SOUTH BEND, Ind. The University of Oklahoma men’s golf team’s season ended Saturday after finishing outside the top 10 at the NCAA Central Regional.
The Sooners (887, +47) counted their best round on the par-70, 7,011-yard Warren Golf Course, a 6-over 286, but could not recover from a miserable first round worsened by weather delays and an onset of food poisoning that affected three of OU’s five members, finishing 22nd of 27 teams and 12 strokes away from the 10th-place cut.
Augusta State (849, +9) captured the team title, defeating Oklahoma State (858, +18) by nine strokes after the Cowboys shot a 13-over 293 during the final round. Texas A&M (863, +23), Tulsa (866, +26), Kentucky (866, +26), Arkansas (870, +30), Missouri (870, +30), SMU (873, +33), Texas (874, +34) and Purdue (875, +35) also qualified for the national championships.
Augusta State’s Kalle Edberg captured individual medalist honors, shooting a 5-under 205, defeating Oklahoma State’s Pablo Martin by one stroke.
Purdue claimed the final championship spot in a one-hole, sudden death playoff versus Wichita State. Played on the 10th hole, the Boilermakers shot 2 over, while the Shockers shot 3 over.
Due to Wichita State’s loss to Purdue, Shocker Judd Easterling, who tied for fifth with a one-under 209, denied one of two qualifying spots for individuals not on advancing teams to Oklahoma’s Anthony Kim.
Kim, who ended the tournament one stroke behind Easterling in a tie for seventh, made a remarkable run through the leaderboard over the final 18 holes, shooting the best round of his collegiate career, a 65 helped by birdies on 2, 5, 8, 15 and 17. The sophomore, who began the day in 30th, was one of only two players not to count a bogey or worse in the third round.
Eastern Michigan’s Korey Mahoney earned the other individual qualifying spot. Mahoney, who qualified for the regional as an individual, finished fourth with a 2-under 208.
OU knew they needed a perfect day to make the cut and almost pulled it off with all but one player shooting his best round of the tournament.
Freshman Phillip Bryan finished three rounds tied for 77th with a 14-over 224. Junior Justin Fraley was one stroke behind Bryan in a tie for 88th. Sophomore Nick Sheedy, who had the Sooners’ second-best third round of 72, counted a 20-over 230. Shawn LaFontaine completed the Sooners’ lineup, carding a 23-over 233.
Despite the Sooners’ bad luck in the regional tournament, OU finished the regular season improving in every tournament and taking a program-best second place at the Big 12 Championship.
Individually, Anthony Kim grabbed two wins, including Big 12 medalist honors, and two top fives to finish the season. Kim was named the 2005 Big 12 Golfer of the Year for his impressive play.