Hirschman leads Sooners into early lead in San Diego Regional

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 With a 4-under-par 284, the 14th-ranked Oklahoma men’s golf team holds a five-stroke lead after the first round at the NCAA San Diego Regional in San Diego, Calif. The three-day, 54-hole tournament is being played at the 6,947-yard, par-72 The Farms Golf Club.

The Sooners, who are the event’s No. 3 seed, started the round on the first tee and posted the only under-par mark of the day. The 13-team field features eight squads ranked within the top 50 of the latest Golfstat rankings.

No. 7 seed East Tennessee State is in second place with a 1-over 289, No. 12 seed Wichita State holds third at 4 over par and No. 11 seed St. Mary’s, California finished the round in fourth with a 295 (+7). Tied for fifth place are No. 9 seed and host San Diego and No. 5 seed Virginia with scores of 297 (+9).

Sixth-year OU head coach Ryan Hybl said his squad executed well to open the tournament, and he hopes to see more of the same on Friday and Saturday.

"It was a great team round today," Hybl said. "The guys executed their game plan, and it was fun to see. Anytime you can get an under-par score out here, that is good, and we had three of them today. The rain is coming tomorrow, so hopefully we will grind it out and execute the same way."

Three Sooners finished the round within the top six on the leaderboard, led by freshman Grant Hirschman. After carding a bogey-free 69 (-3), Hirschman is tied for first place out of 75 competitors. The freshman pocketed birdies on holes No. 9, 12 and 18. All five Sooners turned in birdies on the par-5 18th hole.

Sitting a stroke behind Hirschman is OU sophomore Max McGreevy, whose 70 (-2) has him tied for fourth place. McGreevy, who did not play in the recent Big 12 Championship at Southern Hills, recorded five birdies on the day, including four in a row on holes No. 6, 7, 8 and 9.

Senior Michael Gellerman started the round with two bogeys but rebounded to play the final 16 at par or better. He is tied for sixth place with a 1-under 71.

Junior Beau Titsworth tallied a 74 (+2) on Thursday to hold a share of 21st place, while senior Charlie Saxon is tied for 32nd with a 3-over-par 75.

The NCAA San Diego Regional is one of six 54-hole preliminary events for the NCAA Championships finals. The low five teams and low individual not on those teams from each regional will advance to the NCAA finals, which will be held May 29-June 3 at the Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Fla.

OU will tee off for the second round beginning at 11:15 a.m. CT Friday from hole No. 1. The Sooners will be paired with East Tennessee State and Wichita State. Live results will be available on Golfstat.com.

Team Standings
1. Oklahoma 284
2. East Tennessee State 289
3. Wichita State 292
4. St. Mary’s, California 295
T5. San Diego 297
T5. Virginia 297
T7. Georgia Tech 299
T7. Eastern Kentucky  299
9. Arizona State 300
10. Idaho 301
11. New Mexico 303
12. Georgia 307
13. Mississippi 314

Top Individuals
T1. Grant Hirschman (Oklahoma) 69
T1. Gudmundur Kristjansson (East Tennessee State) 69
T1. Grant Bennett (Wichita State) 69
T4. Max McGreevy (Oklahoma) 70
T3. Adrian Meronk (East Tennessee State) 70
OU Players
T1. Grant Hirschman 69
T4. Max McGreevy 70
T6. Michael Gellerman 71
T21. Beau Titsworth 74
T32. Charlie Saxon 75

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