NORMAN — While the Oklahoma women continue to challenge for a national golf championship 125 miles to the northeast on a familiar golf course, today the Sooner men begin their challenge for one about 230 miles directly north, at very familiar Prairie Dunes Country Club.
Had OU gone directly to the NCAA championship from its first foray into the postseason, the Big 12 championship, it couldn’t possibly like its chances, having to build its own momentum coming off a seventh-place finish at Whispering Pines Golf Club.
That, however, was a long time ago.
Prairie Dunes, maybe Perry Maxwell’s finest design, located in Hutchinson, Kan., has played host to more Big 12 championships than have been played elsewhere, and prior to that was the longtime home of the Big Eight men’s tourn-ament.
The Sooners, who recently got in a few extra practice rounds at the course, were already very familiar.
“It’s always fun to go to the national championships, but when it’s this close, only three hours away …,” OU coach Ryan Hybl said. “And we’ve been up there, we’ve played Big 12 championships up there and we know the golf course.”
Even better, since flailing around at the conference tourney, the Sooners have, indeed, created their own momentum, placing third in the NCAA Eugene (Ore.) Regional, with Beau Titsworth, at 4-over-par 214, leading three Sooners who placed, individually, in the top 10.
“If we can just keep it going,” Titsworth said, “I think we’ll have a pretty good chance.”
OU’s top five will include senior Michael Schoolcraft, juniors Michael Gellerman and Charlie Saxon, Titsworth, a sophomore, and freshman Max McGreevy.
“I think we’re all prepared on how the course is going to be set up … We know that we have what it takes to get it done,” McGreevy said. “We just need to go out there and be confident and believe in ourselves.”