The 2021 St Louis Junior Invitational Committee is pleased to announce our guest speaker will be Alan Bratton, providing their insight on college golf and the recruiting process. Past speakers include: Mark Leroux (Coach, University of Missouri), Mike Small (Coach, University of Illinois), Ellen Port (nationally acclaimed women's amateur), and Sam Migdal (collegiate player).
Guest Speaker's Bio: College Golf and the Recruiting Experience
For Alan Bratton’s Oklahoma State golf team, the 2018-19 campaign resulted in a third consecutive top-five NCAA finish for the Cowboys, who concluded the year as the nation’s top-ranked team for the second consecutive season.
The 2017-18 season was one for the ages as Bratton completed the national championship trifecta. In his fifth year at the helm of the program, he directed the Cowboys to a historic season and in doing so, has now led the Cowboys to NCAA titles as a player (1995), assistant coach (2006) and head coach (2018).
OSU’s NCAA triumph on its home course, Karsten Creek, was historic on several levels. The resounding victory was the Cowboys’ first NCAA win in four attempts on its home turf and the first by a No. 1 seed since the implementation of the match play format.
The Cowboys’ dominance was evident throughout the year as they matched the school mark for consecutive victories with seven and matched the school’s single-season win record with 10. Individually, the Cowboys racked up honors on and off the course. Five Cowboys received All-America honors.
For his efforts, Bratton was awarded the Dave Williams Award as the nation’s top coach. In August, Bratton was once again on the bag to help a Cowboy to the U.S. Amateur Championship, looping for Hovland’s dominant march to amateur golf’s most prestigious title at Pebble Beach Golf Links.
Bratton took the reins of the Cowboy golf program in 2013-14, becoming just the fourth head coach since the program’s inception in 1947.
In 2016-17, Bratton’s squad reeled off five victories and three runner-up showings in 13 starts. OSU advanced to match play at the NCAA Championship as well, notching a top-five finish. Individually, the Cowboys produced four All-Americans with Zach Bauchou, Viktor Hovland, Zachary Olsen and Kristoffer Ventura all securing honorable mention status. Olsen and Sam Stevens continued the program’s long line of success in the classroom as well with the duo earning All-America Scholar honors.
The 2015-16 season saw Bratton direct the Cowboys to four tournament titles and a No 4 ranking at season’s end. Individually, four Cowboys won events with Kristoffer Ventura winning twice en route to third-team All-America honors.
In 2014-15, the Cowboys posted a victory at the Royal Oaks Intercollegiate, while Jordan Niebrugge became the program’s most recent NCAA regional champion en route to earning All-America status. Niebrugge built on his victory during the summer, finishing as the low amateur at The Open Championship and securing a spot on the U.S. Walker Cup squad for the second time in his career.
Year one of the Bratton era fell in line with the standard for OSU golf … competing for championships. The Cowboys reeled off four consecutive wins, closing the fall with victories at the U.S. Collegiate Championship and the Royal Oaks Intercollegiate before starting the spring campaign with wins at the American Airlines Invitational and the John Hayt Collegiate.
OSU picked up its fifth win of the season at the NCAA Columbia Regional before tallying the program’s 17th national runner-up finish at the NCAA Championship.
Bratton made his return to the men’s side after a successful two-year run as head coach of the OSU women’s squad.
The 2012-13 campaign saw Bratton direct the Cowgirls to their eighth Big 12 title and first since 2009. His squad also posted victories at the Landfall Tradition as well as the SMU Invitational. The Cowgirls capped the season with a 12th-place showing at the NCAA Championship.
In the process, Bratton was named the Big 12 Coach of the Year, while Kelsey Vines capped her career by earning second-team All-America honors for the second year in a row. She was also named the Big 12 Player of the Year for the second-straight season.
Both players notched victories during the season with Vines winning the Hurricane Invitational and Yang emerging victorious at the SMU DAC Invitational.
After taking over the program in 2011-12, Bratton and Co. produced immediate results.
OSU’s first event under his direction proved to be a memorable one. The Cowgirls erased a 21-shot deficit during the final round at the Dale McNamara Invitational to emerge victorious. Behind the second-lowest 18-hole score in school history, the Cowgirls rallied for a five-shot victory.
Bratton’s squad made it two in a row with a one-shot win in its next outing at the Windy City Collegiate Classic. The outing in Chicago also produced his first individual medalist in Vines.
Vines would go on to win once more during her first season in Stillwater en route to earning Big 12 Player and Newcomer of the Year honors. Additionally, she became Bratton’s first All-American, earning second-team honors.
Bratton moved into his first head coaching position after a successful seven-year run as the associate head coach for both the men’s and women’s golf programs at OSU.
In his seven seasons with the Cowboys, the program won its 10th national title in 2006 and produced its eighth NCAA champion in Jonathan Moore. Additionally, the Cowboys finished in the top five at the NCAA Championship on five occasions and captured six conference crowns.
During his tenure, OSU generated 23 All-Americans, including 10 first-team selections. The Cowboys also produced national players of the year in Rickie Fowler, Pablo Martin and Peter Uihlein.
Bratton was instrumental in Uihlein becoming the program’s fourth U.S. Amateur champion, serving as the All-American’s caddy for his 2010 victory at Chambers Bay.
On the women’s side, he helped prepare the Cowgirls for back-to-back top-10 finishes at the national tournament. In 2009, OSU finished fourth before tying for eighth place the following year.
The Cowgirls also captured three Big 12 titles during Bratton’s time on staff.