NORMAN, Okla. — The 16th-ranked Oklahoma men’s golf team kicks off its spring slate at the 15-team UTSA/Oak Hills Invitational in San Antonio, Texas, where it will look for its third straight team title at the tournament. The two-day, 54-hole event will be played Monday and Tuesday (Feb. 9 and 10) at the 6,765-yard, par-71 Oak Hills Country Club.
Sixth-year OU head coach Ryan Hybl said his squad is focused, and he thinks experience with the course will be a benefit to the Sooners.
“Four of the five guys in our lineup this week have played the course,” Hybl said. “They know what the golf course is about, how easy it can be at times and how hard it can be at times. There is some really good knowledge, good experience for us going down there. But we are going to look to just go down and put ourselves in a spot to try and win.”
OU’s lineup will feature seniors Michael Gellerman and Charlie Saxon, junior Beau Titsworth, sophomore Max McGreevy and freshman Grant Hirschman. Redshirt junior Luke Kwon will compete with an individual.
Saxon is making his season debut after missing the entire fall with an injury. Hybl said his addition should be a big boost to the Sooners.
“I love Charlie Saxon being on our golf team and traveling with us,” Hybl shared. “He’s fun to be around, and he genuinely wants our golf team to do better than he does individually. He’s a team guy. He’s in a good spot mentally and physically with his golf game. Even though he was hurt all fall, his injury is not going to hold him back at all. He’s excited about playing, and he’s going to add a lot of value for us hopefully this springtime.”
THE FIELD (GOLFWEEK/SAGARIN RANKINGS IN PARENTHESES)
Sam Houston State
Michael Gellerman, Senior: Recorded a fifth-place showing at Nike Golf Collegiate Invitational … Finished in a tie for 10th at season-opening Carmel Cup with a 213 (-3) … Recorded first career victory at 2014 Wyoming Cowboy Classic (6-under 204), becoming OU’s first individual medalist since 2011 … Currently No. 44 in the Golfweek/Sagarin individual rankings.
Charlie Saxon, Senior: Making his season debut after missing the fall with an injury … Tied for fourth place, his best in a team event, with a 206 (-4) at 2014 Wyoming Cowboy Classic … Took a share of sixth place at Border Olympics with an even-par 216 … Won 2013 Lions Classic as an individual with a two-round 141 (+1).
Beau Titsworth, Junior: Tied for 19th at Olympia Fields CC/Fighting Illini Invitational with a 221 (+11) … Placed on 2014 Big 12 Championship All-Tournament Team after taking a share of fifth, a career best for team events, with a 290 (+2) … Scoring average of 72.70 (+1.38) was third-best on team … Pocketed seven eagles last season, one off the OU single-season best.
Max McGreevy, Sophomore: Matched his career best with a tie for fourth place at Royal Oaks Intercollegiate … Also tied for fourth place at season-opening Carmel Cup with a 5-under 211 … Earned Big 12 Men’s Golfer of the Month Honors for September 2013 after being highest finisher for Sooners in first two tournaments … Currently No. 49 in the Golfweek/Sagarin individual rankings.
Grant Hirschman, Freshman: Finished in career-best sixth place at Royals Oaks Intercollegiate with a 1-under 212 … Took a share of 15th place at Carmel Cup, his first collegiate event, with a 216 (E) … Claimed the 2014 Southeastern Amateur, one of the nation’s top amateur events … Three-time TSSAA individual high school Division 2A state champion as a freshman, junior and senior (2010, 2012, 2013).
Individual: Luke Kwon, Junior: Tied for 22nd at Nike Golf Collegiate Invitational, a career best in OU team events … Finished 38th at Carmel Cup, his first team event as a Sooner … Played his first season at St. Edwards University in Austin, Texas … Was named a 2011 Division II honorable mention PING All-American.
The 6,765-yard, par-71 Oak Hills Country Club serves as the site for the UTSA/Oak Hills Invitational.
Fifty-four holes will be played over two days. Tee times are set to begin at 8 a.m. CT on Monday with a shotgun start, followed by the second round that afternoon. Tuesday’s final round will start with tee times at 7:30 a.m. CT.
Monday: Mostly sunny with a high of 76 degrees with winds from the northeast at 5-10 mph.
Tuesday: Mostly sunny with a high of 74 degrees with winds from the southeast at 5-10 mph.
OU’S UTSA/OAK HILLS INVITATIONAL
OU looks for its third straight title at the UTSA/Oak Hills Invitational when it tees off Monday. Last year, the Sooners tallied an 876 (+24) to take first place. Then-senior Michael Schoolcraft led OU, finishing in third place, while current Sooners Gellerman and Titsworth tied for fifth. This marks the sixth straight year OU has started its spring schedule with an appearance in the tournament.
The Sooners are coming off a fall season where they finished in the top five in four of their events, finishing third at the Nike Golf Collegiate Invitational and Royal Oaks Intercollegiate and tying for fourth at the Carmel Cup.
Individually, McGreevy led OU with three top-10 finishes, while Gellerman added two and Hirschman recorded one.
“We played a really tough schedule – it was an awesome tournament schedule, but a tough one – and we had one of our better players (Saxon) who wasn’t in the lineup,” Hybl said. “I thought the fall went very well for us considering that, and we had some guys step up, and that is a beautiful thing to see as a coach.”
Live stats for the UTSA/Oak Hills Invitational will be available at BirdieFire.com.