NORMAN – For the 12th consecutive season, the Oklahoma men’s golf team will play for a national championship. The streak is the nation’s second longest as the Sooners have punched their ticket out of every regional under head coach Ryan Hybl.
Oklahoma (2, -25) rattled off four birdies on the final hole at the NCAA Norman Regional to secure a runner-up finish and earn their spot at nationals. Sophomore Drew Goodman finished as the runner-up to Texas Tech’s Ludvig Aberg, the world’s No. 1 amateur, by a stroke.
“We got off the basically a perfect start,” Hybl said. “But then all of a sudden, we got around the turn and looked like we didn’t know what we were doing. I was watching it happen in front of me and I couldn’t believe we were just withering away in front of my eyes. I’m really thankful for the grittiness of our guys and their ability to just stick to it.”
NCAA Regionals serve as the preliminary event to the national championship, and the top five teams from six regionals advance to the title. The 2023 championship is slated for May 26-31 at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz.
The Sooners entered the final round of the 54-hole event at Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club two shots back of eventual regional champion Alabama. However, Oklahoma quickly erased the Tide’s lead, claiming the top spot midway through the front nine. As the Sooners approached the turn, they were 15 shots clear of the five-team cut and three strokes ahead of the field. But a 7-over-par stretch on Nos. 9-11 proved pivotal as the Crimson and Cream dropped into fourth place and just five strokes ahead of surging Duke. It was an eagle putt from Ben Lorenz on the 13th that shifted the momentum for the team as OU played its final six holes 9-under par to finish safely above the cut and advance to Grayhawk.
Goodman’s (2, -13) runner-up finish was the best of his season, as he led Aberg around the turn after a birdie on No. 10. The Norman product was nearly perfect on Wednesday, tallying six birdies and just one bogey. His birdie on the 18th put a bow on the Sooners’ clinching week.
“I thought I played well all week, but I really wanted that eagle chip to go in on 18 to win,” Goodman said. “But at the end of the day, all that matters is that we got through as a team. I know that we have it in us to compete for a national championship, so I’m excited to get out to Grayhawk and get started.”
Cowboys miss Nationals
LAS VEGAS—Oklahoma State University men saw their chances at a National title go down the drain in the Las Vegas Regional as they finished seventh, eight strokes behind the fifth-place qualifier Northwestern.
Arizona State shot an 805 total, minus-59 to win while Stanford was second at 807, minus-57.
Virginia (815), San Francisco (819) and Northwestern (821) advance. East Tennessee State lost out in a playoff for fifth.
It marked just the second time in 76 years that the Cowboys will not be at the National Tournament.