Oct. 25, 2009
DALLAS -- The University of Oklahoma men's golf squad seeks a repeat of last year's strong performance at the Baylor Intercollegiate, held at Royal Oaks Country Club in Dallas, Texas, on Oct. 26-27. Last year, the Sooners defeated two squads ranked in the Golfstat top-10 (No. 2 Arkansas and No. 10 Baylor) en route to a share of second place at the event.
The 12-team field at this week's event includes seven squads ranked in the top 50 of the latest Golfstat standings, including No. 4 Texas and ninth-ranked Texas A&M -- the defending NCAA champions. Rounding out the field is tournament-host Baylor, Arkansas, BYU, Iowa, Lamar, New Mexico, SMU, Tulsa and UTSA.
This week's Oklahoma lineup includes Ben Blundell, Riley Pumphrey, Tyler Rody, Ryan Sirman and Cole Wiederkehr. Blundell and Pumphrey have been in the Sooner lineup in each of OU's previous two events, while the other three are making their season debut. The tournament also marks the collegiate debut of Wiederkehr, who redshirted last season.
"We're excited to get back out there and compete against some quality competition," said head coach Ryan Hybl. "This week will be a great test for our guys, as there are some excellent teams in the field, including those we'll see often from within the Big 12. Some new guys stepped up in qualifying, so we are anxious to see how they perform this week."
ABOUT THE TOURNAMENT
Hosted by Baylor, the 54-hole event will begin with 36 holes on Monday, Oct. 26, followed by the final 18 holes on Tuesday, Oct. 27.
Texas A&M won the inaugural Baylor Intercollegiate in 2008, while SMU's James Kwon claimed individual medalist honors.
Live scoring is available at: http://golfstatresults.com/public/index.cfm?tournament_id=1614
ABOUT THE COURSE
The par-71, 7,068-yard Royal Oaks Country Club opened in 1969 under the work of J. Press Maxwell, Don January and Billy Martindale. The course lays out in the floodplain of White Rock Creek just east of I-75 north of downtown Dallas.
The course features some of the most demanding holes in the DFW area, including the signature 467-yard, par-4 13th. The hole doglegs around White Rock Creek, and involves a tee shot over water, followed by a long approach shot that must carry the creek again.
LOOKING FOR REPEAT SUCCESS IN DALLAS
The Sooners defeated two squads ranked in the Golfstat top-10 (No. 2 Arkansas and No. 10 Baylor) en route to a share of second place at last year's Baylor Intercollegiate. After opening the tournament with a team score of 298 (+14) at the par-71, 7,068-yard Royal Oaks Country Club, OU played its final 36 holes a combined six-over, second-lowest only to tournament-host Baylor.
Paving the way for Oklahoma were a pair of underclassmen in Riley Pumphrey (75-68-70) and Chris Wilson (74-71-72), who finished in a tie for second and ninth, respectively.
Tyler Rody, Ryan Sirman and Cole Wiederkehr are all making their season debut at this week's event. The tournament also marks Wiederkehr's collegiate debut, as the Tulsa, Okla., native redshirted last season. Rody carded a 68 in the final round of the 2009 Big 12 Championship in his last competitive round.
RAIN, RAIN GO AWAY
OU placed 12th at the rain-shortened Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate at the Old Overton Club in Vestavia Hills, Ala., on Oct. 13. The tournament was shortened to 18 holes due to inclement weather that cancelled both rounds on the first day of the event.
SEASON LOW ROUND FOR RILEY
Bad conditions didn't prevent sophomore Riley Pumphrey from posting a good round in Alabama, as he shot a season-low 69 for a share of 11th at -1. Starting on the back nine, the Georgetown, Texas, product was even-par at the turn, erasing a bogey at the par-4 14th with a birdie at No. 18. Pumphrey made par on the first four holes on the front before reaching red figures with a birdie convert at the par-4 fifth hole. Pumphrey made par at his final four holes of the round, remaining at -1 for the tournament.
Head coach Ryan Hybl became the first coach to win his inaugural event since the Gregg Grost-led Sooners won the 1986 U.S. - Japan Friendship Intercollegiate in Grost's first year at the helm.
