Sept. 29, 2009
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The University of Oklahoma men’s golf squad erased a two-shot overnight deficit to win the 14-team Kansas Invitational on Tuesday at Alvamar Country Club in Lawrence, Kan.
OU fired a final-round team score of 295 (+7) at the par-72, 7,058-yard layout, clearing a bunched leaderboard by two shots with a final team tally of 886 (+22). Tournament host Kansas, overnight leader Missouri and Louisiana-Lafayette all shared second at 24-over.
It was the Sooners first victory in a season opener since winning the 1999 Ridges Intercollegiate.
“What a great way to start off the year,” said head coach Ryan Hybl, who became the first OU golf 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.
“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,” added Hybl. “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.”
Leading the Oklahoma charge was senior Ben Blundell, who fired a final-round 70 for a share of sixth place in the individual standings at +2. The round was the lowest of the tournament for Blundell (75-73-70), the only senior to make the OU lineup for the season opener.
The Sooner duo of Riley Pumphrey (72-75-75) and Chris Wilson (75-74-73) both tied for 14th with 54-hole scores of 222 (+6).
Liam Logan closed with rounds of 79 and 77 after being the only player in the 60s during the first round with a tournament-opening 69. The Fort Worth, Texas, native finished in a tie for 22nd at +9.
Nathan Chambers rounded out the OU team scoring in a share of 64th in his collegiate debut. The Purcell, Okla., native fired rounds of 76, 78 and 83 for a three-round total of 237 (+21).
Competing unattached, fellow freshman Davis Lee shared 20th in the medalist race after rounds of 76, 73 and 75.
The victory marks the second consecutive season the Sooners have won a fall event. OU notched an eight-shot triumph at last year’s Macdonald Cup in New Haven, Conn., on Oct. 5.
Jawhawk golfer Nate Barbee (74-69-68) cleared the Kansas Invitational field by three shots, carding a 54-hole tally of five-under for medalist honors.
OU returns to the links Oct. 11-13, at the Jerry Pate Intercollegiate, hosted by Alabama. The field includes four squads ranked in top 25 of the latest Golf World/Nike Golf (No. 4 Alabama, No. 11 Arkansas, No. 13 UNLV and No. 22 Texas), while Auburn and SMU are both receiving votes in the poll.