NORMAN – The No. 3 Oklahoma men’s golf returns to action this weekend as it heads to Independence, Minn., for the Gopher Invitational. The two-day, 54-hole tournament will be played Sunday-Monday (Sept. 10-11) at the par 71, 7,368-yard Windsong Farm Golf Club.
The Sooners look to defend their back-to-back titles after winning the event in 2015 and 2016. OU has also taken home individual medalists honors each of the last two years, with Grant Hirschman taking first in 2016, followed by Max McGreevy in 2015.
Last weekend, the Sooners started the season with a third-place finish at the Carmel Cup. Garett Reband was OU’s best finisher, taking third place with a 203 (-13).
OU’s lineup for the Gopher Invitational will include senior Grant Hirschman, juniors Brad Dalke and Blaine Hale along with sophomores Riley Casey and Quade Cummins.
Freshman Lane Wallace will be compete in the separate Gopher Individual tournament, played at the par-72, 6,953-yard Pioneer Creek Golf Course in Maple Plain, Minn.
(BUSHNELL GOLFWEEK COACHES POLL RANKINGS IN PARENTHESES)
Arizona State (21)
Kent State (T-23)
San Diego State
St. John’s (Minn.)
- Brad Dalke, Junior: Carded two rounds in the 60s at the Carmel Cup, tying for 11th at 208 (-8) … Named a 2017 Division I PING All-America honorable mention selection ... Competed in 13 team events last season … Helped the Sooners secure the 2017 NCAA Championship by going 2-1 in NCAA Championships match play, including the title-clinching putt in the final match against Oregon … Earned his first career win at the NCAA Stanford Regional to lead his team to its seventh straight championships berth.
- Blaine Hale, Junior: Named a 2017 Division I PING All-America honorable mention selection ... Competed in 13 team events last season … Helped the Sooners secure the 2017 national championship by going 2-1 in NCAA Championships match play, earning wins in the semifinal and final matches ... Tied for 11th at the NCAA Championships to mark the Sooners’ best individual finish at the national tournament since 2012.
- Grant Hirschman, Senior: Took eighth in the opening event of the year, shooting 206 (-10) at the Carmel Cup … Named a 2017 Division I PING All-America honorable mention selection ... Competed in all 14 team events, serving as a team captain … Helped the Sooners secure the 2017 national championship by going 1-0-2 in NCAA Championships match play, winning in the quarterfinals to aid an OU comeback over Baylor … Earned his first career tournament win at the Gopher Invitational, firing a birdie on the final hole to earn the title outright ... Overall, earned eight top-20, four top-10 and three top-five finishes last season.
- Riley Casey, Sophomore: Shot 213 (-3) at the Carmel Cup, tying for 23rd … Competed in seven events as a freshman … Posted season-low round (68) at the Prestige at PGA West … Earned first career Top-10 finish with a 10th-place showing at the Gopher Individual.
- Quade Cummins, Redshirt Sophomore: Competed in seven events, five times in the team lineup last season … Fire a career-low 54-hole 209 (-4) at The Prestige, tying for third … Recorded four rounds in the 60s, including a career-low 68 at Ka’anapali Collegiate Classic.
Individual: Lane Wallace, Freshman: Will play his first collegiate tournament this weekend … A native of Yukon, Okla., Wallace competed in the 2015 and 2016 U.S. Junior Amateur and the 2016 Junior PGA Championship.
The 7,368-yard, par-71 Windsong Golf Club will serve as the course for the Gopher Invitational.
Fifty-four holes will be played over two days. The first round is slated to begin Sunday at 7:20 a.m. CT. The second round will follow that afternoon. Monday’s final round will begin at 7:20 a.m. CT.
Sunday: Partly sunny with a high of 81 degrees and wind out of the south, southeast at 10-15 mph. Ten percent chance of rain.
Monday: Partly cloudy with a high of 82 degrees and wind out of the southwest at 5-10 mph. Ten percent chance of rain.
OU’S GOPHER INVITATIONAL HISTORY
The Sooners have won the team title in both appearances at the Gopher Invitational. Last year, OU’s team total of 860 (+8) won the event as Hirschman claimed the individual medalist title with a three-round score of 210 (-3). In 2015, the Sooners shot 854 (+2), 21 strokes ahead of runner-up California to win the event in their first appearance.
Live scoring will be available on GolfStat.com.