‘It’s been an unbelievable ride’


HUTCHINSON, Kan. — Alabama senior Bobby Wyatt arrived at the university four years ago, to a program that had never won a national championship. He unwittingly signed as part of a trio of seniors that are the most successful in program history.

He leaves today as a back-to-back champion after defeating Oklahoma State in match play. Wyatt faced the Cowboys’ Talor Gooch in the first pairing of the day.

The two battled for 16 holes, but Wyatt maintained a steady hold throughout. He won 3 & 2 and his round included a hole-in-one on the second hole.
Championship Highlights | Gallery
Chadbourne: Wyatt reflects on four years at Alabama
Final: Alabama wins second title in a row
Chadbourne: For OSU’s Olsen it’s like father, like son
Chadbourne: Whitsett’s winning ways
Alabama and Oklahoma State advance
Day 5: Alabama advances to third consecutive final
Chadbourne: Lessons from LSU’s ‘lifer’
Day 4: Wilson wins, eight teams set for match play
Stanford’s Cameron Wilson wins individual title
Chadbourne: ‘Never a dull moment’ for UTC’s Robb
Chadbourne: SMU’s Gregory coaches grit and talent
Day 3: Bottom 15 teams begin third round, play halted
Chadbourne: Patrick Rodger’s follows famous footsteps
Chadbourne: How Alabama’s Mullinax overcame a slump
Day 2: Stanford leads following truncated Day 2
Chadbourne: Marco’s unusual journey to Kansas
Chadbourne: The shot that changed everything
Day 1: First round suspended due to inclement weather
Chadbourne: Kent State’s Pendrith is ‘Happy’
Chadbourne: Iowa State’s Daley embraces move
Chadbourne: For DI field, it’s time to tee it up
How they got here: Complete Regional Results
Leaderboard | Selection Release | Team Seeds

The experience left Wyatt reflecting on the past four years. He’s part of a team that’s immortalized itself in NCAA golf history, a team that’s been as dominant in the regular season — more than 120 wins compared to five losses this season– as it has been in the post-season.

If you had told Wyatt four years ago that he’d be standing here today, he would not have believed you.

“It’s been an unbelievable ride. It’s been more than I ever could’ve thought,” he said.

He leaves Prairie Dunes, and soon Alabama, with more than just successes on the golf course. He’s grown as a person, made lifelong friends, and had an experience of a lifetime. All because of a decision he made as an 18-year-old, when he left high school as an elite recruit.

“It’s been the best experience of my life. I’ll remember this the rest of my life, no doubt,” Wyatt said. “It’s certainly an experience that shaped me more than anything.”

Four years ago, Wyatt lacked maturity on and off the golf course. All that changed under Alabama coach Jay Seawell, who helped mold Wyatt into a soon-to-be professional, teaching life lessons along the way.

“He’s been there for me no matter what,” Wyatt said of Seawell. “He’s stuck with me, through the ups and downs, kept me out of trouble. He’s really shaped me into a man, and helped me mature on and off the golf course.

“Just day in and day out, his positive energy, always optimistic. I used to be a pessimist when I got here, but not anymore.”

Along the way, Wyatt bonded with fellow seniors Trey Mullinax and Cory Whitsett. The trio came together to build a dynasty, reaching the NCAA championship three times.

“We’re great friends, we’ve lived together throughout college,” Wyatt noted. “We’ve worked tirelessly together, and spent hours and hours and hours at the golf course getting better. “This year has been really special having us three as seniors. Being with these guys, I’ll never forget.”

All three are turning professional after the summer, and likely will meet on the course again. But for now, Wyatt is taking time to reminisce on the best experience of his life.

“It’s been an experience that I’m more than proud of,” he said. “I’m sorry to see it end, but it’s been awesome.”