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May 31, 2017

Brad Dalke

Blaine Hale

Grant Hirschman

Ryan Hybl

Max McGreevy

Rylee Reinertson

Sugar Grove, Illinois

THE MODERATOR: We are joined by the national champion Oklahoma Sooners here on the dais. We have student-athletes Blaine Hale, Max McGreevy, Rylee Reinertson, Grant Hirschman, Brad Dalke, along with head coach Ryan Hybl. Coach Hybl, if you would give us an opening statement. Talk a little bit about today's match and the meaning for your program to be able to win the national championship.

RYAN HYBL: Well, first of all, we want to say congratulations to Oregon for making it about as hard as they could make it on us, right? It was a great match, and for them to get here twice back-to-back years is an extremely great accomplishment. So hats off to those guys. We're just really excited about having the opportunity for one today, to go out there and win, and the guys did it. They executed when they had to, and I can't be any more proud of these guys than how I feel right now. I know my assistant Jim Garren feels the exact same way.

It's been a long year. We start Labor Day Weekend out at Pebble Beach, and we make it all the way to right now. It's been a long season, and it's very gratifying knowing that we get to hoist the trophy.

THE MODERATOR: Brad, talk a little bit about the journey, talk about the national championship, and talk about you being able to close it out there on 17.

BRAD DALKE: Yeah, I mean, this has been a week to remember for sure. You know, we've had this goal in our minds since Pebble Beach, the beginning of the year. We knew we had the team to do it. We have a lot of depth on our team I feel like, and we're all super talented, we're gritty, and we fight until the very last stroke. It's just been such a cool ride this week, and to be able to have this opportunity today against a great Oregon team, it was just a dream come true, just to have the opportunity, and then to be able to go out there and finish it off and finish the fight and put our -- get to get that big ol' trophy over there. It's just been such a cool week and it was a cool day, and it was just fun to see the national championship clinching putt.

THE MODERATOR: Max, talk about being a senior on this team, knowing that you've had an opportunity in the past, you've come close, being able to close the deal today.

MAX McGREEVY: Yeah, I'm actually supposed to be up in Canada right now playing. I couldn't be happier that I'm right here winning this championship with the guys on my team. It's been a long journey. I've had a lot of opportunities for whether it be a Big 12 championship or national championship. This will be my fourth one, and to kind of go out on this note and just have the opportunity that we had today, it's what we fight for every single time. It's just the opportunity. Luckily we were able to seize that opportunity and come out on top. It was a fun day.

THE MODERATOR: Blaine, talk a little bit about two days in a row you were able to close your match out early. Match play obviously suits you. Talk about that.

BLAINE HALE: Well, I don't know that match play really suits anyone. Obviously some people love match play. But I just felt really comfortable this week. I played good in stroke play, and I just kind of had a calmness about me this week. Whenever I stepped up on the first tee, I just knew it was going to be a good day. My last two matches, though, I played really well. I didn't really give up any easy holes which is huge in match play. If you're always in the game, you always have a chance, and I picked up a few easy holes here and there. But I couldn't be prouder of this team and what we've done this year. Nothing is going to ever replace this. This is the coolest moment I've ever had in golf, and I can't thank my brothers enough for what we did this week.

THE MODERATOR: Rylee, talk about your day today; seemed like your match was one of those, a lot of big shots on both sides. Take us through how it went for you today.

RYLEE REINERTSON: Yeah, coming into the day, I knew it was going to be a tough match. Wyndham is a great player. He's had a really good year, so I knew I was going to have to play well to have a chance today. So yeah, it was back and forth pretty much all day. Wyndham had an early lead, and I was able to make a few nice putts early on the back nine to kind of sway the match. Kind of made it interesting down the stretch, but in the end he hit a great shot on 18 to close it out, but it was such a fun match to be a part of.

THE MODERATOR: Grant, take us through your match today. It was hard fought, as well.

GRANT HIRSCHMAN: Yeah, I didn't start out the match very hot. I was playing pretty bad golf, honestly, to start out, but I was able to rebound on the back nine and get some momentum going, and I was 2-down heading into the last four holes and was able to see a couple of my teammates waiting on me on the green. Just a lot of encouragement from them, hearing them yell, and I was able to win 16 and 17, was in a good spot on 18, but obviously didn't get finished, but that's a great thing for me.

Q. For Max, Blaine or Grant, how much was last year a motivator?
BLAINE HALE: I think last year we were so excited just to make it into match play because going into that final round of stroke play, most people probably really didn't think we had a chance, but we played so good. We were so excited to be able to play match play. We just kind of not overlooked it but thought, oh, we made it to match play, it was a great year.

But this year, you know, we knew it was going to be different. We walked into match play going, let's go win a championship, and we did. So pretty cool.

GRANT HIRSCHMAN: For me last year was almost kind of an eye opener in match play because I hadn't played much match play before, and I got beat pretty easily and kind of laid down in my match and let my teammates down, which was tough, and I just wanted to fight in all my matches this year and wanted to redeem what happened last year.

MAX McGREEVY: To piggy-back off what they said, it's just kind of getting there the first time really opens your eyes and you can see some things that other teams have seen a lot more than you. Kind of having that experience that first time really gave us a big motivator to kind of go out and dominate this week.

Q. Coach, I wanted to ask you, watching this team this year, was there a time you felt like you were kind of on the verge of doing something special? It's been kind of up and down a little bit. Did you sense something like this was going to happen this week?
RYAN HYBL: Well, I had a good feeling. It's interesting that you ask that question. My wife and I talked about this before we went to regionals. I was nervous going out to regionals with this group. We're not the best putting golf team. At regionals, you've got to be able to do some things at the right time, make sure that you advance through. I told her, I was hoping that this group was going to continue to shine because I felt like if they had their opportunity this week that they were going to do something crazy good, and it's amazing thinking about that. She's actually in the room back there. I know she remembers us talking about that. Pretty special.

