Sooners fall in East Lake Cup final to Pepperdine

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ATLANTA –  The Oklahoma men’s golf team fell 4-1 to No. 2-seeded Pepperdine in the East Lake Cup finals on Wednesday. The event concluded Oklahoma’s fall season that saw the top-ranked Sooners produce two medalists, a team title and three top-five finishes.

Jonathan Brightwell was the Sooners’ lone winner on Wednesday at the par-72, 7,434-yard East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, defeating Pepperdine’s top-ranked player, William Mouw, 2 and 1.

The All-American transfer thrived in the fall, finishing T6 at Colonial, T13 at Maridoe and T4 at East Lake. Those three finishes paired with a 6-1 record in match play has cemented the redshirt senior near the top of the Oklahoma lineup.

“I thought I played well today, but it’s really about the team. I love this team and I’m just really happy that they’ve taken me in and that I can play golf,” Brightwell said. “Overall, I feel like we had a really good fall, winning right out of the gate and then playing well at Big 12 match play. There were times that we didn’t play our best golf and we were still in the mix, so that’s encouraging moving forward.”

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The Sooners got down early against Pepperdine, who finished the 2019-20 campaign ranked No. 1 and is currently ranked second by Golfweek. Oklahoma, who erased a two-match deficit on Tuesday versus Texas, tried to close the gap on the back nine versus Pepperdine on Wednesday, but the Waves didn’t falter.

“We’re grateful for the week we got here at East Lake and we’ll take a lot away from this event,” head coach Ryan Hybl said. “We didn’t have our best stuff today but give all the credit to Pepperdine for getting the job done and not giving us any wiggle room. This fall overall was very solid for us and now it’s time to get back to work at the house in the offseason.”

Oklahoma dropped the first two matches of the day when Patrick Welch and Logan McAllister fell 5 and 4 and 3 and 2, respectively.

Welch ends his fall with a 2-3-2 record in match play but earned his first collegiate win at East Lake earlier in the week. A pair of top-21 finishes at Colonial and Maridoe have the junior ranked inside the top-25 heading into the spring season.

McAllister fell to No. 75 Joe Highsmith in the final, moving his fall match-play record to 6-1. The junior from Oklahoma City picked up his second collegiate victory, winning the Big 12 Colonial Preview in September, followed by a T17 finish at Maridoe at T11 at East Lake.

All-Americans Quade Cummins and Garett Reband both dropped their final matches 2 and 1 and 5 and 4.

Cummins finished as the runner-up in Monday’s stroke play championship and won his semifinal match on Tuesday. But the redshirt senior couldn’t overcome a three-hole deficit on the back nine on Wednesday afternoon. The All-American, ranked No. 9 in the PGA Tour U rankings, will enter the spring coming off three top-10 finishes.

Reband made his 2020 stroke-play debut on Monday, shooting a 2-over to finish T15. He fell in both of his matches in match play to end his fall.

The Sooners now head into the offseason where they’ll prepare for a spring slate that will be capped by the Big 12 and NCAA championships. Oklahoma’s spring schedule will be released at a later date.

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