HUTCHINSON, Kan. — With one round of stroke play remaining at the NCAA Championships, the University of Oklahoma men’s golf team holds a share of sixth place with an even-par 560. The 30-team tournament is being played at the 6,948-yard, par-70 Prairie Dunes Country Club.
No. 13 seed OU tallied a 7-over-par 287 for the second 18 holes, which it completed Sunday after play was halted Saturday night due to darkness. Thus far, the tournament has been plagued by weather delays, including for a total of eight hours and 10 minutes on Friday.
After 54 holes of stroke play, the top eight teams will advance to match play in order to determine the national champion. Currently, the Sooners, who are making their fourth straight appearance in the national tournament and 35th overall, sit four strokes clear of the elimination line.
Due to weather conditions, round four of competition, which was to be played Monday by the low 40 individuals and ties to determine the individual medalist, was canceled.
No. 3 seed Stanford is atop the leaderboard with a 548 (-12), while defending national champion and No. 1 seed Alabama is in second with an 8-under 552. No. 2 seed Oklahoma State sits in third with a 556 (-4), while No. 15 seed LSU is right behind with a 557 (-3). No. 4 seed Georgia Tech rounds out the top five with a 559 (-1). The Sooners are tied with No. 24 seed SMU for the sixth position.
Two Sooners are currently within the top 10, including junior Charlie Saxon in a tie for third and sophomore Beau Titsworth, who shares eighth place. Saxon carded a 71 (+1) for the second round, bringing his two-round total to 136 (-4), two strokes off the lead. Titsworth is at 3-under for the tournament with a 137 after adding an even-par 70 for the second 18 holes.
Titsworth said having to start in the middle of a round on Sunday did not have an effect on him.
“I didn’t get off to the best start in the second round. I really didn’t get anything going throughout the front nine and the back nine I felt like we were rushing a little bit because of the time," Titsworth said. "Overnight after play was stopped, I really didn’t think about what I had left to play too much because it was such a quick turnaround. To be honest, it felt like we never left the course. This morning was better with two birdies to close out the round.”
Michael Gellerman, who is playing approximately 30 miles from his hometown of Sterling, Kan., holds a share of 40th place with a 141 (+1). The junior finished the second round with a 2-over-par 72.
With a 146 (+6), freshman Max McGreevy sits in a tie for 99th place, while senior Michael Schoolcraft is in 156th place with a 168 (+28). McGreevy shot a 74 (+4) for the second round, and Schoolcraft scored an 82 (+12).
Fifth-year OU head coach Ryan Hybl said his squad will approach tomorrow’s round the same way it has the first two of the tournament.
"Tomorrow is the best day in college golf, and we look forward to this all year long," Hybl said. "The game plan has to remain the same, and we have to respect the golf course on every level. It should be a fun day."
Teams finishing the second round in places 16 through 30 started the third round on Sunday afternoon with until mid-morning Monday to finish competition. If play is not completed, all scores in round three will be declared null and void. In such a scenario, round three will be repaired to include only teams one through 15 and the six low individuals not on those teams to determine the eight teams for match play and the individual champion. If those teams do complete play, teams in places one through 15 will tee off for the third round Monday afternoon.
Currently, the Sooners will tee off for their final round of the NCAA Championships starting at 1:40 p.m. CT Monday from hole No. 10. The Golf Channel will air live competition starting at 4 p.m. CT, with tournament coverage streamed online. Live results will be available at NCAA.com.
For OSU, Talor Gooch led the Cowboy starting five, posting rounds of 69 and 67 to stand at 136 and tied for fifth place. The senior’s 1-under opening round featured four birdies and an eagle. Gooch started his second round with three consecutive pars before stringing together three birdies and an eagle over Nos. 4 through 7 to get to 5-under for the round.
“The front nine I played great, especially during that stretch. I made some long putts and had some shots that I took advantage of. I actually had some more putts throughout that front nine that I could’ve made but they didn’t drop. It was a good way to start the second round,” Gooch said.
After carding bogeys at the ninth and 11th, he added another birdie at the 14th before posting a bogey at the 16th en route to his 3-under afternoon score.
Redshirt freshman Wyndham Clark joined Gooch in the top 20, finishing the day tied for 15th place at 138 after posting rounds of 70 and 68.
True freshman Zachary Olsen’s 142 total came via rounds of 69 and 73 to tie him for 69th place.
Sophomore Jordan Niebrugge and senior Ian Davis came in a stroke back at 143 and tied for 86th place. Niebrugge carded rounds of 72 and 71, while Davis signed for a 69 and a 74.