TEMPE, Ariz. OU freshman Jesse Schutte heads to Sunday’s final round in a tie for fifth place at 6-under-par while the OU men’s golf squad sits in a tie for seventh place in the team standings after 36 holes at the ASU Thunderbird Invitational. The tournament, held at the par-72, 7,057-yard Karsten Golf Course in Tempe, Ariz., marks the first time this season the Sooners enter the final round under par.
Entering round two in a tie for fifth place out of the 15-team field that includes No. 4 USC, No. 6 UNLV, No. 10 Texas A&M and 18th-ranked Arizona State, the Sooners jumped into a tie for second early in Saturday’s play with their birdie barrage. Every OU player carded at least three birdies in round two, while senior J.J. Wood had six on the day.
First-round leader Derek Sipe of Oregon holds a two stroke lead in the individual standings at 13-under. Sipe has carded rounds of 65 and 66 to help Oregon hold the lead in the team standings at 20-under, five strokes ahead of Texas A&M.
Oklahoma was led by Schutte who fired a 2-under-par 70 on Saturday. The Florence, Ore., native made the turn at even par after a pair of birdies and bogeys. Showing why he has been in the lineup in every tournament of his collegiate career, Schutte jumped to 3-under through 14 holes after a pair of birdies, a bogey and an eagle on the par-5 14th. A bogey at No. 16 dropped him back to 2-under on the day, where he would finish his round after closing with back-to-back pars.
Wood carded a 1-under-par 71 in the second round and stands in a tie for 23rd place. Wood jumped out early with four front-nine birdies and a lone bogey at the par-5 fifth to make the turn at 32 (-3). The Pepperdine transfer added a birdie at the 11th but quickly gave a stroke back at the par-3 12th. A birdie at the 527-yard par-5 14th moved Wood back to 4-under. The Yuma, Ariz., native tripled the par-3 16th to close at -1.
Nick Sheedy shot a 2-over-par 74 on Saturday to finish in a tie for 36th after two rounds. After a par at the first, Sheedy birdied the par-4 second before stringing together five straight pars. Back-to-back bogeys dropped Sheedy to +1 at the turn. Opening his back nine with a birdie at No. 10, Sheedy would eventually move to 1-under after birdying the par-5 14th. Sheedy would play his final four holes at 3-over to finish the round at +2.
Freshman Ben Blundell fired an even par round of 72 and sits in a tie for 36th place with Sheedy. Blundell’s 72 marked the lowest round for the Rowlett, Texas, native since carding a 72 in the second round of the UH-Hilo Intercollegiate on Feb. 8.
Rounding out the OU scoring was Phillip Bryan who heads into Sunday’s play in a tie for 46th. Bryan, Oklahoma’s current leader in rounds played for the Sooners, carded a second-round 75. Bryan opened with a par before carding back-to-back birdies at the second and third. A bogey at the par-4 fourth hole was quickly erased with a birdie at the fifth. Bryan bogeyed the seventh to make the turn at 1-under. The Mustang, Okla., native carded a birdie at the 13th but had two back-nine double-bogeys and another bogey to finish at +3.
Live stats of the final round will be available at www.golfstat.com. Stay tuned to SoonerSports.com as the reigning Big 12 champs finish play in Sunday’s final round of the ASU Thunderbid Invitational.