STILLWATER, Okla. – Texas Tech Men’s Golf’s storybook run at the NCAA Championship came to an end on Tuesday, in a 3-2 loss to Alabama in the national quarterfinals.
Despite falling behind early, 2-0, the Red Raiders rallied to tie the match at two, before ultimately falling on the second-to-last hole.
Combined with the lowest stroke play finish and best individual finish in program history, it’s safe to say this was Tech’s greatest postseason run under head coach Greg Sands.
“I think we were given a great opportunity and let it slip by us, but I’m obviously very proud of the guys,” Sands said. “We wanted more. It’s hard to make the eight, and it’s even harder to keep winning. It was close at the end, but we just weren’t able to get it done.”
It was a tough start to the day as both Kyle Hogan and Ivan Ramirez fell victim to early flurries of birdies from their Alabama opponents. Kyle went on to drop his match 7 & 6, and Ivan fell 5 & 4.
From there, however, the Red Raiders showed the moxie they have at the tail end of each round this week, fighting back to make it a match.
Adam Blomme, who was down two holes through 11, won hole No. 2 to close the gap to one. From there, he birdied six to square his match and then parred No. 7 to take the lead. After halving the eighth, his second shot on No. 9 went into the trees behind the scoreboard. He still somehow pitched to within 15 feet and parred the hole to win his match.
Minutes after that, Hurly Long birdied the sixth to win his match 5 & 3, pulling the team tally even, at two.
At the same time, Sandy Scott made par on No. 7 to pull himself within one, and he carried that momentum into No. 8 with a great drive. However, Scott just missed his birdie putt and Alabama’s Davis Shore made a 12-footer for birdie to seal the match for the Tide.
This experience could bear fruit for Tech, who are set to retain four of the five players who hit the course today next season, including the freshman Hogan and the sophomore Scott, who could have multiple shots at this level again as Red Raiders.
“I feel really good about this group of guys,” Sands said. “It always helps when you can advance this far and raise expectations. These guys know what it takes to advance now and that means a lot, because when you look at the eight who made it, most of them have been here quite a few times.”
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