It's interesting because this group individually since I've been at Oklahoma, this has been our best individual year. Max has won twice, Grant has won twice, Brad won once out at regionals. We had five individual winners, which not too many teams can say that. Not many, I don't know, we need to look into that. So the firepower was there, and Blaine had a great fall. He hasn't played very good this springtime, but man, he sure does love match play, I know that. And then Rylee had to come on strong. I'll have to share a text with you. I didn't even tell the boys this. I make notes every once in a while just whenever I see good things with my phone here, and on February 16th I said -- we were out at the Trails, and I said, Stock looks the best I've ever seen him; he can take us the distance. And he did that this week. It was a great week.

Q. Just talk about Brad obviously committing at age 12. There's a lot of expectations and pressures and all that, and he didn't fold under any of that at any point. Talk about what it is about him that allowed him to deliver for you guys today.
RYAN HYBL: Well, Brad is a big-time player. We've known that for a long time. He knows that. What Brad has had to realize in his couple years of college is that, you know, it takes something special every single time you go to tee it up, right, and this guy has had some tough times towards the end of his junior career and at the start of his college career, but at the end of the day, this guy is a big-time player, and he's starting to just scratch that surface, I feel like, again, to where he knows that he can go win golf tournaments and not just win them but dominate them like he did at Stanford.

If he can internalize that even better and better and continue to mature with his game and his mind, you know, he'll be able to do whatever he wants to in this game. Hopefully he's going to make a lot of money one day playing golf for a living. Hopefully all these guys are. That's what Max is going to do, too.

But when I go back to when he was that young, and 12 years old, some people think that was a crazy deal back then; now there's kids doing it at younger than that. But for one, I loved his family and I knew he was a good kid, and he was about the same size he is now, so we didn't have to worry about the growth project. But you could just see it as a 12 year old. You know, and I can take it back to kind of my own career as a junior golfer, you can kind of see it when guys have it, and of course there's a lot of growth periods just maturity wise until he got to college, but you could see it at a young age, and this is why he came to our place. All these other guys, that's why they came to our place is to come and win a championship.

Fortunately, we talk about it. You kind of dream about it, but to actually see the guys do it, succeed at it, it's just something special, and Brad has been a really big part of that here these last two years, and Max has been a huge part of our program the last four years. I can't thank him enough. You know, we'll have that conversation soon how much these guys going through the process and his game -- his game has grown probably more than any kid I've ever seen in college, and all these guys, Big Stock over here, he wasn't even in our lineup this fall, and he's out here and sealing the deal with matches to win us points this week. It's just incredible stories, and Hirschman, you just saw he's a rock and does everything right for us, and Blaine Hale, he just thrives at the national championship. I mean, his ball-striking this week and his putter has not been great here later on this spring, really was -- he was in a great spot with his putter this week, and that allowed him to play good golf. So everybody has got their own story up here, but when I sit back and think about it, it's just one unit working together for our common goal was to come up here and win that trophy, and by gosh, we did it.

Q. Max, this is a unique tournament, unique format; what are some of the ways that Coach prepared you all for this moment?
MAX McGREEVY: Actually we started something this year. After we made the final eight last year, you could tell we were kind of wide eyed and didn't really know what was going on when we first got to match play, and as soon as we got back in the fall we came up -- I don't know how we came up with the name, but Optimus Prime matches, and he made some point system where you play -- we played all nine guys on our team, and you get a certain amount of points if you beat a guy, you lose a certain amount of points if you lose to him, and there's just kind of -- trying to get to the top tier, trying to -- just understand how match play works, and just kind of setting up us for something like this. We knew that we had the game to get back to it, and we did, and I think doing something like that and knowing how gritty our team is -- and when we did those matches like that just back at home, it really set us up and got us in a good frame of mind when we got up here.

RYAN HYBL: We go really competitive back home in everything we do because that's what we try and promote is to compete every single day because you just have to be able to get as gritty as possible. You keep hearing that word grittiness coming up. We talk about it all the time. And my guys know that they're going to give everything that they can on every single shot, on every single day, and it's not just at the national championship, it's back home, or otherwise you don't get a chance to play for us.

That's why we're here. Max McGreevy almost didn't make it to Georgia Tech in the fall, had to go qualify, and he won the golf tournament. Grant Hirschman almost missed out going to Vegas, the last guy to qualify, went out to Las Vegas and he won. So that's the promotion that we do every single year with our program is to try and compete.

Q. When you were hired in '09, did you think it would take this long or this short?
RYAN HYBL: I don't think about stuff like that. You know, this is what we dream about. This is what we come to work for every day, and that's why you've got to come out and practice every day. This isn't about me or -- it's about what these guys were able to do this week. We try and put them in a successful position. We give them the facilities, we try and help coach them up whenever we can. We give them the resources to be successful, but ultimately, especially in this game, it's on them individually to try and get as much as they can out of their own games, and that's what I was really excited about this week is I don't know if we've ever really gone to a national championship, even though we made the final eight last year and we've been around the final eight a lot, we didn't have a weak link this week, and that's big because when you're playing team golf, a lot of times somebody just doesn't have their game, you know, doesn't show up. And all these guys, everybody won a match, at least one match, and they all produced in stroke play. I mean, heck, at one point we got it to 24 under par out there. We ended up giving up quite a few. But no, it was a great week from start to finish for our guys.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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