Sooners rally with 9-under final round to take fifth at Southern Highlands
LAS VEGAS — The ninth-ranked Oklahoma men’s golf team fired the third-lowest round of the day and nearly erased a 17-shot deficit, but when the field had closed play Wednesday, the Sooners had finished in fifth at the Southern Highlands Collegiate. A trio of Oklahoma golfers grabbed top-15 finishes, highlighted by Patrick Welch’s ninth-place finish.
Oklahoma (5, -15) signed for a 279 (-9) Wednesday in the final round at Southern Highlands Golf Club. The team’s fifth-place finish was good enough to finish in front of five other ranked teams, including three inside Golfstat’s top 15.
Despite Welch’s top-10 finish, the day’s story was Oklahoma sophomore Drew Goodman, who rattled off six birdies on his first seven holes to jump into the mix for the individual title. The Norman product played his last 11 holes 2-over par but had done enough to notch a share of 12th at 6-under for the week.
Welch, who won the event last season, entered the day two shots back of the lead and his third collegiate win. The redshirt senior came to play on Wednesday, getting through his first four holes even-par before getting hot. Birdies on Nos. 5 and 6 got him within one stroke of the lead, and a chip-in birdie on the 440-yard seventh hole gave him a share of the lead. But Welch couldn’t hang on for the title as four bogeys scattered across his last 11 holes aided Florida’s Yuxin Lin (-13) in the win. Welch (-7) finished as OU’s top golfer as he garnered a share of ninth.
True freshman Jase Summy bounced back from a day-two 75 (+3) by signing for a 70 (-2) in the final round to post his fourth top-15 finish in five college tournaments. Summy finished second among all unattached individuals playing at the event, boasting a 5-under score for the week, eight shots better than all but one unattached player.
Matching 69s (-3) from Stephen Campbell Jr. and Ben Lorenz helped power the OU comeback Wednesday, as the two jumped up 19 and 24 spots on the leaderboard, respectively. Jake Holbrook tallied a 74 (+2) to get a share of 50th.
No. 7 Illinois fired the week’s lowest round on Wednesday, using an 11-under day to win the tournament at 21-under par. The top-five finish was the Sooners’ fifth in six tries this season.
This weekend, OU returns to the course for a match vs. No. 15 Texas A&M at Whispering Pines GC in Trinity, Texas, on Saturday. The Sooners finished 11 strokes in front of the Aggies this week in Las Vegas. The last time the Sooners teed off at Whispering Pines, they closed the day by hoisting the 2022 Big 12 Championship trophy.