By Clay Horning
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — The renaissance that is Oklahoma golf continued Monday, with the Sooner men finishing second behind fifth-ranked California at the Jack Nicklaus Invitational.
Played at The Ohio State Univeristy’s Scarlet Course in Columbus, Ohio, the Sooners were a distant second with a three-round total of 9-over par 861 on the mammothly long 7,455-yard layout, 19 strokes behind the Golden Bears (842), but also two strokes in front of third-place and sixth-ranked Oklahoma State.
The Sooner men are No. 10 in the latest Golf World/Nike Coaches Poll, and have now, two tournaments into their fall schedule, picked up one victory and one runner-up finish.
The other half of the Sooner golf story won’t begin play in its second tournament of the fall until Saturday, when the OU women play host to The Schooner Classic, a 54-hole event that will continue Sunday and conclude Monday at Belmar Golf Club.
The Sooner women, who corralled a second-place finish at the Dale McNamara NCAA Fall Preview three weeks ago in Tulsa, an event that drew 11 of the top 12 teams in the preseason GolfWeek rankings, are No. 4 in the Golf World coaches poll.
They finished second in Tulsa despite failing to place a top-10 individual. 2012 NCAA individual champion Chirapat Jao-Javenil led the Sooners with a 12th-place finish after rounds of 69-73-70.
The best player among the Sooner men to date has been true freshman Max McGreevy, who posted a fifth-place individual finish at the Golfweek Conference Challenge, an event the Sooners won two weeks ago at Spirit Hollow Golf Course in Burlington, Iowa.
McGreevey, a two-time individual Class 6A state champion at Edmond Santa Fe, shot 73-69-71 at Burlington and, on Monday, made it a 72-68-74 finish at the Scarlet Course to finish eighth.
In both tourneys, McGreevy was the top finishing Sooner.
Also, in both tournaments, no Sooner finished any worse than 24th individually. In Columbus Monday, Michael Gellerman was the last-finishing Sooner with scores of 76-72-72 that were still good enough for a 19th-place finish.
“For the week, we did very well,” OU coach Ryan Hybl said. “This is a touch course and Cal just made it look easy. We have a lot to take away from this … We had all five guys finish in the top 20 and that’s something great.”
While the Sooner women will be back on the course Saturday at Belmar, the men begin the 54-hole Erin Hills Intercollegiate Sunday morning in Hartford, Wis.
Follow me @clayhorning