Sooners, Cowboys bounced in first round of NCAA match play
Sooners, Cowboys NCAA match play
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – After 19 holes in the day’s final match, the Oklahoma men’s golf team dropped its NCAA Quarterfinal match to Arizona State 3-2, ending the Sooners’ historic season on Tuesday morning.
Oklahoma State lost 3-2 to Texas. High hopes for a Bedlam match in the finals went poof after the teams entered the postseason ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the country.
In the opening match, Parker Coody got Texas on the board, taking down OSU sophomore Bo Jin, 3 and 2. Starting on the back nine, Jin won the second hole of the match before Coody tied it two holes later and grabbed a lead he would not surrender at the 16th.
Cole Hammer added the second point of the match for the Longhorns with a 3-and-2 victory of his own over senior Aman Gupta in the anchor match. Like Jin, Gupta grabbed an early 1-up lead before Hammer won three of four holes down the stretch on the opening nine. Gupta would get within one with seven holes remaining before Hammer extended his lead with wins over the next two holes.
Junior Brian Stark got OSU on the board with a 2-up victory over Travis Vick in the second match out. Vick won the first before Stark answered at the second and won the 14th and 15th to turn with a 2-up lead. Vick cut the margin in half with a win at the second hole and tied the match at the sixth before Stark closed it out with wins over two of the final three holes.
In a battle of two of the nation’s premier players, OSU senior Eugenio Chacarra took down Pierceson Coody, 1 up, to pull the Cowboys even. Chacarra, who was named a first-team All-American earlier in the day, never trailed in the contest and grabbed his first lead on the match’s second hole. He would make the turn with a 3-up advantage. Coody would chip away with wins at the first and third before Chacarra would answer quickly with wins at Nos .4 and 5. However, Coody would once again draw within one after winning the seventh and eighth before Chacarra sealed the outcome with a par at the ninth to tie the hole.
The outcome came down to the final hole of the matchup between sophomore Jonas Baumgartner and Mason Nome. After losing the first, Baumgartner tied the match on two separate occasions on the outward nine before Nome would build a 2-up lead at the halfway point. The advantage would grow to 4-up before Baumgartner would battle back with three consecutive wins to get within one with two to play. Both players birdied the par-3 eighth before Nome closed out the match with a birdie at the ninth for a 2-up victory.
The second-seeded Sooners got points from Logan McAllister and Drew Goodman, but Oklahoma dropped the other three matches to fourth-seeded Arizona State at Grayhawk Golf Club. The entire match featured battles among some of the nation’s best golfers with nine of the day’s 10 golfers inside the top 100 of the Golfweek rankings. Four of the five matches combined for 11 lead changes as the two collegiate powerhouses traded blows under the desert sun.
“Today was fun because we got to watch us fight,” head coach Ryan Hybl said. “We knew how difficult of a match this was going to be. Arizona State on essentially their home golf course in front of a rowdy crowd, we knew it would be a serious fight. What else could you ask for in a college golf match?”
Arizona State put the first point on the board early when Preston Summerhays knocked off Chris Gotterup, 7 and 5. When Gotterup’s match closed, OU led two matches and was tied in another. Gotterup, who was named the winner of the Fred Haskins Award on Tuesday, closes his lone season in Norman with the school record for single-season scoring average vs. par at -1.90 and ranked as the No.1 golfer in the country.
OU’s Patrick Welch went toe-to-toe with Mason Andersen in a match that had four lead changes. The Sooner would move things back to all square on the 13th, but a wayward tee shot on 18 paired with a long birdie putt from Andersen on the final hole downed Welch via 1-up result.
“I was really proud of Patrick,” Hybl added. “He’s kind of had a hard time at times in match play and today he looked like $1 million. He did everything great and just got beat by a guy who played phenomenal golf.”
OU got its first point of the morning when Logan McAllister downed David Puig 3 and 2 in the highest-ranked match of the morning. McAllister (11 WAGR) took the lead over Puig (9 WAGR) on the ninth hole and never looked back. Wins on the 10th and 13th gave the Sooner an advantage that he wouldn’t surrender. The senior closes his Oklahoma career with a 15-3 record in match play and the school’s career scoring record of 70.98.
“Logan did what Logan does in match play,” Hybl continued. “For him to have the career that he’s had is just really special. We look to him when we get to matches and he delivered today like he nearly always does.”
In a battle of two of the top freshmen in the country, Drew Goodman tied the team match up at two apiece when he held off a late charge from Arizona State’s top-ranked striker Jose Luis Ballestar. Goodman took the early lead on No. 3 and grew his advantage to 4-up thru six, but the Sun Devil charged back. Goodman held just a 1-up lead thru 14 and would fight off Ballestar’s charge for the remainder of the round. Finally, a par on the 18th hole secured a 2-up win for the freshman. He concludes one of the best freshman seasons in program history and ends the year ranked as the No. 5 first-year golfer in the country.
The pivotal match of the morning came in the anchor spot where redshirt freshman Stephen Campbell Jr. matched up with senior Cameron Sisk. Trailing by one hole thru 15, Campbell Jr. buried a long birdie putt on the 16th to get the anchor match back to all square. Sisk secured a par on the 17th, and Campbell Jr. barely missed his par putt, giving the hole and 1-up lead back to the Sun Devil. But the redshirt freshman refused to back down; he sunk an 8-foot par putt on 18, Sisk missed his par, and Campbell Jr. extended the match to a 19th hole. On the playoff 10th hole, both tee shots found the fairway, followed by both golfers making the green in regulation. Sisk sunk a long birdie putt to put pressure on the Sooner, and Campbell Jr. just missed the putt, giving the win to Arizona State via a 3-2 result.
“Steve coming down the stretch right there was special,” Hybl closed. “You can’t ask for anything better. I really don’t know that you can ask for anything more – other than the fact that we didn’t win it. He did everything in his power to put himself in as good of a spot as possible and that’s all I can ever ask for.”
The Sooners’ season ends after a school record-tying seven victories, including the program’s 18th conference championship. Oklahoma’s streak of consecutive match play appearances is intact at a nation-leading six straight, and the Sooners’ 11 successive NCAA Championship appearances are the second-most in the country. The program’s first Fred Haskins Award winner in Gotterup, who joined McAllister on the PING All-America first team on Tuesday, capped off a historic season for the Crimson and Cream. In addition, Hybl is a finalist for the Dave Williams National Coach of the Year award, and finalists for the Jan Strickland National Assistant of the Year award have not been announced.
The future continues to look bright for the Sooners, who have cemented themselves as one of the top program’s in the nation. They’ll return five players in 2022-23 that saw extensive playing time this season. Patrick Welch withdrew his name from the PGA Tour U rankings and intends to return to Norman for a fifth season, while young talent in Goodman, Campbell Jr., Ben Lorenz, Jaxon Dowell and others will look to play critical pieces in the future.