NATIONAL CHAMPS! No. 1 Auburn beats Florida State 3-2 to win men's golf title


CARLSBAD, Calif. – The job, at last, is finished.

Throughout No. 1 Auburn's march to the program's first national championship, head coach Nick Clinard reminded his team and its followers after each step that the assignment remained incomplete. There was more to be done and more to be won.

On Wednesday at the Omni La Costa Champions Course in the California hills between San Diego and Los Angeles, the Tigers completed their task, defeating No. 6 Florida State 3-2 to win the 2024 NCAA Championship. 

"I've got a great group of young men. We've got six of the best players in the country," Clinard said. "We've got great leadership with Alex Vogelsong. They went out there today and got the job done."

Senior J.M. Butler clinched the match for the Tigers with a par putt on 17 to win 2 & 1.

"Glad we could get it done," Butler said. "I knew we had it in us, all we had to do was go out there and do it and we did. My trust and my confidence were key in me winning today, combined with all the hours of hard work."

"Phenomenal golf," Clinard said of Butler's clutch play from the anchor position. "He hit two clutch shots on 17, a beautiful 3-wood off the tee and a 9-iron that never left the flag and that sealed the victory."

Jackson Koivun chipped in on No. 14 to win his match 5 & 4 to record Auburn's first point.

"I was just happy to be part of it," said Koivun, holding his championship trophy. "I was just trying to make up and down and was lucky enough to hit the flag and go in. It's been a whirlwind of emotions. There's a lot of awards I've collected but this one right here is definitely the biggest one."

Brendan Valdes produced Auburn's second point, dwinning his match 4 & 3 by besting his opponent of five of the match's final nine holes thanks to strong putting.   

"It means everything," Valdes said. "To get it for guys like J.M. and Vogey (Vogelsong), it means the world to see the smile on their faces."

The best season in program history featured Auburn's fifth SEC championship, a second consecutive NCAA Regional title, and Koivun, the freshman phenom, claiming both the Ben Hogan Award and Fred Haskins Award, college golf's highest individual honors. 

At long last, after 10 tournament wins including seven straight victories to end the season standing triumphant atop the sport's biggest stage, the job is finished.

Jeff Shearer is a Senior Writer at Follow him on Twitter: @jeff_shearer