Cowboys, Sooners have high hopes at windy Prairie Dunes

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Oklahoma State’s men’s golf team will look to capture its 10th Big 12 title today through Wednesday when it begins play at the Big 12 Championship at Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson, Kansas.

The fifth-ranked Cowboys will be the tournament’s No. 2 seed and will be grouped with top-seeded Baylor at the prestigious venue for Monday’s opening round. The tournament will consist of 72 holes with 36 being played on Monday followed by 18-hole days on Tuesday and Wednesday.

OSU’s lineup will be comprised of senior Zachary Olsen, junior Kristoffer Ventura, sophomores Zach Bauchou and Hayden Wood and freshman Viktor Hovland. All five Cowboy starters are ranked in the top 55 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings with Olsen (No. 23) leading the way. Ventura (No. 35), Hovland (No. 46) and Wood (No. 48) all appear inside the top 50 and are joined by Bauchou at No. 55.

Coming off its fourth win of the season at The Maxwell, OSU will be looking for its first league title since 2011.

The Cowboys have won nine Big 12 crowns in the 20-year history of the event. OSU won three of the first four tournaments, finishing atop the leaderboard in 1997, 1998 and 2000. The Cowboys’ next league title came in 2005 before reeling off five-straight victories from 2007-2011.

OSU has produced the event’s individual medalist on nine occasions with Leif Westerberg (1997), Charles Howell (2000), Anders Hultman (2002), Hunter Mahan (2003), Pablo Martin (2007), Rickie Fowler (2008) and Morgan Hoffmann (2009, 2011) and Stratton Nolen (2016) all taking top honors.

Overall, the Cowboys have won 54 league titles and have produced 47 individual champions in the 70-year history of the program.

Live scoring for the event will be available at golfstat.com.

No. 12 Oklahoma is also eager to get started.

“This is championship time, and this is what we have been working toward all year,” OU head coach Ryan Hybl said. “Prairie Dunes is one of the best golf courses in the country, and it will be a tough test, but we are looking forward to an opportunity to bring home a Big 12 Championship.”

The championship will prove to be competitive, as five of the Big 12’s 10 programs are currently ranked in the top 15 of Golfweek/Sagarin rankings, including No. 4 Baylor, No. 5 Oklahoma State, the Sooners, No. 14 Texas and No. 15 Texas Tech.

The Sooners are coming into the postseason off of a tie for second at The Maxwell on April 14-15. Junior Grant Hirschman was OU’s best finisher, tying for fourth individually.

OU’s lineup for the Big 12 Championship will feature senior Max McGreevy, Hirschman, junior Rylee Reinertson and sophomores Brad Dalke and Blaine Hale.

As the tournament’s No. 3 seed, the Sooners will be paired with No. 4-seeded Texas and will tee off at 8:45 a.m. CT from hole No. 1 on Monday.

THE FIELD (GOLFWEEK/SAGARIN RANKINGS IN PARENTHESES)
Baylor (4)
Oklahoma State (5)
Oklahoma (12)
Texas (14)
Texas Tech (15)
Kansas (37)
Iowa State (46)
Kansas State
TCU
West Virginia

FIRST ROUND PAIRINGS (WITH CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP SEED)
First tee
8 a.m. CT             No. 1 Baylor, No. 2. Oklahoma State
8:45 a.m. CT        No. 3 Oklahoma, No. 4 Texas
9:30 a.m. CT        No. 9 Kansas State, No. 10 West Virginia

10th tee
8:22 a.m. CT        No. 5 Texas Tech, No. 6 Kansas
9:07 a.m. CT        No. 7 Iowa State, No. 8 TCU

THE COURSE

The par-70, 6,759-yard Prairie Dunes Country Club will serve as the site for the Big 12 Championship. The Championship was last contested at the course in 2013.

FORMAT

Seventy-two holes will be played over three days. The first round will begin Monday at 8 a.m. CT, and the second round will follow that afternoon. Tuesday will feature the third round, and the final round will be played on Wednesday.

WEATHER FORECAST

Monday: Mostly sunny with a high of 76 degrees and wind from the south at 25-35 mph. Occasional wind gusts over 50 mph.

Tuesday: Partly cloudy with a high of 74 degrees and wind from the north, northeast at 10-15 mph.

Wednesday: Mostly cloudy with a high of 69 degree and wind from the northeast at 10-20 mph. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible.

OU’S BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY
Last season, the Sooners finished fourth in the Big 12 Championship at the Whispering Pines Golf Club in Trinity, Texas, with a four-round 1176 (+24) Then-sophomore Grant Hirschman fired a 63 (-9) in the third round, matching a program record and marking the lowest round in Big 12 Championship history. OU has 16 conference titles overall, with the most recent coming in 2006.

LIVE STATS
Live scoring will be available on Big12Sports.com and GolfStat.com.

-OU-

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Ken MacLeod

Ken MacLeod

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