Sept. 10, 1999
A NATIONAL GATHERING
The OU men's golf team starts its fall season this Friday and Saturday at The Ridges Intercollegiate in Johnson City, Tenn. Of the 15 participants in this year's tournament, six are ranked in the MasterCard Collegiate Men's Golf Top 25 rankingsThe Ridges defending champion, Clemson, enters the season as the nation's top-ranked team Joining the Tigers in the top 25 are South Carolina (#10), North Carolina (#13), East Tennessee State University (#18), North Carolina State (#20), Auburn (#22) and Texas Christian (#24).
THE SOONER STARTERS
Chris James (Sr., Edmond, Okla.) - Won the qualifying tournament for this event with a -16 total.
John Kidwell (RS-Fr., Dallas, Texas) - Making his first collegiate appearance.
Cody Freeman (So., Arnett, Okla.) - Coming off a fairly successful freshman season.
Kelsey Cline (Jr., Yukon, Okla.) - Fought back problems last year, but is 100 percent now.
J.D. Robertson (Sr., Little Rock, Ark.) - One of the hottest golfers at the end of last year for OU.
LAST TIME IN TENNESSEE
While this is just the second time that OU has taken part in The Ridges Intercollegiate, it comes under very similar circumstances. Much like this season, the Sooners opened the '98 campaign in Tennessee, just a few months after missing the cut at the NCAA Championship.
"There have been some tough months for members of this program since the last time we played in May," stated OU head coach Gregg Grost. "This tournament is very important for us for several reasons. I think that it's important for us to come out and make a statement, prove a point. This is a challenging course and we're going against a tough field, but I'm hopeful that we'll be competing for the team title."
Most college tournaments are won by the team that gets off to a fast start. This time around that team was Clemson. The Tigers completed the first round with a tournament-best score of 274 and never looked back. The Sooners and Georgia Tech did the best they could to hang close, but at the end, Clemson registered a five-stroke victory.
Following are last year's results:
1. Clemson 274-287-283-844
2. Georgia Tech 280-283-286-849
3. Oklahoma 286-279-295-860
4. Florida 287-283-292-862
5. LSU 286-289-292-867
7. Houston 295-288-289-872
9. E. Tennessee State 291-292-290-873
10. N. Carolina 299-291-297-887
11. Auburn 305-288-297-890
12. Wake Forest 296-302-293-891
13. Virginia 301-302-292-895
14. Purdue 301-300-304-905
OU Scores and Finishes
T7. Kelsey Cline 71-69-72-212
T14. Hunter Haas 70-68-77-215
T24. Kevin Muncrief 74-70-75-219
T29. Chance Cozby 73-72-75-220
T46. Jeff Mixon 72-69-73-224
Eleven teams from the inaugural Ridges Intercollegiate Tournament (Sept. 12-13, 1998) return for this year's event Returning to join the host Buccaneers are Auburn, Clemson, Louisiana State, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Oklahoma, Purdue, Texas Christian, Virginia and Wake Forest.
The Ridges Country Club golf course was designed by Arthur Hills and was completed in the spring of 1997 The course is a par 72 with a total yardage of 7,038 Last year's champion, Clemson, finished with a three-round total of 844 (-20) The lowest individual round ever completed is a 65 by Georgia Tech's Carlton Forrester Forrester's seven-under-par was recorded in the first round of last year's event.
Following their trip to Tennessee, the Sooners will have plenty of time to rest before playing in the William H. Tucker Invitational on Oct. 1-2 in Albuquerque, N.M. The Tucker will be one of three back-to-back tournaments for OU during the month.