VIDEO: A Sooner sweep at Southern Highlands Collegiate
Oklahoma secured their third consecutive win. (Conner Penfold photo)
Oklahoma secured their third consecutive win. (Conner Penfold photo)

Oklahoma fended off late charges from Pepperdine and Texas to win the Southern Highlands Collegiate on Tuesday in Las Vegas.

The second-ranked Sooners entered Tuesday's final round with a seven-shot lead on the field, but the defending NCAA Champion Waves made things interesting by carding a 15-under 273 in their final round, but ultimately fell seven strokes shy, despite gaining a share of the lead during the final round.

Texas finished nine strokes back at 29-under 835 following a final round 10-under 278.

"Amazing day. Really amazing week for our guys," Oklahoma head coach Ryan Hybl said after the 33rd win of his coaching career. "Our guys just kept doing their job for the whole round and that's what you have to do. You have to be super disciplined around this golf course. Southern Highlands popped its head through the last day and a half - it got firmer and faster. I'm just really proud of how we pulled off some shots and made putts when we had to."

Medalist Patrick Welch of OU
Oklahoma senior Patrick Welch earned medalist honors at 14-under 202, matching his career-low score which he set two weeks ago at the Puerto Rico Classic. With the win, Welch earns an exemption into the Shriners Children's Open, which will take place Oct. 6-9, 2022, at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas.

“I don’t think I’ve ever had this feeling,” said Welch. “Ever since I started golfing, I’ve always wanted to make it to the PGA TOUR. To have this opportunity means the world.”

After tapping in at the par-5 18th to post 67, putting him three clear of a five-way tie for second place, his teammates rushed onto the green to douse him with bottled waters.

“As soon as I finished out and they surprised me with the water, I’ve never had that experience before,” Welch said. “I’m at a loss for words. It was a really good feeling.”

Drew Goodman (t-2nd; -11) and Logan McAllister (t-7th) each collected top-10 finishes for the Sooners, while Ben Lorenz (t-26; -3) carded a 2-under final round of 70. It was Goodman's best finish of his young career.

Oklahoma’s lead waxed and waned throughout the day. Pepperdine, whose deficit was nine on the first tee, made a huge move with a blistering 14-under par front nine. Senior Derek Hitchner’s 30 featured six birdies in his first seven holes before he went on to card 67. Fellow senior Joe Highsmith’s 65 paced the Waves, who had an outside chance of catching the Sooners but combined to go three over from 16 into the clubhouse.

2022 Southern Highlands Collegiate

As for the rivalry with Texas? For Welch and Hybl, it was business as usual.

“I think every win feels the same,” Welch said. “Ever since last year we’ve been neck-and-neck. They’re a really good team and I know they aren’t 100% healthy, but this week they competed hard."

“To win over them, it’s nice. But it’s just another win.”

Oklahoma is a combined 97-under over its last six rounds of play and has posted four of the school's 10 lowest rounds in program history during that stretch. The 97-under mark over two tournaments marks the lowest combined scores vs. par in back-to-back events in NCAA history.

"It's been a great start to our spring season," Hybl added. "We came out hot in Puerto Rico to beat a really good field. It's just been an amazing job from all of our guys so far. Chris obviously went down to Puerto Rico and won and then for Patrick Welch to come out here and win is just phenomenal. Really proud of how he handled everything coming down the stretch today."

Texas' third-place finish was fueled by top-10 performances from juniors Mason Nome and Travis Vick, along with senior Cole Hammer. Hammer birdied four of his last six to jump into a tie for second place individually with Highsmith, Goodman, Georgia Tech sophomore Christo Lamprecht and Florida junior Fred Biondi.

Texas senior Parker Coody
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.”

Related: Full interview with Texas senior Parker Coody

Parker’s identical twin Pierceson, the 10th-ranked amateur in the Golfweek/AmateurGolf.com 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.”

Coody would go on to sign for 1-under par 215, two years after claiming individual honors at Southern Highlands and earning the tournament’s inaugural PGA TOUR exemption.

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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