Cowboys 14th, Sooners trail pack after day one of NCAA Championship

BRADENTON, Fla. – Oklahoma State’s men’s golf team carded a 10-over 298 during the opening round of play on Friday at the NCAA Championship to stand in a three-way tie for 14th place at Concession Golf Club. Oklahoma, meanwhile, trails the entire field after opening with a 312.

The Cowboys finished the day tied with Florida State and Charlotte at the par-72, 7,483-yard layout. Illinois was the lone team to break par on the day, firing a 2-under 286 to stand two shots clear of Georgia.

A pair of players shared the individual lead with Illinois’ Thomas Detry and South Florida’s Claudio Correa posting 4-under 68s.

Sophomore Zachary Olsen led the way for the Cowboys, opening with a 71 to finish the day tied for 13th place. Olsen opened with a pair of pars before logging his first birdie of the day at the par-5 third. Olsen bounced back from a double bogey at the fifth with a birdie at the sixth before closing his opening nine with a bogey at the ninth to turn at 1-over 37.

He moved back to level par on the round with a birdie at the 11th hole before stringing together five pars in a row. Olsen’s final birdie of the day came at the 17th and was followed by a par at the 18th for an inward total of 2-under 34.

Junior Jordan Niebrugge opened with a 75 to stand in a tie for 72nd place, while redshirt freshman Brendon Jelley and true freshman Kristoffer Ventura carded 76s to finish tied for 79th place.

Sophomore Wyndham Clark’s 82 tied him for 147th place.

The Cowboys will begin their second round tomorrow at 12:40 p.m. (EST) and will be grouped with Southern California and Virginia. Complete results are at www.ncaa.com.

The No. 12 seed Oklahoma sits in 30th place. The Sooners tallied a 312 (+24) mark on Friday against the 30-team field. Two more rounds of stroke play will be held on Saturday and Sunday, followed by another 18 holes for the top 15 teams on Monday. From there, the top eight squads will advance to the match play portion of the event.

Sixth-year OU head coach Ryan Hybl said his squad, which qualified for the tournament via a 20-stroke victory at the NCAA San Diego Regional, struggled on Friday but he hopes to see it respond well.

"Our score reflects how badly we played today," Hybl said. "We made way too many mistakes today that cost our team and we are better than this. Tomorrow is a big day, and we need a good round with some confidence."

OU is making its fifth straight NCAA Championships appearance and is one of just six teams to reach the national tournament in each of the past five years, joining Georgia, Illinois, Texas, UCLA and USC.

Individually, OU sophomore Max McGreevy sits in a tie for 35th place out of 156 competitors. McGreevy carded a 1-over-par 73 for the first 18 holes and pocketed four total birdies in the round.

With a 6-over-par 78, senior Charlie Saxon is tied for 108th place, while junior Beau Titsworth shares 133rd with an 80 (+8).

Freshman Grant Hirschman shot an 81 (+9) in his NCAA Championships debut to sit tied for 140th place. Senior Michael Gellerman finished the day in 155th after recording an 87 (+15).

The Sooners will tee off for the second round of the NCAA Championships beginning at 7:10 a.m. CT on Saturday. They will be paired with No. 10 seed Georgia Tech and No. 11 seed Stanford. Live results will be available on GolfStat.com.

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