-- Georgia Coach Chris Haack tossed and turned during the night. At 4:30, he woke up and watched television.
"It was almost such a big lead, it was uncomfortable," Haack said.
Maybe so, but his squad had no trouble protecting it. The Bulldogs, on top after every round, recorded an even-par 280 Saturday to capture the NCAA championship at Caves Valley Golf Club by 11 strokes over Georgia Tech. Georgia, ahead by nine to start the day, finished at 15 over.
The Bulldogs were remarkably consistent, each of its five players with a final-round 70. Teams are allowed to throw out the day's highest score.
"All year long, we played steady," Haack pointed out, although his team finished with only two victories. "At some point, I thought these guys would put five rounds together and play as a team, and it finally happened. All five played unbelievable golf."
Yet if there was a lack of drama in the team competition, there certainly was plenty in the battle for the individual title, which went to Washington's James Lepp, who fired a final-round 63, defeating Pepperdine's Michael Putnam on the third playoff hole. Putnam missed a six-footer for par. Both finished at 4-under 276.
"I played great," Putnam said, "but a 63 will do that to you."
Lepp, a junior from British Columbia, was the Big Ten player of the year at Illinois during his sophomore year, but transferred to be closer to his family. He was the No. 1 ranked junior in British Columbia.
"I never thought of 63 being a score out here," said Lepp, whose Huskies rallied to finish third. "It was one of those rounds where you get everything out of it."
Also finishing strong was UNLV senior Ryan Moore, the No. 1 player in college golf. Moore struggled the first two days but closed with a 4-under 66 to finish in a tie for fifth at 2-over 282. In two weeks, Moore will tee it up in the U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2, and then likely turn pro before the British Open in July.
"I never gave up," said Moore who putted much better the last two days. "I battled back."
Top-ranked Oklahoma State did not battle back. The Cowboys, at 58 over, finished last among the 15 teams that made the cut.
For the Bulldogs, it was a very strong performance. Most impressive perhaps was their play in the steady rain Friday. While other teams dropped shot after shot, Georgia finished with a respectable 17-over 297, keeping intact their nine-shot advantage.
"To survive and maintain our lead was huge," said Haack, who also won a national championship in 1999.
After sophomore Brendon Todd putted out in the final group, his teammates -- Kevin Kisner, David Denham, Chris Kirk and Richard Scott -- joined him to celebrate on the green. All five finished among the top 21 in the individual competition, led by Todd, who tied for seventh.
"This is something we'll never forget," Kisner said. "Thirty years from now, we'll remember. We're all best friends, and hang out together all the time. This is what we came to do."
They may do it again very soon. Denham is the only senior.
"They'll be that much more seasoned," Haack said.