoma St. 73-66-70-69-278
- Steven Fisk, Georgia Southern 76-68-68-71-283
- Chun An Yu, Arizona State 69-74-70-72-285
- Lee Detmer, Wake Forest 72-74-71-69-286
- Justin Suh, Southern California 71-75-68-72-286
Match Play Quarterfinals
- 1. Oklahoma State vs. 8. SMU
- 4. Texas vs. 5. Oklahoma
- 2. Vanderbilt vs. No. 7 Texas A&M
- 3 Wake Forest vs. 6. Stanford
2019 NCAA DI Men’s Golf Championships: Teams, preview
The field: Arizona State, Auburn, Baylor, Brigham Young, California, Clemson, Duke, Georgia, Georgia Southern, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Liberty, Louisville, LSU, North Carolina, North Florida, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Pepperdine, SMU, South Carolina, Southern California, Stanford, Texas, Texas A&M, TCU, UNLV, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest.
CHAMPIONSHIP GOLF: 2019 NCAA Division I men’s golf championships participants announced
FIVE TEAMS TO WATCH
Oklahoma State - Talented, confident, experienced and on form, the Cowboys have the best combo in the nation in national player of the year candidates Matthew Wolff (No. 1 in Golfstat rankings) and Hovland (No. 3).
Arizona State - After a sluggish first round, the No. 2 Sun Devils fired 14-under over the final 36 holes in the Stanford Regional, finishing 2nd to the hosts. They’ve placed worse than second only twice in 12 starts and have a 158-13-2 head-to-head record in 2018-19.
Wake Forest - The Demon Deacons feature impressive depth. They won five tournaments this season and shot 10-under or better in 11 rounds. Cameron Young recorded a blistering spring stretch, winning three tournaments.
Oklahoma - The Sooners took three trophies this season and enter the national title on a odd roll of five consecutive third-place finishes. They also have seniors Blaine Hale and Brad Dalke who started on OU’s 2017 national championship squad.
Texas - It’s unwise to omit the No. 6 Longhorns following a dominant effort and because they have freshman Cole Hammer, No. 10 in the nation. He and teammate Steven Chervony shared medalist honors in Austin with TCU’s Stefano Mazzoli.
FIVE PLAYERS TO WATCH
Matthew Wolff, Oklahoma State - He has an unorthodox swing, unbelievable power and the uncanny ability to put his golf ball into the hole very quickly (68.58 stroke average). Wolff, No. 4 in the World Amateur rankings, won five times this season and fired a 4-under 32 on the back nine to help the Cowboys win the Louisville Regional.
Justin Suh, USC - The senior is No. 2 in the World Amateur rankings. He’s won seven times in the last two years, shattering many records set at USC by PGA Tour member Jamie Lovemark.
Collin Morikawa, California - No. 3 amateur in the world, the Golden Bears’ senior has a 69.72 career stroke average and a pair of victories this season, including the Pac-12 championship.
Viktor Hovland, Oklahoma State - This season, Hovland has three victories, a 68.59 stroke average and the silver cup given to the low amateur at the Masters. He’s also No. 1 in the World Amateur rankings and has an exemption into the U.S. Open awaiting after the Cowboys complete their business in Fayetteville.
Chun An Yu, Arizona State - Closed with rounds of 65 and 67 in the Stanford Regional to tie for second. Enters national finals with eight top-5 finishes, recorded 15 sub-70 rounds on the season.