Courtesy of Oklahoma Athletics
With four of the top-10 teams in the nation going head-to-head, the Big 12 Championships had all of the makings of a heavyweight title fight at Whispering Pines Golf Club in Trinity, Texas.
After three days of throwing haymakers back and forth mixed in with some counter punches, the 10-team affair certainly lived up to expectations as the most anticipated conference championships of the postseason.
Top-ranked (Golfweek/Sagarin) Oklahoma found itself on the ropes late in the final round, but erased a four-shot deficit over the last four holes to deliver a knockout blow to No. 4 Oklahoma State, No. 7 Texas and No. 9 Texas Tech to win its 18th overall conference championship.
Late birdies by Logan McAllister
and freshman Drew Goodman
helped the Sooners play the final four holes 3-over par, while the Longhorns played the same stretch of holes at 8-over to slip to third place. A 6-under final round by Oklahoma State jumped the Cowboys into second place at 12-under par, just two shots behind the Sooner's winning total of 14-under.
Oklahoma entered the final round one shot behind Texas but tallied six birdies on its first three holes to close the gap. After making the turn at 9-under, the Sooners had opened a seven-shot lead over Texas. But just when Oklahoma seemed poised to deliver a knockout blow, Texas fought back with nine birdies on holes 10-14 to take a four-stroke advantage.
But the Longhorns stumbled down the stretch, playing the final four holes at 8-over to fall into third place behind the Sooners and a surging Oklahoma State team.
"Today was absolutely an emotional roller coaster," said Oklahoma head coach Ryan Hybl. "We had the best start we could ever ask for which allowed us to get out in front. All of our guys did an amazing job this week and gave us a chance today and we seized the moment. We talked last night about how we had earned each other's trust throughout the year, so there was nothing to worry about since we knew each of us trusted and believed in each other. Today, we did that and more."
The win marks the Sooner's sixth victory of the season marks and their first conference championship since 2018.
Texas Tech's Ludvig Aberg
, AmateurGolf.com's 2021 Male Player of the Year, won the individual title at 8-under-par after carding a bogey-free 69 in the final round. The junior from Sweden played bogey-free golf over the last 29 holes to hold off Oklahoma's Chris Gotterup
, Texas' Cole Hammer
and Oklahoma State's Bo Jin
, who all finished three back at 5-under par.
"I felt great throughout the day and hit the ball well to give myself stress-free opportunities," Aberg said. "It's a really tough course but I was really comfortable out there. The Big 12 is the best in the nation and to win it is really cool and a nice accomplishment."
Aberg became the second Red Raider to ever win the Big 12 Championship and the first since Chris Ward in 2010.
Oklahoma and Oklahoma State Athletic Communications contributed to this report.
ABOUT THE Big 12 Championship
72 hole men's collegiate championship of the Big
12 Conference. Team (best four scores out of five
players each round) and individual competitions.
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