Welch fires 63 as Sooners stay on top, Cowboys move into second

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Powered by Patrick Welch’s bogey-free 63 (-7) on Sunday, the top-ranked Oklahoma men’s golf team claimed the 54-hole lead at the NCAA Championships at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Four shots behind them is No. 2 Oklahoma State with No. 3 Vanderbilt another two shots behind in third. The same three teams will square off for a fourth time Monday in the final round of stroke play. Should OU and OSU maintain their 1-2 spots, they will be on opposite sides of the match play bracket, setting up a potential Bedlam match for the national championship.

Welch led the way with a 63 (-7) and is one of four players under par at the par-70 course. He sits alone in fourth place, just three back of the lead. Redshirt senior Chris Gotterup fired a 68 (-2) to reach 3-under par for the week, and he’ll enter Monday’s final round one shot behind Vanderbilt’s Gordon Sargent (-4), who leads the championship. Logan McAllister and Drew Goodman currently share 22nd at 4-over par. Stephen Campbell Jr., who was subbed in for Ben Lorenz on Sunday, carded a 72 (+2) but is not eligible to appear on the leaderboard.

The NCAA championship is contested over 72 holes of stroke play, with the field being cut from 30 to 15 teams after 54 holes. Following 72 cumulative holes, the field will be narrowed down to eight teams who will square off in a quarterfinal, semifinal and final match to determine a national champion.

Oklahoma will tee off in the final group with the Cowboys and Commodores at 1:50 p.m. CT. Golf Channel will carry live coverage of the round beginning at 4 p.m. CT.

For the second consecutive day, the second-ranked Cowboys posted a 3-under 277 at the par-70, 7,289-yard layout.

“I like where we are sitting, we are in great position going into the final round. We have closed the gap a little bit, up from third to second. I love the way we play this golf course. We proved it last year that Grayhawk is a good place for us,” OSU head coach Alan Bratton said.

“I love that we have gotten a contribution from each guy. All five guys have a round of 71 or better and four of the five guys have a round of even par or better, which is a big deal out here. The golf course is difficult and it is doing its job.”

Vandy’s Gordon Sargent posted a 68 and will take a one-shot lead into tomorrow’s final 18, which will determine the individual medalist and the eight advancing teams for the match play bracket. Sargent stands at 206 and one shot clear of the field.

OSU’s Eugenio Chacarra vaulted into contention with a 65 during his third round to grab sole possession of third place at 208. The Cowboy senior birdied three of his first four holes before moving back to 1-under with a double bogey at the seventh. Chacarra quickly rallied with a pair of birdies to close out his front nine to turn in 3-under 32.

The Madrid, Spain native birdied the 10th and moved to 5-under with another birdie at the 13th hole. He would go on to offset a bogey at the 16th with his eighth birdie on the day at the 17th hole.

Chacarra will be vying to become the 10th individual national champion in program history and the first since Matthew Wolff won the event in 2019.

Sophomore Bo Jin wrapped up the day tied for 17th after signing for a 71, giving him a 54-hole total of 214.

Junior Brian Stark and senior Aman Gupta were among the group tied for 25th at 215. Stark posted his low round of the event, an even-par 70, while Gupta signed for a 77.

Sophomore Jonas Baumgartner carded his second consecutive 71 to continue his move up the board, coming in at 222 and tied for 69th.

Live scoring for the event is available at golfstat.com. Golf Channel’s coverage is slated to run from 4-8 p.m. (CST). The Cowboys will be grouped with OU and Vanderbilt and will begin their fourth round at 1:50 p.m. (CST).



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Ken MacLeod

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