OOLTEWAH, Tenn. -- After his team suffered defeat in the national championship match Sunday, Oklahoma State's Peter Uihlein said he believed Augusta State was not the better team.
While the Jaguars pulled off a 3-1-1 win over the Cowboys in the Division I Golf Championships for their first NCAA national title at The Honors Course, Augusta State still is fighting for respect.
"We're the best team, we know it," Uihlein told the Chattanooga Times Free Press . "We didn't get it done."
Oklahoma State, with three golfers ranked in the top 23 in the nation and another ranked 46th, didn't get it done for three good reasons: Henrik Norlander, Patrick Reed and Mitch Krywulycz.
Norlander and Reed, who each went 3-0 in match play, annihilated the Cowboys' top two players -- Uihlein and Morgan Hoffman, 2009 U.S. Walker Cup teammates. Norlander won five of the first six holes and cruised to a 5 and 4 win over Hoffman. Reed lost the first hole to Uihlein, the top-ranked amateur in the world, but he birdied the next two holes, built a 5-up lead through 10 holes and won 4 and 2.
Krywulycz, ranked No. 61 in the nation, fell down early against No. 16 Kevin Tway. The Augusta State junior rallied from a four-hole deficit with seven to play to defeat Tway in the first hole of a sudden-death playoff.
Even Taylor Floyd, who battled flu-like symptoms the last two days of match play, had an eagle putt at No. 17 to go 1-up.
Reed gave credit to Oklahoma State's players and coaching staff afterward. But he also added the best team is the one that won when it mattered.
"How bad did Hoffman lose?" Reed asked. "Uihlein took me only to 16. Kevin Tway, who on paper is way better than Mitch -- who got that done? The sick one was making a run and was about to win 17 to go dormie.
"They're a great program. I'm not bashing on their program. ... But at the same time, who finished second in football last year? No one knows."
In the coming years, many people will remember Augusta State taking down the most storied collegiate golf program. The Jaguars won the grandest prize in Division I golf because of five confident players who each contributed in their own way.
Norlander, a Palmer Cup selection, was rock steady all week. Reed shook off a shaky first two rounds of medal play to return to his form.
Floyd posted four quality rounds, two healthy (medal play) and two sick (match play).
Krywulycz posted three solid rounds in stroke play, lost his first two matches and came back for his most important win.
And Carter Newman posted the most impressive comeback of his life after opening with 77-83. He rallied with 73 and won his first two matches.
"You have to have five guys to win a national championship," Gregory said. "All five guys stepped up in some way, shape or form."
Augusta State featured five players who believed they would advance to the finals. After the Jaguars dispatched Florida State in the semifinals Saturday, Newman walked over to his close friend, Krywulycz, and spoke with an added sense of excitement in his voice.
"Tomorrow, we're playing for a national championship," Newman said.
Krywulycz showed no emotion. He looked at his pal and responded: "I expected to be here till Sunday. If we win tomorrow, I promise I'll be excited."
Augusta State has plenty now to be excited about. The Jaguars posted their fourth win of the season and 10th top-five finish.
With its national championship victory, Augusta State likely will receive invitations to all of the major college tournaments next season, including the Ping-Golfweek Preview, Sept. 26-27, at Karsten Creek Golf Club (Oklahoma State's home course) in Stillwater, Okla. Karsten Creek is the site of the 2011 Division I Golf Championships.
So if Augusta State is to repeat as national champs, it will have to do so on its new rival's home turf. But the Jaguars enter next season loaded, with all five starters returning.
"We'd love to do it again," Newman said. "We'd love to repeat. Obviously, we have a lot of work to do."