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February 20, 2013

Sooners take second in Puerto Rico

RIO GRANDE, P.R. —  In the end, the Oklahoma men’s golf team failed to garner ultimate success. Still, it was a very good three days for the Sooners, who entered the Puerto Rico Classic at Rio Mar Country Club No. 42 in the Golfweek/Sagarin top 50, but proved to be much better than that against a very good 15-team field.

Tied for first heading into Tuesday’s final round, OU settled for second place to Alabama after shooting a 7-under par 281 Tuesday. That gave the Sooners a 26-under par total of 838, seven strokes back of the Crimson Tide, which carded an amazing 14-under par final round of 274.

OU finished 10 strokes better than third-place SMU, 14 better than fourth-place Georgia and 20 better than fifth-place Georgia Tech.

The Sooners’ Eduardo Castiello, who began the day tied atop the medalist standings, closed in 72 to finish tied for fifth among individuals. However, a Sooner still very nearly won, as Will Kropp closed with a blistering 65 to shoot from ninth-place to second over the last 18 holes.

“It was awesome to watch Will Kropp play golf today,” OU coach Ryan Hybl said. “He probably putted better today than anyone I’ve had at Oklahoma. He played like an All-American today.”

North Carolina State’s Albin Choi came from off the pace to win the medalist’s honor, matching Kropp’s 65 to finish at 12-under par over 54 holes.

The Sooners also picked up a top-10 finish from Abraham Ancer, who posted rounds of 71-70-70 and finished tied for 10th.

All in all, there were no complaints.

“We shot 7-under par today, and Alabama shot 14-under, so on paper it looks like they beat us pretty good,” Hybl said. “But we were actually neck and neck with them most of the tournament. We competed with one of the best teams in golf, which is good for us.”

The Sooners get back on the tournament course March 8 at the SH Collegiate Masters in Las Vegas.

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