SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Clemson senior Turk Pettit saved par from a difficult spot on his final hole to close out an even-par 70 and clinched the NCAA men's national championship on Monday when Oklahoma State freshman Bo Jin missed a 10-foot par putt on No. 18.
Pettit seemed to be in trouble when his drive on the par-4 ninth hole landed in a deep fairway bunker right. His approach shot came up well short, but he hit it to about 5 feet and dropped the putt.
Pettit finished at 7-under 273 on the difficult Grayhawk Golf Club Raptor Course to send Larry Penley into retirement with a national champion after 38 years of coaching.
Jin, the overnight leader by two, had his chances down the stretch after struggling early.
He drove the 330-yard par-4 17th hole, but his eagle putt was well off and he missed a 15-footer for birdie.
Still tied with Pettit, Jin pulled his tee shot into deep rough left of the 511-yard par-4 18th hole — a converted par 5 — and saw his second shot bound through the green into right rough along the lake. He chunked it out to 10 feet and his putt slid by the right side of the hole, setting off a round of cheers by Clemson fans across the lake.
Jin shot a final-round 73 to finish 6 under.
Arizona State’s Ryggs Johnston finished third at 5 under after a final-round 69.
Johnston seemed to be out of contention after a double bogey on the long par-4 seventh. The sophomore from from tiny Libby, Montana — population of about 3,000 — surged back into contention with three birdies in four holes, starting on No. 9.
Johnston moved to within a shot of the lead at 6 under with a birdie on the par-4 15th and lipped out a 30-foot putt on the par-3 16th. He landed in a bunker well short on No. 17, hit to about 25 feet and left his birdie putt short.
An errant tee shot into the desert left of the 18th fairway led to a bogey, dropping Johnston two back.
Arizona State surged into the No. 1 seed for the start of Tuesday's match play with a 5-under round to pass Oklahoma State.
The Cowboys led Oklahoma by 12 shots and the Sun Devils by 14, but shot 12 over in the final qualifying round before the field was cut to eight for match play.
Jin was 9 under through three rounds, in position to give Oklahoma State two straight national champions after Matthew Wolff won in 2019.
Playing on opposite sides of the course, he and Pettit spent most of the afternoon trading places on the scoreboard.
Jin opened with a bogey on the par-4 first hole and added a three-putt bogey on the 502-yard par-4 seventh to drop two behind Pettit, who had two birdies after starting on No. 10.
Pettit struggled to open his second nine, bogeying the first hole and adding another at No. 3 after an errant drive.
Jin, after opening the back nine with a bogey on No. 10, dropped in a birdie on the par-5 11th to tie Pettit at 7 under.
Pettit in the deep fairway bunker on the right on No. 9, came up short with his approach, but got up and down for par.
It proved to be enough when Jin couldn't get his par putt to fall on No. 18.
Arkansas' Tyson Reeder had a hole-in-one on the 188-yard par-3 8th and Oklahoma's Logan McAllister aced the 205-yard fifth.