Cowboys edge Sooners in torrid desert duel, Reband snags individual title

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TUCSON, Ariz. – Oklahoma State’s men’s golf team recorded its second win of the season on Sunday at the N.I.T. after scorching Omni Tucson National’s Catalina Course. Head coach Alan Bratton’s squad fired an 18-under 270 during its final round to record its 33rd win under his direction. The Cowboys finished at 47-under par 817 and four shots clear of the Sooners. Texas was a distant third at 833.

Oklahoma shot 43-under par, led by Garret Reband, who shot a final-round 66 to finish at 15-under and claim medalist honors, his second career victory.

The victory was the first of the spring for the Cowboys and OSU’s first since winning the Maridoe Invitational in October.

“Hats off to Oklahoma State for what they came out and did on the back nine today. They played some really good golf and just beat us,” OU coach Ryan Hybl said after the round. “That being said, I am really proud of our guys for their fight this week, and I’m happy with where we’re at as a team. We’ve got some things we can work on when we get back to Norman, and we’ll be ready to go.”

On Saturday, the Cowboys opened play with a 275 during the morning round at the par-72, 7,167-yard layout to stand a shot out of the lead held by Oklahoma. The Pokes used a 272 during their second round to move to the top spot on the leaderboard heading into today’s final round.

Eugenio Chacarra logged his second runner-up and his third top-three showing as a Cowboy after firing a closing 66 to finish at 13-under 203 and two shots out of the top spot on the leaderboard. The sophomore put together a bogey-free final round that featured six birdies, including a 4-under 32 on his inward nine.

Aman Gupta joined his teammate in the top 10 after firing his low round of the event on Sunday. The sophomore posted a 67 to tie for seventh place at 205.

Freshman Bo Jin posted his second round of 70 during the event to finish tied for 12th place at 207. Classmate Jonas Baumgartner fired a closing 67 to move up 15 spots into a tie for 17th place at 210. Junior Austin Eckroat also finished at 210 after signing for a closing 75.

Freshmen Brian Stark and Rayhan Thomas each competed individually. Stark carded a 73 on Sunday to finish at 217 and tied for 53rd place, while Thomas finished with a 76 to tie for 84th place at 223.

 The Sooners’ 43-under par performance is the third-best score versus par in Oklahoma history, and the 54-hole score of 821 is the fifth-lowest. The Sooners led the field in par-four scoring and birdies, with 72, but couldn’t overcome the Cowboys down the stretch, who tallied seven more pars than the Sooners. The runner-up finish extends Oklahoma’s streak of top-five team finishes to eight and 22 of its last 23 tournaments dating back to the 2018-19 season.

Reband, an All-American for Hybl’s team, carded rounds of 67-68 on Saturday’s 36-hole day but put his best work together on Sunday. The Sooner opened the day with a trio of birdies that closed the gap on Oklahoma State, placing the Bedlam rivals into a tie early on. The redshirt senior continued to deliver for OU, sinking four more birdies and no bogeys until his final hole. His win in Tucson marks the second of his career, as he won last season at the Puerto Rico Classic. Reband entered the weekend ranked sixth in the PGA Tour U rankings, one spot away from status on the Korn Ferry Tour once he leaves Norman.

“So proud of the weekend that Reband put together to get the win,” Hybl said. “He put together three outstanding rounds and works so hard, and I’m really proud of him.”

On Sunday, moving up the leaderboard with a final-round score of 66 (-6) was Jonathan Brightwell (-11, T4), who jumped eight spots on Sunday to claim the fifth top-10 finish of his Oklahoma career in just six events. The redshirt senior transfer from UNC-Greensboro has been a force for the Sooners, leading the team in top-10 finishes and par-or-better rounds. Brightwell’s 17 birdies were the fourth most in the field and second among all Sooners, only behind Reband.

Quade Cummins (-7, T14), who broke the all-time Oklahoma record for rounds of par-or-better on Saturday, capped his weekend with a 70 to extend his record and secure the 26th top-20 finish of his illustrious career. The Weatherford, Okla., product was an efficient -11 for the weekend on par fours and fives, delivering his second top 20 of the spring.

Logan McAllister (-4, 23rd) bounced back after an over-par round on Saturday with a 3-under 69 in Sunday’s final round to finish alone in 23rd. The junior, who entered the weekend second in scoring average this year among the Sooners, sunk 13 birdies across 54 holes and only has two finishes outside the top 25 since the start of his sophomore campaign.

Patrick Welch (E, T35) was shot 73-70-72 to finish at even-par and tied for 35th. Tom Johnson and Ben Lorenz played as individuals and finished T63 and T53, respectively.

The Sooners return to Norman before heading to Naples, Florida, on April 4-6 for the Calusa Cup, followed by the Aggie Invitational in College Station, Texas, to conclude their regular season on April 9-11.

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