No. 1 Sooners receive NCAA Regional at Jimmie Austin OU GC after Alabama course pulls out

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NORMAN — For the first time since 2018, postseason men’s golf will return to Norman, Oklahoma, and the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club. The University of Oklahoma has been rewarded as an NCAA Men’s Golf Regional host for 2022, taking the place of the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

The regional, which will feature the No. 1 Sooners, will be held May 16-18 at Oklahoma’s championship golf course that has played host to a pair of regionals in head coach Ryan Hybl’s tenure.

“We are so excited to be rewarded by hosting a regional at home,” Hybl said. “There is nothing better than playing well enough throughout the season to get the phone call to host a championship. We’re so thankful for the opportunity and can’t wait to play in front of our fans.”

The Sooners were awarded the regional after a season that saw the team rise to No. 1 in all three national rankings. The Sooners tied a school record by notching five regular season wins, including a victory over three 2021 national semifinalists at the East Lake Cup. Hybl’s team opened postseason play this week by winning the program’s 18th conference championship, holding off three other top-10 teams.

Oklahoma, a two-time NCAA national champion, is the winner of five NCAA Regionals in school history, including the 2018 NCAA Regional at the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club, paired with titles in 1989, 1995, 2001 and 2015. The 2022 regional will mark the Sooners’ 11th consecutive postseason appearance and 49th all-time. Oklahoma has been a No. 1 seed in each of the last three postseasons and is the only school in the nation to appear in the last five NCAA Match Play Quarterfinals.

The Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club was designed and built by native Oklahoman Perry Maxwell in the early 1950s before being reworked by Bob Cupp in 1996 and then Tripp Davis in 2017. The course, situated initially on land used by the Navy Air Technical Training Center, has been the home of numerous championships, including four NCAA Regionals all-time and the 2009 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship.

Each regional features 13 or 14 teams, with the top five squads advancing after 54 holes of stroke play. Spectators can attend the regional for free and tee times will be published the week of the competition.

The committee was recently notified by the University of Alabama, host institution in Tuscaloosa, that the Ol’ Colony Golf Club would be unable to host due to current course conditions. The course was on schedule to host, but a late freeze, followed by cooler temperatures and excessive rainfall prevented necessary corrections to the course and stalled other maintenance projects.

“While this was a difficult situation for the committee to address in late April, the Jimmie Austin Golf Club is ready to host immediately and has a championship pedigree that will provide a great championship experience for our teams,” said Connie Hurlbut, chair of the Division I Men’s Golf Committee and senior associate commissioner and senior woman administrator at the West Coast Conference. “The committee also felt that Oklahoma, as the top ranked team in the country, earned the right to serve as the replacement host.”

The NCAA Golf Selection show airs on the Golf Channel at 4 p.m. on May 4. The Sooners will learn who their competition will be at that time as teams begin to prepare for regional play.


 

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Ken MacLeod

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