NORMAN, Okla. The University of Oklahoma men’s golf team opens its spring tournament slate Wednesday, Feb. 7, at the UH-Hilo Intercollegiate in Waikoloa, Hawaii.
The Sooners face stiff competition from Big 12 Conference foes Kansas (No. 39), Oklahoma State (No. 3) and Texas Tech (No. 30), all in the Top-40 in Golfweek’s latest rankings.
No. 2 Stanford, No. 8 Southern Cal, No. 20 Georgia Tech, No. 25 Arizona State, No. 34 TCU and No. 37 Washington are also among the field of 18 teams.
“We are excited about getting back on the course to start the spring portion of our schedule,” said OU head coach Jim Ragan. “And what better place to do it than here in Hawaii? Playing against some of the best teams in the nation, this is a tremendous opportunity to see where we stand early on.”
The 17th annual UH-Hilo Intercollegiate, a three-day 54-hole event hosted by the University of Hawaii-Hilo, will be played at the 6,777-yard, par-72 Waikoloa Village Golf Course.
Headlining Oklahoma’s lineup is freshman Ben Blundell, who shined in fall competition with two top-12 finishes in three starts. The Rowlett, Texas, native finished with a 73.55 stroke average for the fall, including a then-course-record 7-under-par 65 in the opening round of the CordeValle Collegiate in San Martin, Calif., in November.
Also competing for OU will be senior J.J. Wood, junior Phillip Bryan and freshmen Eric Durbin and Jesse Schutte.
Wood, the only senior on a youth-filled roster, provides three seasons of collegiate golf experience after transferring from Pepperdine last fall.
Bryan is the lone returning starter from last season’s Big 12 champion squad. The Mustang, Okla., native had the second-best stroke average for the Sooners last fall at 76.11.
Durbin and Schutte were both highly recruited prep prospects as Durbin was named the Southern Texas PGA Player of the Year and Schutte was a three-time Oregon state champ. Schutte also defeated defending champion Clay Ogden in the first round of match play at the 2006 U.S. Public Links Championship before losing to eventual winner Casey Watubu.
“I am excited to see how our newcomers perform against some of the top collegiate golfers in the nation,” Ragan said. “In the fall, we have seen glimpses of what this team is capable of when they play to their abilities and now it is time to put three strong rounds together.”
A 7:30 a.m. (HST) shotgun start will begin each round of action for the event. Visit SoonerSports.com for complete coverage following each day’s round.