Sooners rally to win, Cowboys solid third as both advance to NCAA Championship

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RANCHO SANTA FE, Calif. – For the 13th consecutive season, the second-longest streak in the country, the Oklahoma men’s golf team has advanced to the NCAA Championships. The Sooners vaulted up the leaderboard in Wednesday’s final round in the NCAA Rancho Santa Fe Regional at The Farms Golf Club to claim the team championship, while senior Ben Lorenz took home the individual title.

Ryan Hybl
Oklahoma State, meanwhile, advanced for the 75th time in a possible 77 seasons. The Cowboys qualified for the NCAA Championship after finishing third on Wednesday. The Cowboys, who have an NCAA-best 16 regional titles, finished at 5-over 845 and tied with West Virginia at the par-70, 6,917-yard layout. The Cowboys closed with a 1-under 279 on Wednesday. Oklahoma finished at 837, California posted an 843 total and North Florida finished at 850 to grab the regional’s other qualifying spots.

Oklahoma (1,-3) erased a five-shot deficit to punch its ticket to the Championship Course at Omni La Costa Resort in Carlsbad, Calif., where the 2024 NCAA Championships will be held May 24-29. Lorenz carded a career-low, clean-card 6-under 64 in the final round to come from behind and win by four strokes.

“We’ve been waiting all year for a round like we had today,” head coach Ryan Hybl said after the win. “I’m just so proud of and happy for our guys, who have worked hard all year long. For them to see the fruits of their labor could not have come at a better time. We knew we’d need a big-time day and we got exactly that.”

Oklahoma now has seven all-time wins at NCAA Regionals, including four (2015, 2018, 2022, 2024) in the Ryan Hybl era, which began in 2009.

The Sooners, who entered the day five back of the lead and just one shot above the cut line, opened with a birdie from Ryder Cowan on the first hole. Birdies from the entire lineup scattered across the first five holes of the day created separation from the cut, and the Sooners never looked back. Lorenz, Luke Kluver, Cowan and Drew Goodman played the first four holes of the back nine at a combined 8-under par to take the lead over Cal. An even-par stretch to close the day solidified the team title and OU’s ticket to the national championship. Oklahoma’s 273 (-11) in the final round was the field’s lowest of the week by eight strokes.

Lorenz (1, -8), an All-American senior, now has three career wins, two of which have come in the Golden State. He posted 69-69-64 to win the event by four strokes, and his final-round 64 at the par-70 track was the tournament’s low round.

“Ben, quite honestly, has just an incredible vibe about him for about a week now,” Hybl added. “After a really tough struggle at Big 12s, for a guy that I had to pull out of the lineup…he looked like a completely different human being in the lead up to this event, in the best way possible. I’ve never seen the transition from not his best to elite as fast as he did it over the last few weeks. It’s been the coolest mindset shift that I’ve ever seen in my entire coaching career.”

Goodman tied for ninth at 1-over andnotched his third consecutive top-10 finish at a regional. The Norman, Okla., product fired a critical 2-under 68 on Wednesday, highlighted by a pair of birdies around the turn that gave OU its lead.

True freshman Ryder Cowan used a 66 to move 19 spots up the leaderboard and finish 11th. The All-Big 12 Tournament honoree was clinical at The Farms, pouring in five birdies and just one bogey to end his week.

“Ryder showed us why we’ve had him in the lineup all spring as a freshman,” Hybl continued. “He didn’t play very well the first two days, but really turned it on for us today. So proud of him for showing up in a championship setting and showing everyone what he’s capable of.”

Luke Kluver and Jase Summy shared 31st at 7-over par for the week.

“Championship teams execute at the right time,” Hybl said. “We’ve been trying to do what we did today for an entire season now. I’m really looking forward to just getting the opportunity to spend one more week with these guys. They’re capable of doing something really, really special. We’re going to be incredibly confident heading out to La Costa next week. You just never want the journey to end, and that’s what we’re fighting for. We fight for the right to keep playing.”

The championships will be contested at Omni La Costa for the first time, with teams playing 54 holes of stroke play before the 30-team field is cut to 15. The last 15 teams play one final round of stroke play before the top eight teams advance to match play. Oklahoma has won two national championships (1989 and 2017) and finished runner-up in 2021.

For Oklahoma State, Jonas Baumgartner logged his third career top-10 showing in regional action. After finishing seventh in 2022 and 2023 the Cowboy senior closed with an even-par 70 to finish at 2-under 208 and tied for fourth place.

Baumgartner was joined in the top 10 by fifth year Rayhan Thomas, who shared seventh place after closing with a 70 of his own to finish at 210.

Freshman Gaven Lane fired his best round since carding a 68 in February at the Watersound Invitational, closing with a 68 on Wednesday. With his 2-under tally, he moved up eight spots into a tie for 22nd place at 214.

Senior Bo Jin and freshman Preston Stout each posted 216 totals to tie for 28th place. Jin signed for a closing 71, while Stout finished with a 73.

Team Scores

1. Oklahoma—284-284-269=837

2. California—280-284-279=843

T3. Oklahoma State—278-288-279=845

T3. West Virginia—285-280-280=845

5. North Florida—277-286-287=850

6. Arizona State—286-285-284=855

7. San Diego—285-284-288=857

8. Washington—290-291-279=860

9. South Florida—293-288-281=862

10. Chattanooga—294-288-286=868

11. Kansas—297-298-288=883

12. Wright State—298-306-289=893

13. Seton Hall—302-303-293=898

14. Winthrop—305-308-303=916


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Ken MacLeod

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