NCAA Golf: Cowboys, Moore Crowned Champs

SUNRIVER, Ore. (http://www.okstate.com) —Oklahoma State's men's golf team fired a 5-under 283 team total during Saturday's final round at the NCAA Championship at Crosswater Golf Club to earn the school's 10th national title and first since 2000.

The Cowboys, who finished with a 9-under total of 1,143, were fueled by the school's eighth individual national champion in redshirt freshman Jonathan Moore, who became the first OSU player to grab medalist honors since Charles Howell in 2000.

The title also marked the fourth time in school history the Cowboys have walked away with both the team and individual champion at the event. OSU also swept the honors in 1978, 1987 and 2000.

The Cowboys finished three shots ahead of runner-up Florida, which posted the day's low round with a 9-under 279, to end play with a 1,146 total. Minnesota and Wake Forest tied for third place at 1,147.

"I can't really put it into words right now," first-year OSU head coach Mike McGraw said. "The disappointment we felt after the conference championship was so deep, but these guys came back and changed their season by realizing you can't take winning for granted."

For Moore, who posted a final-round 69 to finish at 12-under 276 and four shots clear of the field, the tournament capped a remarkable run to close out the season. The victory was the third in a row for the Vancouver, Wash., native, who extended his string of consecutive rounds under par to 10 and finished 34-under par during that three-tournament stretch.

"I thought the pressure was just going to be unbearable in the beginning," Moore said. "But I just got out there and felt really calm. I'm just happy to be with these guys – they work really hard and they have great drive. They motivate me and it's just exciting to help them. That's all I wanted to do today was help these guys."

Moore began the day with a one-shot lead over Wake's Kyle Reifers, but took control of the individual race early with birdies on three of his first four holes. After bogeys on Nos. 12 and 15 moved him back to 1-under for the day, he rebounded with a birdies on Nos. 16 and 18 to seal the victory.

"It's just so great. I don't think this would be anywhere near as special if the team hadn't won," Moore said. "That's the whole reason why you come here. You try to win as a team and if that means winning as an individual helps, that's great, but you do whatever it takes."

Sophomore Pablo Martin posted a 1-over 73 during his final round to finish alone in fifth place, posting a 72-hole total of 282, 6-under. The finish marked the 11th time in 12 starts this season the Malaga, Spain native, has finished in the top 10. Martin's top-five showing also signaled the first time since 1987 the Cowboys have had two players finish in the top five at the national tournament.

Senior Zack Robinson closed out his collegiate career with a solid even-par round to finish tied for 45th place at 5-over 293. The Ft. Worth, Texas, native was 2-over on the day with eight holes remaining before posting a pair of birdies down the stretch to get back to level par.

"It's like a dream come true. It's your last college round and you have a chance to win a national championship, you can't ask for more," Robinson said. "The whole week is such a battle. Every hole and every shot is a grind emotionally and physically and I was able to stay calm. I kept telling myself to be patient and good things would happen."

Junior Tyler Leon saved his best round of the tournament for the final day, carding a 73 to move into a tie for 57th place at 8-over 296. The Dallas, Texas, native put together a round that included four pars down the stretch to get to his score.

Freshman Trent Leon matched Moore for the squad's low round of the day with a 69 to move up 12 spots into a tie for 62nd place at 9-over 297. The Dallas, Texas native, put together a round that included five birdies to give him his first round in the 60s since his final-round 68 at The Maxwell.

Following the event, Martin was named the winner of the Jack Nicklaus Award as the nation's top player and Moore received the Arnold Palmer Award, which is presented annually to the NCAA individual medalist, and the Phil Mickelson Award as the nation's top freshman. He is the second consecutive OSU player to be tabbed as the country's best freshman as Martin won the award last season.

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