Sooners ready for challenge of NCAA Championship starting today

The No. 18 seed Oklahoma men’s golf team will vie for a national title at the 2016 NCAA Championships beginning this weekend. This year’s tournament will take place Friday-Wednesday (May 27-June 1) at the par-72, 7,014-yard Eugene Country Club in Eugene, Ore.

The Sooners will be making their sixth consecutive appearance in the tournament and join just Georgia, Illinois, Texas and USC as the only programs to reach the national tournament for six straight years.

“This is what we have been working for all year, and our guys are ready to go,” seventh-year OU head coach Ryan Hybl said. “Eugene Country Club is going to be a tough test, and it will require our best golf of the year.”

The Sooners qualified for the NCAA Championships by securing a second-place finish in the NCAA Stillwater Regional. Junior Max McGreevy led OU, claiming his fourth top-five placing of the season with a fourth-place showing.

OU’s lineup for the championships will feature senior Luke Kwon, McGreevy, sophomore Grant Hirschman and freshmen Brad Dalke and Blaine Hale.

The Sooners will tee off from hole No. 10 beginning at 9 a.m. CT Friday and will be paired with No. 16 seed Florida and No. 17 seed Alabama.

THE FIELD WITH TOURNAMENT SEED (GOLFWEEK/SAGARIN RANKINGS IN PARENTHESES)
1. Stanford (3)
2. Texas (1)
3. USC (10)
4. Illinois (2)
5. Oklahoma State (5)
6. Georgia (4)
7. Arizona State (13)
8. Vanderbilt (6)
9. Auburn (14)
10. Clemson (7)
11. California (17)
12. LSU (8)
13. Florida State (16)
14. Wake Forest (18)
15. South Florida (15)
16. Florida (9)
17. Alabama (11)
18. Oklahoma (19)
19. South Carolina (12)
20. Oregon (22)
21. Arkansas (20)
22. San Diego State (23)
23. Virginia (26)
24. Baylor (28)
25. Kentucky (29)
26. Purdue (30)
27. UAB (34)
28. Houston (36)
29. TCU (45)
30. Louisville (47)

INDIVIDUALS WITH SEED
1. Ryan Cole, James Madison
2. Antoine Rozner, Missouri-Kansas City
3. William Rainey, College of Charleston
4. Cameron Champ, Texas A&M
5. Matt Lutz, UC Riverside

OU LINEUP
1. Max McGreevy, Junior: Named to the 2016 All-Big 12 Team … Claimed his first career tournament win with a 206 (-7) and a career-low 66 third round at the Gopher Invitational … Has competed in all 12 team events this season, finishing in the top 25 in 10 tournaments, including four top-five placings … Currently ranked No. 35 in Golfweek/Sagarin individual rankings.

2. Grant Hirschman, Sophomore: Led the Sooners at the Big 12 Championship, tying for sixth after firing a 63 (-9) in the third round, setting a record for both the Championship and Whispering Pines Golf Club and matching the OU single-round record … Collected his second career top-five placing with a fourth-place finish at the Ka’anapali Classic Collegiate Invitational after firing a 208 (-5), his career-low 54-hole score … Holds 15 career top-20 finishes, tallying six this season.

3. Luke Kwon, Senior: Took first place at the Puerto Rico Individual Classic, shooting each round in the 60s and recording a career-low 67 in the second round and a career-low 54-hole 205 (-8) … Holds one other top-five finish with a second-place finish at the Gopher Invitational … Tied for eighth at the Southern Highlands Collegiate and claimed shares of 10th at the UTSA/Oak Hills Invitational and the Carmel Cup to total five season top-10 finishes.

4. Brad Dalke, Freshman: Led the Sooners at the Ka’anapali Classic Collegiate Invitational at second place overall, his first career top-five finish, with his lowest 54-hole score, 206 (-7) … Has five top-20 finishes with his showings at the Ka’anapali Classic, Gopher Invitational (T6th), U.S. Collegiate (T18th), Southern Highlands Collegiate (T8th) and most recently the NCAA Stillwater Regional (T15th) … Won the 2015 Junior PGA Championship.

5. Blaine Hale, Freshman: Entered the team lineup at the beginning of the spring season and has since competed in all seven spring events … Tied for sixth place at the UTSA/Oak Hills Invitational, his first collegiate event … Finished in a tie for 25th in the Puerto Rico Classic, recording his second career round in the 60s with a 69 in the first round … Most recently, tied for 29th at the Big 12 Championship and tied for 27th at the NCAA Stillwater Regional.

THE COURSE
The par-72, 7,014-yard Eugene Country Club in Eugene, Ore., will serve as the site for the 2016 NCAA Championships.

FORMAT
The 30 teams and five individuals that qualified for the championships will play 54 holes of stroke play total, completing 18 each day Friday through Sunday. The Sooners, alongside Florida and Alabama, will tee off for the first round on Friday at 9 a.m. CT from hole No. 10 and the second round on Saturday at 2:20 p.m. CT from hole No. 1.

On Monday, the top 15 teams and the top nine individuals not on an advancing team will compete in the final 18 holes of stroke play. A 72-hole individual champion will be decided and the top eight teams will advance to match play.

Match play will begin Tuesday with the quarterfinals and semifinals. The championship match will take place on Wednesday to determine the team champion.

TV COVERAGE
The Golf Channel will offer live coverage of the NCAA Championships beginning on Monday from 6-9 p.m. CT. It will also air match play on Tuesday from 12:30-2:30 p.m. CT (quarterfinals) and 5:30-9 p.m. CT (semifinals). Wednesday’s championship match will be aired from 5-9 p.m. CT.

WEATHER FORECAST
Friday: Partly cloudy with a high of 66 degrees and wind from the north, northwest at 10-15 mph.

Saturday: Sunny with a high of a 70 degrees and wind from the north at 5-10 mph.

Sunday: Partly cloudy with a high of 73 degrees, wind from the northwest at 10-15 mph and a 10 percent chance of rain.

Monday: Sunny with a high of 76 degrees, wind from the north at 10-15 mph and a 10 percent chance of rain.

Tuesday: Sunny with a high of 84 degrees and wind from the north at 10-15 mph.

Wednesday: Partly cloudy with a high of 83 degrees and wind from the northwest at 10-15 mph.

OU’S NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS HISTORY
This season marks the sixth straight season the Sooners have competed in the NCAA Championships and marks the program’s 37th all-time appearance. The Sooners won the national title in 1989. Last year, OU finished the championships in a tie for 28th place.

LIVE STATS
Live stats will be available on GolfStat.com.
 

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Ken MacLeod

Publisher Golf Oklahoma | Oklahoma's No. 1 Golf Source

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