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“Best College Team Ever” Loses In Brutal Fashion

Only one day after Matthew Wolff sat on Golf Channel’s Golf Central set and proclaimed that his Oklahoma State Cowboys — winners of the 2018 NCAA Championship and the odds-on favorites to win their second in a row — were “trying to be the best college golf team that has ever lived,” their season was over.

Storming into the 8-team match play portion of the NCAAs that would decide the team champions as the overwhelming favorite following a 31-stroke victory over, Oklahoma State failed to reach Wednesday’s National Championship match after the University of Texas beat them 3-2.

Defeating the No. 8-seeded Southern Methodist University in the quarterfinals 4-1, Oklahoma State headed back out to face Texas, who prevailed over Oklahoma 3-2, for the right to advance to the National Championship match.

Splitting the first two matches, the fifth and final match became the de facto semifinal. Oklahoma State senior Zach Bauchou faced off against Texas’ senior Steven Chervony in a back-and-forth match that saw 13 of the 19 holes contested won outright, including 10 of the last 11 as neither player was able to build more than a 1-up lead throughout the match.

Bauchou was 1-down through 15 holes, but won the 16th and 17th holes, and looked poised to halve the 18th for the match-sealing point, until Chervony hit the putt of his life for birdie on the last green.

The pair headed to extra holes, and after both found the putting surface in regulation, Bauchou lagged his birdie putt to just outside 5-feet. Chervony was conceded his par, and Bachou stepped in to clean up his par putt only to see the ball horseshoe out of the cup.

“People have been talking about Oklahoma State all year,” Texas head coach John Fields said. “Somebody asked me out on the range the other day if I thought that we had been overlooked. I thought this entire field had been overlooked this year.”

For Oklahoma State, a repeat bid was stopped in its tracks, but that doesn’t discredit the year they had to that point. 

“We had a fantastic year,” Oklahoma State head coach Alan Bratton said. “What good theater that was right there. Hate to see it end that way. You don’t see lip-outs like that very often, but there was no one on our team I’d want to end that spot other than Zach; that’s why he was in that spot. He has been a star for us.

“We had a fantastic week. It’s not hard to find positives at all. That is not the way we wanted the week to end, but you’ve got to give Texas credit. They got three points and that is what it takes to win.”

Texas will face off against Stanford on Wednesday with the NCAA National Championship on the line. 

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