Sooners hold fast at windswept Prairie Dunes, Cowboys fifth

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HUTCHINSON, Kan. — For the second year in a row, the Oklahoma men’s golf team stands atop the Big 12 Conference. The 10th-ranked Sooners ran away from the field at Prairie Dunes Country Club in the Big 12 Championship, winning by 18 strokes to secure the program’s 19th conference title.

Texas Tech, led by individual champion Ludvig Aberg at 15-under, pulled within five shots of OU several times near the midway point of the round, but the Sooners closed strong. Oklahoma shot 1-under as a team for the 72 holes. The title marked the third under head coach Ryan Hybl as the Sooners won the crown in 2018, 2022 and 2023. In addition, a league-best three OU golfers finished inside the top 10 to earn All-Tournament honors.

“This still feels like the first time because it’s so special,” Hybl said. “For us to have won three of the last five Big 12 Championships is so awesome. But this one was extra special because we got to enjoy the walk a little bit more on the back nine there with the lead. Overall, I’m just really proud of our guys for digging in their heels and grinding. This place is so difficult and to shoot under par at Prairie Dunes over four rounds with five guys is really special.”

The Sooners’ 72-hole score of 1,119 (-1) was a program record for a four-round tournament and also set a Big 12 record at Prairie Dunes by 10 shots. The Oklahoma State Cowboys finished with a 24-over total of 1,144 to come in a shot behind Texas and three shots off the pace of Texas Tech. TCU was second at 1,137, while Oklahoma claimed the team total at 1,119 at the par-70, 7,025-yard layout.

Patrick Welch (4, -4) was one of four golfers under par as the All-American earned All-Tournament honors for the third time in his career. The redshirt senior carded rounds of 70-68-70-70 to finish at 278 (-2), tied for the second-lowest 72-hole score in Oklahoma history. All-Tournament selection Drew Goodman followed Welch on the leaderboard, signing for an even-par 280 at Prairie Dunes, the fourth-lowest all-time by a Sooner. Rounding out the OU contingent on the All-Tournament Team, Ben Lorenz fired a team-low 69 (-1) on Wednesday to share sixth overall with a 282 (+2). Freshman Jase Summy (T24, +12) fired two even-par rounds on the week and finished T24. Jake Holbrook subbed in for Stephen Campbell Jr. at the tournament’s halfway point and fired 72-71.

Hybl has now turned in the best stretch in program history. Since taking over at Oklahoma in 2009, when the Sooners finished 10th at the Big 12 Championship, OU has won one national championship, three Big 12 titles and 39 overall team trophies as well as produced 26 All-America selections. Wednesday’s victory marked Oklahoma’s fourth of the season as the Sooners have now won 12 of their last 22 stroke-play events.

“The journey has been an amazing ride and the future is so bright,” Hybl added. “When I think about all the people that have chipped in – from our Chip in Club, our former players, our coaching staffs throughout the years – it’s been really special. We’ve got a lot of opportunity to grow moving forward, but at the end of the day it still comes down to the fact that our guys work, and they want it. They’re not scared of the work and that’s why they’re champions.”

With the victory, Oklahoma has officially clinched its 12th consecutive NCAA Regional appearance as the Big 12’s automatic qualifier. The Sooners will host a regional at Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club, May 15-17, where the top-five teams will advance to the NCAA Championship at Grayhawk Golf Club.

Oklahoma State wrapped up the final day of action with an 8-over 288 to finish in fifth place. The Cowboys finished with a 24-over total of 1,144 to come in a shot behind Texas and three shots off the pace of Texas Tech. TCU was second at 1,137, while Oklahoma claimed the team total at 1,119 at the par-70, 7,025-yard layout.

OSU’s Jonas Baumgartner took the runner-up spot after posting a closing 70 to finish at 7-under 273. The finish comes on the heels of the junior’s first career victory in the Cowboys’ last outing at the Mountaineer Invitational.

He became the 10th OSU player to finish second in the history of the event after posting rounds of 67, 64, 72 and 70. 

During his final round, Baumgartner opened with seven consecutive pars before carding a birdie at the eighth to turn in 1-under 34. He reeled off four more pars to open his second nine before posting a birdie at the 14th. After a bogey-double bogey stretch at Nos. 15 and 16, he answered with a birdie at the 17th to move back to even par for the day.

Fifth year Rasmus Neergaard-Petersen carded a closing 74 to finish at 287 and in 11th place.

Fellow fifth year Leo Oyo’s second consecutive 72 tied him for 21st place at 291, while junior Bo Jin closed with a 74 to finish at 299 and tied for 34th place.

Senior Dillon Stewart entered the lineup for the final round as a substitute and carded a 2-over 72.

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Ken MacLeod

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