LAS VEGAS (AP) — With Red River foe Texas seven strokes down, the University of Oklahoma men’s golf team held off the Longhorns as well as a late assault by Pepperdine to win for the third time in a row.
In addition, senior Patrick Welch will return to Las Vegas in October to make his PGA Tour debut.
“I don’t think I’ve ever felt like this,” said Welch, who earned a special exemption with his individual victory Tuesday and will compete in the Shriners Children’s Open. “I’ve always wanted to play on the PGA Tour since I first started golfing.” This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
His colleagues ran onto the green to douse him with bottled water when he tapped in at the par-5 18th for a 67, putting him three shots clear of a five-way tie for second place.
“I’ve never had that experience before,” Welch recalled, “as soon as I finished out and they surprised me with the water.” “I don’t know what to say. It was a fantastic feeling.”
Throughout the day, Oklahoma’s lead fluctuated. Pepperdine, which had a 9-shot disadvantage on the first tee, staged a dramatic comeback with a scorching 14-under front nine. Derek Hitchner, a senior, shot 30 and had six birdies in his opening seven holes before finishing with a 67. The Waves, who had a chance to catch the Sooners but combined to go three over from 16 into the clubhouse, were led by fellow senior Joe Highsmith’s 65. They came in seventh place, seven points behind the victors.
What about the rivalry? It was business as usual for Welch and coach Ryan Hybl.
Welch added, “I suppose every win feels the same.” “We’ve been neck-and-neck since last year.” They’re a great squad, and I know they’re not 100 percent healthy, but they competed well this week.
“It’s wonderful to win them over.” However, it’s simply another victory.”
Juniors Mason Nome and Travis Vick, as well as senior Cole Hammer, would lead Texas to a third-place finish. Hammer birdied four of his final six holes to tie Highsmith, Sooner freshman Drew Goodman, Georgia Tech sophomore Christo Lamprecht, and Florida junior Fred Biondi for second place individually.
Texas senior Parker Coody was back in competitive play for the first time since fracturing his right arm, and while he was disappointed with his opening-round 73, he was glad to be back representing the Longhorns.
Coody stated after finishing a post-round driving range session, “Mentally, I was really excited to get going.” “However, I’m quite frustrated afterwards.” I just made a few mistakes that I don’t typically make, and it all added up to a poor score on a fantastic day.”
Pierceson, Parker’s twin and the 10th-ranked amateur in the Golfweek/AmateurGolf.com World Rankings, injured his arm in the same event in early December and did not accompany the team to Las Vegas.
Coody explained, “The doctor says he’s a couple of weeks behind me.” “His fracture was a tad more severe than mine.” In a couple of weeks, he might be in Tucson [Arizona].”
Coody would go on to sign for a 1-under 215 two years after winning individual honors and earning the tournament’s first PGA Tour exemption at Southern Highlands.