Top-ranked Sooners struggle to fourth in Calusa Cup

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Final results:

After weather postponed the conclusion of Monday’s second round, the Oklahoma men’s golf team battled through harsh conditions Tuesday to post a 296 (+8) and 295 (+7) in the final two rounds of the Calusa Cup to finish alone in fourth place.

The top-ranked Sooners (4, +17) held off late charges from No. 23 Purdue, No. 8 Georgia and No. 22 Clemson to extend its streak of top-four finishes to 22 straight tournaments as Ryan Hybl’s team hasn’t finished outside of the top four in two seasons. Further, dating back to the fall of 2018, the Sooners have only finished outside of the top four once.

“We just weren’t very sharp all week,” Hybl said. “Calusa Pines does a great job of exposing parts of your game that isn’t sharp, so it was honestly a great assessment for us this week. We have a lot to come back to Norman and get to work on.”

Four Sooners finished inside the top 20, highlighted by Patrick Welch’s (T11, +2) fifth top-20 finish of the season.

Welch posted 71-73-74 en route to a 218 and a share of 11th. The senior led the field on par 3s, firing a 4-under par mark for the week on such holes. His week was steadied by a team-high 34 pars, five of which came to close his final round Tuesday.

In the final round, Chris Gotterup (T16, +4) signed for a team-low 72 (E) to move up the leaderboard. The Little Silver, N.J. product has now finished inside the top 20 at all but one event this season and owns a pair of wins.

True freshman Drew Goodman (18, +5) carded back-to-back 76s after an opening-round 69 at the par-72 Calusa Pines Golf Club to finish alone in 18th place. Goodman is making a case for national freshman of the year, having collected six top-20 finishes with a trio of top 10s.

Ben Lorenz (T19, +6) rounded out Oklahoma’s top-20 finishers by firing a pair of 73s (+1) over the final two rounds to move up nearly 20 spots on the leaderboard and finish in a tie for 19th. The 19th-place finish is Lorenz’s best of the season and the second top 20 of the sophomore’s OU career.

Stephen Campbell Jr. (43, +22) tallied matching 78s to close his week.

As a team, Oklahoma led the field on par 3s, averaging a 3.22 at Calusa Pines. Hybl’s team used 47 birdies and 157 pars to hang onto fourth place in the nine-team event that featured seven ranked squads.

No. 11 Georgia Tech took home the team title, finishing as the only team under par at 8-under. Florida’s Fred Biondi (-5) shared medalist honors with Georgia Tech’s Bartley Forrester.

The Sooners will wrap up the regular season April 15-16 at the Thunderbird Collegiate at Papago GC in Tempe, Ariz., before readying for postseason play.

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Ken MacLeod

Publisher Golf Oklahoma | Oklahoma's No. 1 Golf Source