Patrick Welch (OU Athletics photo)
After three rounds of stroke play at the NCAA Division I Men's Golf Championships, five of the six regional winners are comfortably inside the top eight on the leaderboard while eight players are within four strokes of each other in the race for the individual title.
For the second consecutive day, top-ranked Oklahoma holds down the top seed after a 3-under 277 left the Sooners at 1-under for 54 holes, four strokes clear of Oklahoma State (+3).
Vanderbilt (+5), North Carolina (+9), 5. Pepperdine (+13), Arizona State (+19), Texas (+20) and Arkansas (+26) round out the top-eight.
Auburn (+29), Texas Tech (+29), Florida (+31), Georgia (+32), Oregon (+36), Ole Miss (+37) and Georgia Tech also survived the cut, but have some work to do on Monday to qualify for match play.
Kansas and Stanford, two teams that began the day inside the top-15, saw their seasons come to an end today after both schools shot 17-over.
A heavyweight battle is shaping up for the individual championship, with eight golfers are separated by just four strokes heading into Monday's final round.
Vanderbilt's Gordon Sargent
turned in his second consecutive round of 68 on Sunday to move into first place at 4-under par. He's followed by Chris Gotterup
of Oklahoma (-3), Eugenio Lopez-Chacarra
of Oklahoma State (-2) and OU's Patrick Welch
Welch shot a bogey-free, 7-under 63 on Sunday, which was just two shots off the course record of 61 at Grayhawk’s Raptor course, first set by Mark Hensby in 2007 and matched two years later by Troy Matteson.
The senior birdied two of his first four holes and then reeled off three straight birdies through holes 8-10 to move to 5-under through 10 holes. He added two more on Nos. 14 and 15 to move into fourth place at 1-under.
“I hit pretty much every green," Welch told Golfweek
. "I think I missed one by like two feet. I was giving myself so many chances all day, 20 feet, 10 feet, five feet, they were all realistic looks. I was putting it well today and I was fortunate enough for most of them to go in.”
Welch had a rough year in 2021 and wasn't in the lineup for much of Oklahoma’s NCAA Tournament run. He's been a fixture in the lineup this year and won the Southern Highlands Collegiate
The top eight teams after Monday's fourth round will qualify for match play, which gets underway on Tuesday.
GOLF Channel will have live fourth-round coverage from Grayhawk beginning at 2:00 p.m. on Monday.
• • • • •
At a Glance: Day Three at Grayhawk
Top eight teams as of today:
1. Oklahoma (-1); 2. Oklahoma State (+3); 3. Vanderbilt (+5); 4. North Carolina (+9); 5. Pepperdine (+13); 6. Arizona State (+19); 7. Texas (+20); 8. Arkansas (+26).
They made the cut:
t-9. Auburn (+29); Texas Tech; 11. Florida (+31); 12. Georgia (+32); 13. Oregon (+36); t-14. Ole Miss (+37); Georgia Tech.
Top five individuals:
1. Gordon Sargent, Vanderbilt (-4); 2. Chris Gotterup, Oklahoma (-3); 3. Eugenio Lopez-Chacarra, Oklahoma State (-2); 4. Patrick Welch, Oklahoma (-1); 5. Four tied (E).
ABOUT THE NCAA Division I Championship
30 teams and 6 individuals not on a qualifying
team make up the field for the championship of
Division I women's golf.
After 72 holes of stroke play, the individual
champion is crowned, and the low 8 teams advance
match play to determine the team champion.
View Complete Tournament Information