Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
A spirit that is not afraid

Auburn men's golf team secures first national championship, caps historic season

<p>Auburn men's golf poses with its national championship trophy.&nbsp;</p>

Auburn men's golf poses with its national championship trophy. 

For the first time in program history, the Auburn men’s golf team is national champions.

The No. 1 Tigers clinched their first national championship on Wednesday, defeating No. 6 Florida State 3–2 at the Omni La Costa Champions Course in California.

Throughout the season, Auburn head coach Nick Clinard emphasized that the team’s mission was not complete until they secured the championship. The Tigers’ determination paid off. 

“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.”

With the Tigers and Seminoles tied at two matches apiece heading into the final matchup, Auburn took the title on the 17th hole in match play when senior J.M. Butler made a par putt to win his match 2 & 1, defeating FSU’s Luke Clanton — the No. 5 amateur in the world. 

“[I'm] 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.”

Auburn’s first point of match play against FSU came from true freshman Jackson Koivun. Koivun was tied with FSU’s Brett Roberts after eight holes, but he gained the lead by winning the ninth and 10th holes, extending his advantage by taking both the 12th and 13th holes. Facing a birdie attempt from Roberts, Koivun made a tough chip-in to win the hole and clinch the match, putting Auburn on the scoreboard.

“I was just happy to be part of it,” Koivun said. “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 also secured a win for the Tigers, finishing his match 4 & 3. Valdes struggled through the front nine — eventually evening out the match score on the fourth hole — but he never trailed on the back nine, finishing with birdies on the 12th and 15th holes. 

“It means everything,” Valdes said. “To get it for guys like J.M. and [Vogelsong], it means the world to see the smile on their faces.”

Auburn’s season — the best in the program’s history — included winning the SEC championship, a second consecutive NCAA Regional title and Koivun receiving the Ben Hogan Award and the Fred Haskins Award, the highest individual honors in college golf.

With 10 tournament wins, including seven consecutive victories to end the season and a national championship, Auburn men’s golf team has solidified its place in the 2024 season, capping off a historic season. 

Enjoy what you're reading? Get content from The Auburn Plainsman delivered to your inbox

Grace Heim | Assistant Sports Editor

Grace Heim is a senior from Enterprise, Alabama, majoring in Political Science. She started with The Plainsman in January 2023.

Share and discuss “Auburn men's golf team secures first national championship, caps historic season” on social media.