OU Men's Golfers Confident Heading Into Conference Tournament

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
APRIL 23, 2001

April 23, 2001

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The University of Oklahoma men's golf team begins its postseason this week when the Sooners travel to Hutchinson, Kan., to compete in the 2001 Big 12 Men's Golf Championship on April 23-24 at the Prairie Dunes Country Club.

The Sooners are looking to rebound from their showing at the ASU Thunderbird/Savane Invitational in Tempe, Ariz. OU placed 14th out of 22 teams while shooting a final score of 867 (+3).

Sooner Head Coach Jim Ragan said his team is confident going into one of the most important tournaments of the year

"I had the opportunity to coach at the first Big 12 Championship as an assistant for Texas. Obviously, the experience will be much different this year but our team is looking forward to competing. It's going to be very competitive because our conference has many talented teams but our players feel confident in their abilities. Prairie Dunes is a great golf course and should provide for a great tournament."

The Projected Starting Lineup
Kelsey Cline (Sr., Yukon, Okla.) - Making his third and final appearance at the Big 12 Conference Championship and 41st overall as a Sooner . . . led OU in Tempe tying for 29th after shooting two-under for the tournament (214) . . . top finish of the season came at the Inverness where he tied for 19th place.

Matt Cohn (So., La Jolla, Calif.) - His 18th start as a Sooner and second consecutive trip to the conference championship . . . has the lowest scoring average on the team this season (73.04) . . . tied for 76th overall at the ASU Thunderbird . . . was solid at the Morris Williams, shooting rounds of 71 and 72 to tie for ninth at one-under-par . . . it was his fifth top-10 finish of the season.

Martin Flores (Fr., Mansfield, Texas) - Making his first trip to the Big 12 Championship and 11th overall start for the Sooners . . . played even-par golf in Tempe to finish tied for 41st . . at the Morris Williams, finished the tournament third among the Sooners while tying for 14th overall with a two-round score of 144 (E) . . . has now finished in the top 20 five times in his first season as a Sooner . . . currently has a scoring average of 74.50 for the season . . . tied for 15th at the Puerto Rico Classic with a score of 220.

Cody Freeman (Jr., Arnett, Okla.) - This will be his 25th career start for the Sooners and his second trip to the conference championship . . . tied for 95th in Tempe . . . led OU at the Morris Williams Intercollegiate tying for fifth . . . fired a first-round 67 (a season- low) and finished with an overall score of 141 (-3) . . . it was his fifth time this season to lead OU at a tournament and it was also his third top-five finish on the year . . . has a scoring average of 73.68 for the season . . . also led the Sooners at the Waikoloa Intercollegiate and the Puerto Rico Classic.

John Kidwell (So., Dallas, Texas) - Making his 15th start as a Sooner and second-straight trip to the conference championship . . . led OU in the first round at Tempe, firing a 69 and finished tied for 41st . . . tied for 37th in Austin . . . it was his lowest finish of the spring . . . after a tough first round, shot his second-lowest round of the spring (73) in the second round . . . has a scoring average of 75.69 this season.

The University of Oklahoma men's golf team placed 14th out of the 22 teams at the ASU Thunderbird/Savane Invitational in Tempe, Ariz. The Sooners shot a final-round score of 292 to finish with a total score of 867 (+3). Defending-champion Arizona State overcame fourth-ranked Texas with a final score of 839 to win the team championship for the third year in a row. OU was led by Kelsey Cline, who shot a final-round 73 to finish tied for 29th with a total of 214 (-2). It was the first time this season the senior from Yukon, Okla. led the Sooners at a tournament. Two shots behind Cline were sophomore John Kidwell and freshman Martin Flores, who each finished with identical final scores of 216 (+2). In final-round action, Flores posted the lowest score for OU with a 72 while Kidwell carded a 73.

While a 14th-place finish may not have been what Head Coach Jim Ragan was looking for, he was pleased with the performances of Cline, Kidwell and Flores. "At Arizona State we had some good things happen that the final score might not have reflected," said Ragan. "Kelsey, John and Martin all played well and showed impovement." OU's top-two starters, sophomore Matt Cohn and junior Cody Freeman, shot uncharacteristically high rounds. Cohn finished with a final score of 221 to tie for 76th while Freeman tied for 95th with a 226.

"We were all surprised that Matt and Cody didn't play well," said Ragan. "But in the game of golf, that is going to happen to everybody sooner or later." Even with the unusually high scores in Arizona, Ragan was impressed with the potential that of all of his starters possess.

"Obviously, in the past few tournaments leading up to Arizona State, Cody and Matt separated themselves as the number one and two players on our team. I think that our last tournament showed the real balance of our golf team and that we have a number of players who can step up and contribute on any given day."

In the rankings . . .
In the latest Golfweek District V rankings, OU is second behind OSU . . . sophomore Matt Cohn is ranked 33rd in the nation by Golfweek and Cody Freeman is 62nd . . . in the latest Mastercard District V rankings, OU is first. . . individually, Freeman is ranked 30th in the nation by Mastercard while Cohn is 52nd . . . Cohn is third in the District V rankings and Freeman is fifth.

You Heard It Here
Kelsey Cline (On his last Big 12 Tournament) - "I haven't played quite as well as I would have liked to this season, but hopefully I'm saving my best golf for last. I'm just looking to play the best I can and hopefully I can go out on a good note."

Martin Flores (On his first Big 12 Tournament) - "I'm approaching this tournament like any other I prepare for and I expect myself to go out there and perform to the best of my abilities."

Matt Cohn (On his play in Arizona) - "I could tell that something wasn't quite right with my game. Although I shot a 70 in the first round, I only hit six out of 14 fairways. But my putting was really good so that saved me. In the second round, neither my long game nor my short game were working for me which didn't give me anything to fall back on. "



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