Final Putt Earns DIII National Championship for Methodist at Boulder Creek

It all came down to a final putt on the final hole at Boulder Creek Golf Club, and Methodist University earned the 14th national title in school history. Cooper Hrabek made a birdie on 18 to win the title, while Oglethorpe’s Michael O’ Sullivan won the individual title. –By Brian Hurlburt, founder, LasVegasGolfInsider.com

The Monarchs amassed a team score of 21-under par, crushing the previous NCAA Championship record for best score relative to par after four rounds, which was still being held by Methodist’s 1998 team at nine-under par. Beginning with the program’s first NCAA title victory in 1990, Steve Conley has been the head coach of the Methodist men’s golf team for all 14 national championships – the most by any Division III men’s golf team.

O’Sullivan gained the lead during round two and did not relinquish it. After shooting 6 under par on the opening round, he moved to the solo lead with a 2 under par on round two, then finished with rounds of 1 under and 3 under across the last 36 holes, enough to become the third individual national champion in the history of Oglethorpe men’s golf.

O’Sullivan shot 2 under on Friday’s front nine and made the turn with a four-stroke lead over the rest of the field. He suffered his first and only bogey of the round on 17 on a par putt that lipped out, but he bounced back with a par on a difficult par 4 18th.

 

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From there, O’Sullivan went to the clubhouse for the next two hours where he watched Methodist’s Cooper Hrabak climb the leaderboard. Hrabak birdied 7-8-9, then trimmed O’Sullivan’s lead to one stroke after another back-to-back birdie stretch on 13-14. Hrabak would also birdie 18, but it came after a bogey on 17 that helped O’Sullivan secure the national championship title by one stroke.

“Such a deserving national champion,” said Head Coach Jim Owen, a finalist for the Dave Williams award which recognizes the national coach of the year. “Mike had a solid plan to underpower the par 3’s and par 4’s and overpower the par 5’s, which were mostly downwind and downhill all week.”

With medalist honors at the national championship, O’Sullivan automatically earned a spot on the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) all-America first team.

JUST THE FACTS
Event: 2024 NCAA Division III Men’s Golf Championship
Course: Boulder Creek Golf Club (Par 72 – 7,377 yards)
Top teams: 1 – Methodist (271-295-284-281—1,131; -21), 2 – Carnegie Mellon (282-287-280-283—1,132; -20), T3 – Oglethorpe (285-292-283-289—1,149; -3), T3 – Emory (272-302-284-291—1,149; -3)
Top individuals: 1 – Michael O’Sullivan, Oglethorpe (66-70-71-69—276; -12), 2 – Cooper Hrabak, Methodist (67-73-70-67—277; -11), T3 – Griffin Pohl, Illinois Wesleyan (66-77-70-67—280; -8), T3 – Brian Xu, Carnegie Mellon (72-71-68-69—280; -8