NORMAN, Okla. -- Looking for its first conference title since 2006, the 15th-ranked University of Oklahoma men’s golf team travels to Trinity, Texas, to participate in the three-day, 72-hole Big 12 Championship. The tournament will be played April 25-27 (Friday-Sunday) at the par-72, 7,743-yard Whispering Pines Golf Club.
Six of the conference’s nine teams are ranked within the top 50 of the latest Golfweek/Sagarin poll, including the Sooners. Other ranked squads are No. 4 Oklahoma State, No. 18 Texas, No. 26 Baylor, No. 39 Texas Tech and No. 47 Iowa State. TCU sits just outside the top 50 at No. 52.
“It’s championship time, and all the work we have done this entire year is a buildup for Big 12s,” OU head coach Ryan Hybl said. “The guys have put in the effort, and now it is time to go play and execute great golf. The golf course is fantastic, and we are excited to get down there.”
The Sooners are coming of their third win of the season after claiming the Wyoming Cowboy Classic title in Scottsdale, Ariz., with a 9-under 831. The win was the seventh for OU under Hybl and the third this season, matching a program best established in the 1999-2000 campaign. Additionally, Michael Gellerman grabbed his first career individual title with a 204 (-6).
OU’s lineup will include senior Michael Schoolcraft, juniors Gellerman and Charlie Saxon, sophomore Beau Titsworth and freshman Max McGreevy.
THE FIELD (GOLFWEEK RANKINGS IN PARENTESES)
Oklahoma State (4)
Texas Tech (39)
Iowa State (47)
Kansas State (120)
FIRST ROUND PARINGS (TOURNAMENT SEED IN PARENTHESES)
8 a.m. CT No. 1 Oklahoma State, No. 2 Oklahoma, No. 3 Texas
8:50 a.m. CT No. 7 TCU, No. 8 Kansas, No. 9 Kansas State
8 a.m. CT No. 4 Baylor, No. 5 Texas Tech, No. 6 Iowa State
1. Michael Gellerman, Junior: Won individual title at Wyoming Cowboy Classic with a three-round 204 (-6), his first career victory … Finished in third place at Border Olympics with a three-round 212 (-4) … Took a share of fifth place with a 4-over 217 at UTSA/Oak Hills Invitational ... Has recorded four career top-5 finishes, eight top-10 finishes and 17 top-20 finishes.
2. Michael Schoolcraft, Senior: Recorded career-best finish when he tied for second place at the prestigious Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters with a three-over 219 … Posted a third-place showing at UTSA/Oak Hills Invitational with a 2-over 215 … Finished fifth at Border Olympics with a 215 (-1) … Finished last season with a 72.84 (+1.39) scoring average, second best on team.
3. Charlie Saxon, Junior: Tied for fourth place, his best in a team event, with a 206 (-4) at Wyoming Cowboy Classic … Took a share of sixth place at Border Olympics with an even-par 216 … Claimed a share of seventh place at Golfweek Conference Challenge after shooting a 214 (-2) … Participated in 2013 Lions Classic, which he won with a two-round 141 (+1).
4. Max McGreevy, Freshman: Earned Big 12 Men’s Golfer of the Month honors for September after being highest finisher for Sooners in first two tournaments … Led the Sooners at the Golfweek Conference Challenge with a three-round 213 (-3) and fifth-place finish in his first collegiate tournament … Won Oklahoma 6A Championship in 2012 and 2013.
5. Beau Titsworth, Sophomore: Finished in a career-best tie for fifth place with a 217 (+4) competing as an individual at UTSA/Oak Hills Invitational … Placed 10th at Golfweek Conference Challenge with a 1-under 215 … Tied for 11th place at Jack Nicklaus Invitational after shooting a 218 (+5) … Has recorded 10 career top-20 finishes.
The par-72, 7,743-yard Whispering Pines Golf Club in Trinity, Texas, serves as the track for the 2014 Big 12 Championship.
Seventy-two holes will be played over three days, with 36 holes slated for Friday. The third and fourth rounds are slated for Saturday and Sunday. OU will be paired with Oklahoma State and Texas for Friday’s first round and will tee off at 8 a.m. CT on hole No. 1.
Friday: Partly cloudy with a high of 89 degrees and winds from the south at 5-10 mph. Twenty percent chance of rain.
Saturday: High of 88 degrees with a.m. clouds/p.m. sun and winds from the south at 10-15 mph. Ten percent chance of rain.
Sunday: High of 85 degrees with winds from the south at 15-20 mph. Thirty percent chance of isolated thunderstorms.
OU’S BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY
Last season, the Sooners finished third at the weather-shortened Big 12 Championship at Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson, Kan., with a three-round 869 (+29), 10 strokes behind league champion Texas. Overall, OU has 16 conference titles, with the last coming in 2006.
Live stats (updated every three holes) will be available at www.golfstatresults.com. Click here for the direct link.