For the second year in a row Oklahoma has been eliminated in the first round of match play in the NCAA Championships, falling to Texas on Tuesday by a score of 3-2.
The Sooners entered the tournament with experience on their side with seniors Brad Dalke and Blaine Hale being the first golfers to advance to match play at the NCAA Championships in four consecutive seasons. But the Longhorns were able to make a statement after several impressive wins to close out the round.
With three groupings in the clubhouse, Oklahoma led Texas 2-1 and needed to win just one of the final two groupings to advance to the semifinals against Oklahoma State.
Down three holes at that time, Hale eventually fell on the 15th hole to senior Steven Chervony but junior Garrett Reband held a one stroke lead over Texas freshman Parker Coody.
After a bogey on hole No. 6, the two were tied with just two holes to play. The junior dropped another hole on No. 8 after a birdie by Coody and needed to win the last hole to extend the match. Reband’s second shot came up short of the green and Coody was able to take the match and advance the Longhorns to the semifinals.
Oklahoma freshman Patrick Welch had an impressive showing in his first appearance at the NCAA Championships, earning All-America honors, but finally showed signs of youth during the match play. Texas freshman Cole Hammer put Welch away on the 13th hole with an eight hole lead.
After winning the national championship just two seasons ago, the Sooners have struggled to get out of the first round of match play since. Tuesday's match was the final showing for seniors Brad Dalke and Blaine Hale.