NORMAN – With just 18 holes outstanding in the NCAA Norman Regional, the Oklahoma men’s golf team sits in second place and is 11 shots clear of the NCAA Championship cut line. The Sooners will look to close strong in Wednesday’s final round and punch their ticket to their 11th straight NCAA Championship.
After building a lead on the front nine, top-ranked Oklahoma (2, -14) fired a 285 (-3) to hold steady in the top five on the leaderboard in the second round. The Sooners are led by four golfers inside the top eight, with true freshman Drew Goodman leading the way in a tie for sixth.
“We didn’t finish very strong to be quite honest,” head coach Ryan Hybl said. “I’m a little disappointed, really. It’s really similar yesterday, to be honest. The wind popped up, which we expected, and we didn’t handle it very well. But overall we’re still in nice shape for tomorrow and we’ll go reboot our system and we’ll put ourselves in a better spot tomorrow with some better execution.”
Hampered by a strong, swirling wind, the field’s scores were higher on Tuesday as only five teams fired lower scores in round two than in the opening round. The Sooners were in a good spot once again, playing the front nine a combined 9-under, but Jimmie Austin’s rigid back nine showed its teeth as the wind grew, and the Sooners signed for a 6-over on the way in to settle for a 3-under 285.
Logan McAllister (T8, -3) fired Oklahoma’s low round of the day, posting a 70 (-2), punctuated with a birdie on the 18th. A product of Oklahoma City, McAllister rattled off four birdies on the front before playing the back nine 1-over par. The senior will play for the 12th top-10 finish of his career on Wednesday and look to extend his streak of top-20 placements to 11.
Drew Goodman (T8, -4) sits atop Oklahoma’s leaderboard in a tie for sixth despite a non-counting 73 (+1) on Tuesday. The true freshman signed for a 67 (-5) to open the postseason on Monday and then reclaimed the lead on Tuesday after an eagle on No. 8. Goodman then struggled coming down the stretch, playing the last seven holes 4-over to drop into a tie for sixth.
Redshirt senior Chris Gotterup (T8, -3) joined McAllister in the red on Tuesday, registering a 71 (-1). Entering the week, the Rutgers transfer owned 24 top-10 finishes and an OU single-season record -1.96 score vs. par on the season. Gotterup, tied for ninth, will look to help the Sooners punch their ticket to Grayhawk for the national championship in the first and only postseason action of his college career.
Patrick Welch (T8, -3) finished his second round with a birdie on the final hole to post an even-par round of 72 and claim a share of ninth after 36 holes. The Aliso Viejo, Calif., product opened his day with a double bogey and bogey before sinking a trio of birdies on the front to get back to even. Then a birdie on the 10th and his finale on No. 18, along with two bogeys, gave him the even-par round.
On Tuesday, Stephen Campbell Jr. (T28, +2) was a spark plug for the OU lineup. The redshirt freshman opened with a bogey before rattling off a five-hole stretch of three birdies and an eagle. As the wind picked up, Campbell struggled and settled for three bogeys and a double bogey before closing with a birdie on 18 to post a 72.
The Sooners will tee off Wednesday at 8 a.m. with leader No. 18 Auburn (-20) and No. 7 Texas (-8). Oklahoma is 11 shots in front of sixth-place South Carolina (-3). Following Wednesday’s final round, the regional’s top-five teams advance to the NCAA Championship at Grayhawk Golf Club, slated for May 27-June 1.
Texas’ Travis Vick (-10) leads the individual race after 36 holes.
Live scoring will be available via Golfstat. Admission to the tournament is free, and spectators are encouraged to attend.