Red-hot Oklahoma jumps out to day one lead at Southern Highlands
OU senior Logan McAllister (Conner Penfold photo)
OU senior Logan McAllister (Conner Penfold photo)

On the heels of a record-breaking 59-under par performance at the Puerto Rico Classic – their third win of the season – Oklahoma didn’t miss a beat in continuing their strong play at the first round of the Southern Highlands Collegiate.

Ahead of the pack by five are the Sooners, whose entire squad broke 70 on Sunday as they dropped senior Logan McAllister’s 3-under 69 to post 20-under 268.

Sooner senior Patrick Welch’s outward nine featured five different score types, including just two pars. His eagle on the par-5 third was canceled out by a surprising double-bogey at the generally accessible par-4 fifth. But the Aliso Viejo, Calif. native rattled off five birdies on the backside to card 66 and pace Oklahoma to an early lead.

"It's so much fun to see him back in the lineup," Oklahoma head coach Ryan Hybl said of Welch. "He's hitting the ball so great and he's just making putts. On this last hole, he's got a five-footer for birdie, right down the hill and he just buried it. Deep down in my heart and my soul it just feels really good and I know that he feels phenomenal about where he's at with his game right now."

With its 20-under performance, Oklahoma is now a combined 79-under across four rounds of play this spring. The 20-under opening-round score is the team's third 20-under or better round of the spring.

Thanks to a 45-minute frost delay, second-place Pepperdine closed out their 15-under collection near dusk. Florida, led by the dynamic duo of Fred Biondi and Ricky Castillo, sits in third place at 13-under.

2022 Southern Highlands Collegiate

Only a stroke behind in fourth is Georgia Tech, piloted by individual leader Christo Lamprecht, who shot a bogey-free round 65 on Sunday.

Lamprecht, a sophomore from George, South Africa, ran off four birdies in succession on holes 5, 6, 7, and 8. He then added three more birdies on the inward nine and signed for his 65, one stroke clear of Welch and Biondi.

“The scoring clubs were really good,” Lamprecht said. “With this golf course, if you set yourself up with good angles into the greens, you can really make it easier than it is. All around it was solid. I enjoyed it today.”

Lamprecht and his Yellow Jacket teammates are poised following a five-shot victory at the Watersound Invitational last weekend.

“The win helped us get motivation. It gave us the confidence to know that we can do what we want to do,” Lamprecht said.

Parker Coody returns to Longhorns lineup

Returning to competitive play for the first time since breaking his right arm was Texas senior Parker Coody, who was disappointed in his opening-round 73 but was certainly happy to be back representing the Longhorns.

“Mentally, I was pretty eager to get going,” Coody said after wrapping up a post-round driving range session. “Afterwards though I’m pretty frustrated. I just made mistakes that I usually don’t make and little things that add up to not a great score on a perfect day.”

Parker’s identical twin Pierceson, the 10th-ranked amateur in the Golfweek/ World Rankings, broke his arm in the same incident back in early December and didn’t travel with the team to Las Vegas.

“The doctor said he’s a couple of weeks behind me,” Coody said. “His fracture was a little bit worse than mine. Maybe he’ll be in Tucson in a couple of weeks.”

Oklahoma Athletic Communications contributed to this report.

Results: Southern Highlands Collegiate
1CAPatrick WelchAliso Viejo, CA80066-69-67=202
T2WAJoe HighsmithLakewood, WA50068-72-65=205
T2TXCole HammerHouston, TX50071-67-67=205
T2OKDrew GoodmanNorman, OK50067-70-68=205
T2South AfricaChristo LamprechtSouth Africa50065-71-69=205

View full results for Southern Highlands Collegiate

ABOUT THE Southern Highlands Collegiate

54 hole men's college tournament hosted by UNLV. Team (best four scores of five players each day) and individual competitions.

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