TRINITY, Texas - Texas A&M bid a sweet goodbye to Big 12 golf with a dramatic final championship while top-ranked Texas made it close and Oklahoma and Oklahoma State did more than enough to advance to the NCAA regionals.
The Aggies held off a late rush by Texas to capture the Big 12 title with a total team score of 1165. Top-ranked Texas, with the number-one ranked college player Jordan Spieth, was second at 1186.
Baylor senior Joakim Mikkelsen won the individual title with a final-round 68 for a 3-under 285 total. Texas A&M's Tyler Dunlap was second at 1-under 287.
Oklahoma finished fourth at 1185 while Oklahoma State, in danger of not extending its NCAA appearance streak of 65 straight appearances, was sixth at 1196.
Oklahoma will host a NCAA regional at its home course, Jimmie Austin, May 17-19, while the Cowboys will learn their NCAA Regional destination on May 7.
"I didn't say anything to the kids all year long, but after the slow start in the first day, I just wanted to make the regionals," OSU coach Mike McGraw said. OSU had to finish in the top seven teams to ensure a .500 record against Division I competition, one of the guidelines for being selected to play in a regional.
At one point in the three-day tournament, the Cowboys were actually in 10th place, but moved up to sixth in the final 36 holes. OSU will still be facing long odds of continuing its streak of NCAA Tournament appearances as it must finish in the top five of its regional to advance.
"I really proud of the kids the way they came back on the second and third day," McGraw said "We beat a lot of schools, not all of them, but a lot the last couple of days. I think we're going in the right direction, even though our finish wouldn't show it to anybody. I'm just glad we got a chance play in the regional."
Oklahoma was designated the home team for this year's tournament at the par-72 Jack Nicklaus associate Chet Williams design outside of Houston and quickly warmed to its role as hosts.
Oklahoma coach Ryan Hybl praises his team's early start, but said they were unable to keep up the momentum.
"I thought the first day (36 holes) were some of the best golf we've played all year. We certainly had some highlights. "
Hybl said he was glad the NCAA Central was being held at the Sooners' home course in Norman next month.
"We're excited to be playing at Jimmie Austin for the regional. Today (Sunday) was pretty miserable for everybody on our team, but the next step is just moving on and getting ready."
OU now has final exams and plenty of practice time before its NCAA regional host duties and a chance to make the NCAA finals in Los Angeles.
"We plan on playing plenty of rounds at Jimmie Austin to get ready," Hybl said.
Texas A&M took a nine-shot lead over Texas to the final day, but at one point actually trailed the Longhorns on the back nine, but rallied for the victory.
"That was a little too exciting today, but we never expected Texas not to make a comeback," A&M coach J.T. Higgins said. "It's a good way to close out the conference. We will be ready for wherever they send us for the regionals."
The Aggies held a one-shot lead going to the final twosome on the 18th hole and won by three.
Oklahoma State saw its string of five consecutive conference titles come to an end. OSU's finish also marked the first time in four Big 12 Championships hosted at Whispering Pines the Cowboys have not won the event.
Sophomore Ian Davis posted the top finish among the Cowboy starting five, tying for 14th place at 297 after carding a 72 on Sunday. For the Edmond, Okla., native, the finish was his second consecutive top 20 after tying for 17th at the Aggie Invitational in his last start.
Junior Sean Einhaus posted the squad's low round of the day with a 71 to move into a tie for 22nd place at 302.
Also among the group at 302 was freshman Tanner Kesterson, who closed with a 78.
Sophomore Talor Gooch finished a stroke back of Einhaus and Kesterson at 303 and tied for 24th after signing for a 77.
Redshirt freshman Patrick Winther also carded a 77 during his fourth round to tie for 40th at 311.
The Cowboys will now await the NCAA Selection Show on May 7 at 8 p.m. (CST). The Cowboys were led by Ian Davis who shot an even par 72-288 total. Sean Einhaus was next at 71-287, Talor Gooch had a 77-293 as did Patrick Winther, 77-293 with Tanner Kesterson at 78-294.
Oklahoma's Abraham Ancer entered the final round with a two-shot lead after posting scores of 69 in the second and third rounds, but the junior shot a 6-over 78 Sunday to drop him to a third-place tie, three shots behind Mikkelsen. Ancer's fourth round included a double bogey, five bogeys and one birdie.
"We played about as bad as we could possibly play today as a golf team," said Hybl. "I feel bad for Abe because I feel he was ready to go win a golf tournament. I wasn't around him much today, but obviously some things didn't work out for him. And I was looking forward to seeing if we could make a push today, but we couldn't. I don't know if the golf course is just too much or if the momentum just never got in our favor."
Although he fell short of medalist honors, Ancer became Oklahoma's 18th representative on the Big 12 All-Conference team by virtue of finishing in the top 10. The Sooners had not placed a golfer on the all-league squad since Brodie Flanders and Shawn La Fontaine finished second and ninth, respectively, at the 2006 event.
Michael Gellerman's final-round 74 (+2) was the team-low Sunday. The freshman was in good shape through 17 holes in the final round, recording three birdies and three bogeys before carding a double bogey on the par-4 18th hole. Gellerman finished the championship event in a tie for 11th place with a four-round 296 (+8).
Senior Riley Pumphrey registered a final-round 78 (+6), finishing the event in a tie for 27th place with a 17-over 305.
Junior Will Kropp and freshman Charlie Saxon finished in a tie for 40th place at 23 over.