STILLWATER, Okla. -- The fifth-ranked Alabama men's golf team finished runner-up at the 2018 NCAA Men's Golf Championships Wednesday afternoon, falling to No. 1 Oklahoma State, 5-0. The Cowboys, which were playing on their home course throughout this year's championships, became the first top seed to win the national title since the inception of the match-play format in 2009.
With an estimated 5,000 fans in attendance on a hot and humid day at the par 72, 7,460-yard Karsten Creek layout, Alabama fell in a hole early and was never able to dig out.
"First to Oklahoma State, Karsten Creek and the community of Stillwater, thank you for an amazing week," Alabama head coach Jay Seawell said. "It's really been fun over my years to see how much college golf has changed and grown and become such a - no longer an obscure sport but actually popular, and there's a demand for it, and I think this week was a credit to here. Oklahoma State has got a great tradition and probably are the reason that college golf has grown big, and so we salute them today, not just their team but how they handled this whole week.
"And now their team, wow, they were just really good today. I have zero disappointment in my team. They just ran into a team that was really good. We played pretty good golf. They just played great golf. So we tip our cap to them. I'm really proud of how our guys handled themselves all week, and to be ate to sit at this table yesterday and then today, even in a losing fashion, is a credit to them, their work ethic, their talent, their character, and what they mean to Alabama golf. To that I'll always be grateful to it. I wish we could have done something different maybe today to make them feel a little better, but that's part of athletics. It teaches you how to handle these moments, and they'll be better men because of this day, and they're already great men."
It marked the fourth time in the last seven years the Crimson Tide was in the NCAA title match - the most of any collegiate team since the current format came into play. Alabama claimed the national championship in 2013 and 2014, and also finished runner-up in 2012 and 2018.
Alabama defeated No. 2-seed Duke, 5-0, in its semifinal Tuesday afternoon to advance to the championship match. It marked just the second time since the inception of the match-play format in 2009 that a contest resulted in a sweep (Texas swept Washington, 5-0, in 2012).
Freshman Davis Shore was dominant in his match against Duke's Jake Shuman, winning 6&5 to give the Crimson Tide its first point of the day. Shore, who improved to 4-1 this season in match play, won five of the first seven holes and never looked back en route to the win.
Senior Lee Hodges claimed the Tide's second point of the match with a 3&2 victory over Chandler Eaton. Moments later, junior Davis Riley sank a 15-foot birdie putt to win 3&2 over Adrien Pendaries, setting off a wild celebration on the 16th green as the Tide secured the win.
Senior Jonathan Hardee claimed a 3&2 win over Alex Smalley while freshman Wilson Furr secured a 2&1 win over Evan Katz for the sweep.
Freshman Davis Shore sank a 15-foot birdie putt to clinch a 3-2 victory over Texas Tech in the quarterfinals on Tuesday morning.
Shore's winning putt came on No. 8, his 17th hole of the day after starting on the back nine, to secure a 2&1 victory.
The Tide also got points from freshman Wilson Furr, who beat Kyle Hogan 7&6, and junior Davis Riley, who claimed a 5&4 victory over Ivan Ramirez.
Senior Jonathan Hardee fell to Hurly Long, 5&4, while senior Lee Hodges dropped a 1up decision to Adam Blomme.