The last time Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater hosted the NCAA Men’s Golf Championships, this year’s Masters Tournament winner Patrick Reed and his Augusta State teammates left with a national championship.
Another wave of college’s best golfing talent will flood the hallowed grounds of Karsten Creek from Friday through Wednesday for this year’s championships. The first three days of competition will consist of stroke play to determine the top 15 teams and nine individuals. Monday, a final 18-hole round of stroke play will occur to determine the top eight teams to advance to match play along with the individual national champion.
At the forefront of this year’s championships lies two foes who know each other all too well: Oklahoma State and Oklahoma.
Having won 10 team national titles in its program history, OSU has routinely been named the “golf school” in the state. However, OU reserved its spot among golf’s elite programs last season when it won the national championship at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Illinois.
This season, the Cowboys have routinely held the No. 1 ranking in the country, but OU won the Big 12 title, further adding to the intrigue of the championships, which will take place on OSU’s home course.
“The expectation at Oklahoma State is to compete for the championship every single year,” said coach Alan Bratton. “To have the opportunity to do that at home, what an advantage that is, in front of hopefully a very biased crowd in our favor.
“The people in Oklahoma, and our fans especially, they really care about college golf. It’ll be a great showcase for our program, the university, the community and our state … It’d be great if we could handle our business and the University of Oklahoma as well and we could both be in match play.”
OU coach Ryan Hybl is no stranger to the Bedlam rivalry, having dealt with it as a coach and as a sibling of someone who engaged in the bitter rivalry with the Cowboys. Hybl’s brother, Nate, was the MVP of the 2003 Rose Bowl as quarterback of the Sooners.
“It’s been really fun to be a part of Bedlam this year ‘cause we don’t really get that with golf very often,” Hybl said. “This year, you’ve really gotten a feel for the Bedlam rivalry.”
Bratton said seeing clips of the Sooners hoisting the National Championship trophy has been motivation for his team all season long.
The Cowboys will tee off in the first round at 12:20 p.m. Friday. Their playing partners? Texas A&M and OSU’s biggest rival, Oklahoma.
On a course as tough as Karsten Creek, nothing is guaranteed, except for one thing.