MIRAMAR BEACH, Fla. – In a thrilling Sun Belt Match Play final, No. 2 seed Troy topped No. 1 seed Georgia State on Wednesday afternoon 3-2 in extra holes to win the conference championship. Troy's Luke Moser hit a two-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole to lift Troy past Georgia State in the Sun Belt Men's Golf Championship Match on Wednesday at the Raven Golf Club.
It was the first match play event in Sun Belt history as the top four teams in the final team standings qualified for match play semifinals on Wednesday.
The championship came down to the final match with GSU's Alexander Herrmann tied with Troy's Luke Moser heading to the par-4 18th. After Moser hit his second shot in the water, Herrmann gained the advantage. However, after leaving his first putt short, he missed his second and three-putted, while Moser got up and down to halve the hole and send it to a playoff 19th hole at the par-4 No. 1.
On the first playoff hole, Moser hit an iron down the left side of the fairway nestling the shot just to the left of the fairway bunkers. He then stuck his second shot to two feet. Herrmann, whose drive landed about 25 yards from the cup, chipped onto the green and left himself about a 25-foot uphill putt. Herrmann's putt came up short and Moser knocked in his birdie putt to win the hole and the championship for the Trojans.
"I am so proud for this group of guys to persevere and win a Sun Belt Conference championship," Troy head coach Matt Terry said. "It took all five of them over four days for us to get to that green on No. 1 for Luke to win it. We got a taste of Regionals last year and are ready to go back and advance to Nationals."
The Panthers got on the board first in the match play final has JJ Grey earned his second 6&5 win of the day, topping Calum Masters.
Troy responded as Jared Bettcher defeated GSU's Nick Budd 2&1 to tie the match. Minutes later, Clay Vannoy earned the Trojans second point with a 5&3 win over Nathan Mallonee.
The Panthers responded as Max Herrmann, the 2016 individual medalist, earned a 2&1 win over Cam Norman to tie the match as his twin brother Alex stood in the fairway on 18.
With the win Troy earns the Sun Belt's automatic berth to the NCAA Regionals after earning an at-large berth last season. The 2016 title is the first for the Troy men in golf.
The NCAA men's golf selections will be announced on Monday, May 5 on The Golf Channel. NCAA Regional play is set for May 16-18 at six national sites. The NCAA championship is scheduled for May 27-June 1 at Eugene Country Club in Eugene, Ore.
No. 2 seed Troy defeated No. 3 seed Arkansas State 4-1 Wednesday morning in the semifinals of the Sun Belt Men's Golf Championship Match Play; the Trojans will play top-seeded Georgia State in an afternoon flight for the Sun Belt title.
Clayton Vannoy and Luke Moser both won their matches 3&1, while Jared Bettcher won 2-up and Calum Masters won 1-up. Cam Norman dropped a back-and-forth battle 2-up to Arkansas State's Oscar Schlenkrich.
No. 1 seed Georgia State earned a dominating 4-0-1 win over No. 4 seed South Alabama in its semifinal match of the Sun Belt Championship to face No. 2 Troy.
Alexander Herrmann clinched the match with an up and down on the 16th hole, defeating South Alabama's Peter Staablo 3&2.
Earlier in the match, JJ Grey earned a 6&5 win over Drew Cooke, closing out the match on the 13th hole to give Georgia State the first point. Max Herrmann quickly followed with a 4&2 win over Brooks Rabren.
Freshman Nick Budd earned a 2-up win over Jason Mendel, while Nathan Mallonee was 2-up with three to play when the match was clinched.
Championship - No. 2 Troy def. No. 1 Georgia State, 3-2
Jared Bettcher (Troy) def. N Budd (GSU), 2&1
Max Herrmann (GSU) def. Cam Norman (Troy), 1UP
Luke Moser (Troy) def. Alex Herrmann (GSU), 1UP in 19
Clay Vannoy (Troy) def. Nathan Mallonee (GSU), 5&3
JJ Grey (GSU) def. Calum Masters (Troy), 6&5
Semifinal 1 - No. 1 Georgia State def. No. 4 South Alabama, 4-0-1
Nick Budd (GSU) vs. Jason Mendel (USA), A/S thru 18 (F)
Max Herrmann (GSU) def. Brooks Rabren (USA), 4&2
Alex Herrmann (GSU) def. Peter Staalbo (USA), 3&2
Nathan Mallonee (GA St) def. Daniel Jansen (USA), 3&2
JJ Grey (GSU) def. Drew Cooke (USA), 6&5