It was a weekend of almosts for former Oklahoma State golfers.
Viktor Hovland played in the final group of The Open Championship with Rory McIlroy. The Norway native did not generate any momentum on Sunday and fell back to a tie for fourth at 14-under with a final-round of 2-over 72, but it was a brilliant showing nonethelesss.
OSU grad Alex Noren, who was first alternate at The Open, left St. Andrews Wednesday figuring he would not get a spot, which it turns out he would have been in. But he made the most of his decision to fly back and compete in the PGA Tour’s Barracuda Championship in Truckett, Calif., finishing second by one point to Chez Reavie. Noren is still seeking his first PGA Tour victory but has won 10 times on the DP World Tour.
On the Korn Ferry Tour, Austin Eckroat of Edmond and OSU shot rounds of 65-63-64-68 for a 24-under 260 and finished second by three shots to Paul Haley II in the Memorial Health Championship in Springfield, Ill. It is the best KFT finish by Eckroat and he jumped from 84th to 39th on the Korn Ferry Tour money list. The top 25 earn a PGA Tour card for 2023.
Also notching a top-10 finish in Springfield was former Cowboy Sam Stevens, who tied for ninth at 19-under with OSU ex Kevin Dougherty. Weatherford native Quade Cummins of Edmond and the University of Oklahoma tied for 14th at 18-under. Grant Hirschman (OU) tied for 26th at 16-under while Jonathan Brightwell (OSU) and Rhein Gibson of Edmond tied for 71st at 8-under.
In addition to Noren’s finish at Tahoe Mountain Club’s Old Greewood course, Josh Creel of Edmond tied for 16th with 26 points in the modified Stableford system scoring event. Edmond native Kevin Tway (OSU) tied for 22nd while Edmond native Taylor Moore tied for 65th and Tulsan Bo Van Pelt (OSU) tied for 68th. Max McGreevy (Edmond, OU) and Robert Streb (Edmond) missed the cut.
Two other players with state ties also fared well in the season’s final major championship. OU grad Abraham Ancer tied for 11th at 11-under and Talor Gooch (Midwest City, OSU) tied for 34th at 7-umder. Both of those players will return to competing the LIV Golf tour.