TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — After 18 holes at the Tallahassee Regional, being played on the 6,965-yard, par 72 Golden Eagle Golf and Country Club, the Oklahoma men have two days and 36 holes remaining to make up two spots and earn their way back to the NCAA national tournament, which begins May 28 at the Capital City Club in Atlanta.
Sooner coach Ryan Hybl was pretty straightforward as he summarized the first day of NCAA competition.
“We didn’t kill ourselves today, but we sure made it tougher for us to move on,” he said. “Luckily, we have two more days to fight back and to prove our worthiness for a spot.”
The top five teams will make their way to Atlanta and OU is in seventh position in the 13-team field heading into today’s second round. Also, Hybl’s thought aside, the Sooners aren’t too far back.
North Florida leads after an amazing opening round of 16-under par 272, four strokes in front of Washington, at 276, and five in front of host Florida State, at 277. Next, in a three-way tie for fourth place is Oregon, Georgia Tech and South Florida, all at 280. The Sooners are four strokes back of that group at 284.
A possible cause for concern for Hybl may be the fact that his team remains out of the top five even after stellar days from No. 1 man Abraham Ancer and No. 2 man Michael Schoolcraft, who finished with rounds of 67 and 68.
OU also counted a 74 from Beau Titsworth and a 75 from Charlie Saxon. Will Kropp’s 78 was discarded.
“Mike and Abe played great today and really pulled us through,” Hybl said, “because the back of the lineup was poor.”
In the medalist chase, North Florida’s MJ Maguire leads after an opening 65. He’s one stroke in front of both Georgia Tech’s Anders Albertson and Florida State’s Chase Seiffert. Ancer and Washington’s Cheng-Tsung Pan are both tied for fourth place at 67. Schoolcraft is one of eight golfers tied in sixth position at 68.
The Sooners, who are the No. 5 seed at the regional, begin their second round at 7 this morning on the 10th tee.