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Oklahoma State wins Big 12

by TODD HVEEM, courtesy Houston Chronicle

TRINITY, TX (April 25, 2010) — The Oklahoma State Cowboys showed exactly why they had won three straight conference titles during Sunday’s final round of the Big 12 Men’s Golf tournament at Whispering Pines Golf Club.

The Cowboys, who carried a two-shot lead over Texas heading into the final 18 holes, carded a 6-under-par 282 on Sunday to earn 13-shot victory runner-up Texas A&M.

Oklahoma State, which has won four straight Big 12 titles and eight overall, shot 19-under 1,133 to set a Big 12 record for the lowest 72-hole team score.

The 13-shot victory also was the third-highest in Big 12 history.

“This never gets old,’’ said Oklahoma State head coach Mike McGraw. “We approached the final round the same way we had the first three rounds. We just wanted to come out and play as well as we could.’’

Texas A&M, which shot 1-over 289 on the final day, wound up second at 6-under 1,146, while Texas, which slumped to a 295 on Sunday, finished third at 4-under 1,148.

“Unlike any of the other conference tournaments, this year, there were four teams who could win the conference title,’’ McGraw said. “We knew it would be a dogfight from the beginning. We just had to keep fighting until we finished all 72 holes.’’

Texas Tech senior Chris Ward won medalist honors after shooting 9-under 279.

Ward, who became the first Red Raider to win medalist honors at the Big 12 tournament, carried a two-shot lead into the final 18 holes and never faltered.

“This was quite a thrill,’’ Ward said. “My biggest win before this was the 2004 Junior Orange Bowl, a big international 
tournament in Miami. But I don’t think that one compares to this.’’

Ward’s eligibility is up in June, but he doesn’t plan to attend PGA qualifying school until the fall of 2011.

“I won’t graduate (from college) until May of 2011,’’ he said. “I will turn pro this June, but I won’t go to Q-school until the fall of 2011. I want to graduate first.’’

In other tournaments

Texas A&M women claim Big 12 title — The Texas A&M Aggies overcame a 12-shot deficit in the final 18 holes to win the Big 12 Women’s Golf Championship at Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club in Norman, Okla.

Texas A&M trailed Oklahoma State by a dozen shots entering the final round before carding a 296 to escape with its fourth Big 12 championship.

The Aggies also won conference championships in 1998, 2006 and 2007.

Oklahoma State sophomore Caroline Hedwall won medalist honors after shooting a Big 12-record 6-under 210.

Junior Sarah Zwartynski led Texas A&M by finishing tied for fifth at 222, one shot ahead of teammate Sarah Beth Davis (223).

The Texas women’s golf team captured third place at the Big 12 Championship with a 41-over-par 905 for the tournament. Senior Shannon Fish (75-72-78) recorded the Longhorns’ top finish with a 9-over 225 to tie for 11th place.

Rice in second at C-USA Championships — Rice senior Christopher Brown came back from bogeys on No. 15 and No. 16 to birdie the 17th hole en route to a 2-under 70 during Sunday’s opening round of the Conference USA Men’s Golf Championship at RedTail Golf Club in Orlando, Fla.

As a team, Rice shot a 7-over 295 and is currently in second place, three strokes back of tournament host and defending champion Central Florida.

The Houston men’s golf team ended the opening day in a tie with SMU for sixth place after posting a 15-over 303 in a round that saw its lineup sink a combined 13 birdies.

Junior Matt Eschenburg led the Cougars with a 2-over 74 on Sunday to stand in a tie for 10th place.

Chronicle news services contributed to this report.

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54 hole men's collegiate championship of the Big 12 Conference.

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