MORE ON THE WIN
Four of the five golfers in OU's lineup finished in the top 25 in the win, paced by Blundell's sixth-place finish. Pumphrey and Wilson tied for 14th, while Logan shared 22nd. Rounding out the OU team scoring was Chambers in a share of 64th in his collegiate debut.
Competing unattached, freshman Davis Lee tied for 20th in the medalist race after rounds of 76, 73 and 75.
QUOTING THE SEASON OPENING WIN
"What a great way to start off the year," said Hybl. "We still didn't play that great, but it's good to see all of the hard work that we have put in the past couple of months pay off. This is really big for us. It's a new era for Oklahoma golf and what better way than to start off with a win."
SOONERS IN RECENT SEASON OPENERS
2009-10: First at the Kansas Invitational in Lawrence, Kan. | 291-300-295 (886, +22)
2008-09: Seventh at the Aldila Scenic City Invitational in Chattanooga, Tenn. | 289-287-284 (860, -4)
2007-08: Third at the Aldila Scenic City Invitational in Chattanooga, Tenn. | 277-286-284 (847, -5)
2006-07: 12th at the Fighting Illini Invitational in Olympia Fields, Ill. | 309-300-310 (919, +79)
2005-06: 13th at the Ridges Intercollegiate in Johnson City, Tenn. | 307-290-298 (895, +31)
2004-05: Fourth at the Ridges Intercollegiate in Johnson City, Tenn. | 290-282-298 (870, +6)
NEW IN 2009
Along with Nathan Chambers, a talented recruiting class joins this year's returners including Nathan Hughes and Davis Lee. Chambers won the U.S. Junior Amateur Sectional Qualifying at Oklahoma City Golf & Country Club in 2007, while Hughes captured the 2009 Oklahoma 6A state title last spring. A full time resident at the Hank Haney International Junior Golf Academy for the last five years, Lee recorded 16 top-3 finishes including three wins on the International Junior Golf Tour (IJGT) during his prep career.
The other newcomer is Sam Braver, who will redshirt the 2009-10 season after transferring from South Carolina. Braver competed in six tournaments as a true freshman last season for South Carolina, including the SEC Championship, NCAA Southeast Regional and the NCAA Championships.
MORE NEW FACES
Ryan Hybl (pictured left), one of the most decorated golfers in University of Georgia history, took the reins of the Oklahoma golf program in June. Hybl lettered from 2001-04, twice garnering All-America and All-SEC honors. He concluded his career with a scoring average of 72.7 and 13 top-10 finishes. He served as the team captain during his junior and senior seasons. Joining Hybl is first-year assistant coach Blake Smart. Smart had been the head coach at Kennesaw State the previous three seasons, quickly turning the Owls into one of the top golf programs in the Atlantic Sun Conference.
SOONERS KICK OFF SEASON WITH TEAM RETREAT
The official start of the 2009-10 NCAA golf season came on Aug. 28, and the OU squad wasted no time getting back to the links. The Sooners played 72 holes during a three-day trip at The Territory Golf and Country Club in Duncan, Okla.
"The weekend was a great opportunity for our players and coaching staff to bond and begin to get to know each other," said Hybl. "The camaraderie was outstanding and I think the group is excited about getting the season underway. This trip also gave us an excellent opportunity to evaluate our current team members and see where we stand. Overall, I am pleased with the level of play that occurred and the quality individuals that make up this squad."
Every current Sooner that has played at least two years for the squad has posted a round of 69 or better during their first two complete seasons in the crimson and cream. Blundell (65), Pumphrey (65) and Sirman (69) all shot their career low during their freshman campaign, while Durbin (64), Rody (66) and Logan (67) were in their sophomore season.
LOOKING BACK AT THE NCAA CHAMPS
2009 marks the 20th anniversary of the 1989 NCAA Champion Oklahoma men's golf squad. Doug Martin and Ricky Bell tied for second in the individual standings, leading the Sooners to the team title. Members of that squad and other OU golf alumni will be back in town November 13-14 for the Sooner Open, a special golf fundraiser at the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club on Friday, followed by the OU vs. Texas A&M football game on Saturday.