Sooners trail Alabama by two shots in NCAA Norman Regional

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NORMAN — On moving day at the NCAA Norman Regional, No. 9 Oklahoma held its spot on the leaderboard and remains in second place with one round to go at Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club.

The Sooners (2, -13) trail leader Alabama (-15) by a pair of strokes and are five shots clear of the championship cut after Tuesday. The regional serves as the preliminary event for the NCAA Championships, which Oklahoma has advanced to 11 years in a row.

The top five teams on the leaderboard will qualify for the championship after Wednesday’s final round.

“I don’t think we took advantage of the holes that we needed to today,” head coach Ryan Hybl said. “We have to be better on the par-5s and we’ll need to attack those tomorrow. The chips are going to fall where they may and my mindset is I want our guys to play elite golf, and we didn’t do that today.”

The morning started strong for the Sooners, as they erased Texas Tech’s one-shot lead early on and built a six-shot lead on the front nine. But as teams made the turn to the tougher back nine in Norman, No. 17 Alabama caught fire, and the Crimson Tide closed the day with an 8-under-par round, four strokes better than the Sooners to take a two-shot lead into the clubhouse.

Midway through the second round, Oklahoma saw itself 13 shots clear of the cut, but that gap shrunk as the round continued as Duke posted a 5-under mark over its last nine holes to move into sixth place at 8-under, two back of the cut and just five back of second-place OU.

Drew Goodman (2, -8) paces the Crimson and Cream after 36 holes in the individual race. The sophomore from Norman led most of the round, but the world’s No. 1 amateur, Ludvig Aberg of Texas Tech, fired off his second consecutive bogey-free round to catch the Sooner and claim a one-shot lead after 36 holes.

Ben Lorenz (T7, -4) finished even par on the day after a bogeyless 32 (-4) on the back nine after a 4-over on the front. A long birdie putt on the par-4 17th hole moved him back inside the top 10.

Patrick Welch sits in a tie for 12th after carding a 2-under 70 Tuesday, as the senior is 3-under par for the week.

Jase Summy (T55, +4) got in with a 72 (E) on the day, while Jake Holbrook subbed in for Stephen Campbell Jr. and signed for a 74 (+2).

Oklahoma’s pairing will remain the same for the third consecutive day on Wednesday when the Sooners tee off with Alabama and Texas Tech (3, -11) at 8 a.m. CT. On the line for Hybl’s team is the nation’s second-longest streak of NCAA Championship appearances, as OU has advanced in 11 straight seasons.

Hosting a regional for the second year in a row, last season at Jimmie Austin, the Sooners trailed Auburn by six shots entering the final round and won the tournament by 10 strokes. Oklahoma, who has won six regionals all-time, has advanced out of all three home regionals hosted in the Hybl era (2009-present), finishing fifth in 2012 and winning in 2018 and 2022. The course will also host an NCAA Women’s Regional in 2025. A win on Wednesday would mark the 40th under Hybl.

Live scoring for the final round will be available on Golfstat.


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Ken MacLeod

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