The 28th-ranked Oklahoma men’s golf team’s season came to a close Thursday as it shot a third-round 296 (+12) to finish the stroke play portion of the NCAA Championships in 11th place in Pacific Palisades, Calif. It was the program’s best finish since placing ninth at the 1993 NCAA Championships.
Oklahoma State’s men’s golf team used a closing 275 during its third round Thursday to move up 11 spots into a tie for 14th place at Capital City Club’s Crabapple Course.
The 23rd-seeded Sooners, who tied with Florida State, needed to finish in the top eight in order to advance to Friday’s first round of match play. OU’s three-round 845 (+5) was three strokes off eighth place.
OU made its third straight and 34th overall NCAA Championships appearance this year. It also finished 11th in last season’s tournament.
"Our guys gave it all they had today, and it just didn’t quite work out for us," OU head coach Ryan Hybl said. "We gained a lot of experience, and it was a great week. We are going to miss our two seniors greatly, and we wish them well in their professional careers. I think our underclassmen can’t wait to get back here again next year. Two years in a row finishing 11th is not bad, and we continue to get better."
California won the 54-hole stroke play portion of the championships with a 16-under-par 824. Georgia Tech finished in second at -10, Alabama and Texas tied for third with three-round scores of 833 (-7). Illinois took fifth with an 835 (-5).
A four-way tie occurred for the final three spots among Arizona State, New Mexico, Texas A&M and UNLV, all of which finished at 2 over par. A playoff was held to determine the advancing teams, which are Arizona State, New Mexico and UNLV.
Freshman Beau Titsworth was the high finisher for the Sooners, tying for 22nd place. He carded an even-par 70 on Thursday and a 208 (-2) for the tournament.
With a three-round 211 (+1), junior Michael Schoolcraft claimed a share of 38th place. He shot a 70 (E) on the final 18 holes of competition and pocketed three birdies. Sophomore Charlie Saxon recorded a third-round 71 (+1), bringing his 54-hole total to 214 (+4).
The collegiate careers of seniors Abraham Ancer and Will Kropp came to an end in the national tournament. On Thursday, Ancer shot a 5-over 75. He finished with a three-round 217 (+7). Kropp posted his best score of the 54-hole event, a 72 (+2), in the third round, and finished at 12 over par.
The Cowboys’ 5-under score tied for the second-lowest tally of the day in the 30-team field and vaulted them into a tie with Texas Tech at 7-over 847.
"We kind of tried to carry a little bit more pride into our round today. I thought we had a little bit of something to prove and try to show our character. After a bad round, you can either think that you’re out of it and lay down, or at least come out and see, because you never know what can happen," OSU junior Ian Davis said.
Cal’s Max Homa captured medalist honors after firing a 66 during his final round to finish at 9-under 201. His total gave him a three-shot cushion over six players.
Davis led OSU’s starting five, carding a 68 during his final round to move up eight spots into a tie for eighth place at 5-under 205. He started on the back nine and opened with a pair of birdies and countered the lone bogey of his outward nine with a birdie on his eighth hole of the day.
"I got off to another nice start and that’s really important to me. I birdied my first two holes, then I really just played solid; just one shot at a time, hitting solid shots," Davis said.
Davis dropped back to 1-under with a bogey on his 10th hole. After back-to-back birdies at the fourth and fifth, he closed with a bogey at the ninth.
"I was trying all day to get to 7- or 8-under, which I think was 5-under for the day for me. I was right there. I didn’t convert a couple birdies late and I had bogey on the last hole, but other than that I played really well. I’m happy with how solid I’ve played this week."
Junior Talor Gooch posted his second sub-70 round of the event, closing with a 68 to finish tied for 38th place at 211.
Freshman Jordan Niebrugge fired his low round of the tournament, finishing with a 68 as well to finish at 213 and tied for 60th place.
Junior Kevin Dougherty tied for 116th place after a round of 71 gave him a 219 total.
Sophomore Patrick Winther’s 82 gave him a 235 score. He finished in 155th place.