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Alabama, Oklahoma State reach NCAA golf finals

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 27, 2014 at 9:23 pm •  Published: May 27, 2014
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HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) — Alabama had never won an NCAA men's golf championship before last season.

Now, the Crimson Tide will try to make it two straight.

Alabama advanced to the match-play finale against Oklahoma State on Tuesday by beating SMU in the quarterfinals and then rolling to a 4-1 victory over LSU at venerable Prairie Dunes.

"It's pretty incredible just to see how far the program has come along since I've set foot here," said Cory Whitsett, one of three seniors on the Crimson Tide squad. "I mean, to have the success that we've had the last three years has been pretty cool for us."

The Cowboys advanced to Wednesday's final match by routing Georgia Tech in the quarterfinals, and then upsetting top-seeded Stanford 3-2 in a match that came down to the wire.

The Crimson Tide have actually reached the championship match three straight years. Alabama lost a thrilling match 3-2 to Texas in 2012 at Riviera Country Club near Los Angeles, and routed Illinois 4-1 in last year's final at the Capital City Club in Atlanta.

"I know our guys will embrace it," Alabama coach Jay Seawell said. "We've experienced what it feels like to win and what it doesn't. So we will appreciate it, and it will make us more ready to be our best and to be focused, because one does feel a little better than the other."

Whitsett, Robby Shelton and Bobby Wyatt each won their matches during the morning competition against SMU, and Shelton and Wyatt finished off a perfect day by winning their matches against LSU.

Tom Lovelady and Trey Mullinax also won to send the Crimson Tide into the finals.

"It's a big moment, the biggest stage in college golf," Wyatt said, "and to be able to come back to it for a third time is something we're very proud and excited about."

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