Sooners Move Up the Leaderboard at NCAAs
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The No. 6 Oklahoma men’s golf team moved up the leaderboard on Saturday and is in sixth place through 36 holes at the NCAA Championships with a two-day total of 592 (+16). The national tournament is being held at the par-72, 7,550-yard Blessings Golf Club.
Entering the day tied for 14th, the Sooners were one of three teams, along with Oklahoma State and Stanford, to finish under par during the morning wave. OU finished with a 287 (-1) during Saturday’s action and the Sooners’ second-round total is tied for the second-lowest round so far at the NCAA Championship.
“I was really proud of how our guys played today,” OU head coach Ryan Hybl said. “We need another good day tomorrow like we had today. That’s what we talked about last night. We were only one even-par round away from being in a much better spot and that’s what happened today.”
The top 15 teams and top nine individuals not on those teams after 54 holes of stroke play will move on to compete in one final round of stroke play Monday. Following Monday’s round, the top eight squads will advance to match play competition.
No. 1 Oklahoma State leads the 30-team field through 36 holes with a two-round 566 (-10). No. 10 Stanford holds sole possession of second place at 578 (+2), while No. 17 Texas A&M is in third with a two-round 583 (+7). No. 11 Auburn is in fourth at 586 (+10), followed by No. 5 Texas two shots back at 588 (+12).
The Sooners are making their ninth consecutive appearance in the tournament and join Illinois and Texas as the only programs to reach the national tournament for nine straight years.
For the second straight day, freshman Patrick Welch shined for the Sooners. The freshman logged OU’s best round of the day by firing a 69 (-3). Welch picked up five birdies and closed the day by playing the final nine holes a 2-under. The Providence, R.I., native is tied for ninth place through 36 holes at even-par 144.
“Patrick’s one of our best ball strikers and it was fun to see him take advantage of the round today and post a really good number,” Hybl said.
Senior Blaine Hale holds a share of 23rd place at 146 (+2) through 36 holes, after posting a 70 (-2) during Saturday’s action. Hale claimed OU’s first eagle at the NCAA Championships on hole No. 5 and carded three birdies.
Senior Brad Dalke is tied for 59th place with a two-round 150 (+6). Dalke carded a 74 (+2) in the second round and took advantage of the course’s four par-3’s by making birdies on all four holes.
Redshirt junior Quade Cummins holds a share of 86th place at 153 (+9). The Weatherford, Okla., native posted a 74 (+2) on Saturday and logged four birdies.
Junior Garett Reband recorded a 75 (+3) and is tied for 93rd place with a two-round 154 (+10). Reband started the day strong by picking up three birdies through the first eight holes, but three double bogeys late in the day slowed his momentum down the stretch.
OU will be paired with Auburn and Texas for Sunday’s third round. The teams will tee off at 7:12 a.m. from hole No. 10. Live scoring is available on GolfStat.com.
Additionally, Cummins, Hale, Reband and Riley Casey were named to the GCAA Division I PING All-Region Team on Saturday. The Sooners were one of three teams to have four players selected to the Central All-Regional Team.