Sooners Win First Big 12 Crown

By Golf Channel NewsroomApril 25, 2006, 4:00 pm
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NCAANORMAN, Okla. ' The University of Oklahoma mens golf team saved its best performance of the season for its most important tournament thus far, capturing OUs first-ever Big 12 Conference title, and first team title since 2001, at famed Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa on Tuesday.

The Sooners, seeded sixth in the event, posted a tournament-best 284 (+4) team total in the final round to beat the University of Texas by four shots. OU had been conference runner-up in 2004 and 2005.

Im obviously very proud of this team, head coach Jim Ragan said. There are some very good teams in the Big 12 and for us to come out on top is a great accomplishment. Im really proud that it was such a team effort. We needed each and every person on the team and everyone really contributed. Thats what its all about.
The victory also marked Oklahomas first since winning three team titles in 2001, including a three-way tie at the NCAA Central Regional at Karsten Creek in Stillwater.

Oklahoma got career-best performances from three players, including seniors Brodie Flanders and Shawn LaFontaine who both posted top-10 finishes for the first time in their OU careers. All five Sooners finished in the top-15 individually.

Every guy on this team is talented and capable of playing really good golf, Ragan said. Eventually it was going to happen for each of them. Theyve all been close ' closer than people might think. Theyve played some great rounds in practice and they put it together this week in competition. It came at a good time.

Flanders, whose previous career-high finish was a tie for 13th at the 2006 Morris Williams Intercollegiate (April 3-4), was runner-up to Texas Matthew Rosenfeld. Flanders recorded rounds of 69, 72 and 71 to finish 2-over-par for the tournament.

This is my first team title and I'm a senior, so it's been awhile and it feels really good, Flanders said.

LaFontaine, who was tied for second place with Flanders after his own opening-round 69, carded a 75 in round three to earn his first top-10 finish as a Sooner, tying for ninth overall.

Sophomore Phillip Bryan was OUs most consistent player down the stretch, recording a pair of one-over 71s in the final two rounds. Bryan played the back nine in two-under fashion Tuesday afternoon, finishing in a tie for 11th, also a career best.

Senior Justin Fraley, who tied for fifth at last seasons Big 12 Championships, finished in a tie for 14th place at 219 (+9).

Reigning Big 12 Champion Anthony Kim, who admittedly struggled in the first two rounds while battling a sore ankle, recovered nicely on the final 18, getting his round to 3-under-par before a double bogey on the final hole left him with a one-under 69. Kim, who led the Sooners in four of seven tournaments this season, including victories at the Ashworth Invitational (Feb. 27-28) and the Hall of Fame Invitational (March 17-19), finished in 13th place overall.

It was a struggle for sure, Kim said. It was just one of those things where I was having some ankle problems and I couldnt swing. I just wasnt healthy. Our trainer, Alex Brown, did some work with me after the first four holes this morning and my ankle felt great and I obviously played a little better down the stretch.

Despite five career individual titles, Kim had yet to experience a team victory at OU.

To be honest it feels better to win as a team than if I had won by myself, Kim said. Everyone is obviously playing for themselves out there, but ultimately Im playing for the University of Oklahoma. This is a program that hasnt won a Big 12 title and we just played awesome this week.

Oklahoma has won 12 conference golf titles in its history, but Tuesdays victory marked the first since the inception of the Big 12 in 1996. OU also won a Big Eight championship in 1992.

Prior to this weeks event, the Sooners had collected top-10 team finishes in their last five outings, including top-fives at the Ashworth, Hall of Fame and Morris Williams.

Weve been working hard all spring and playing well, Ragan said. Weve been close at times and it hasnt quite gone our way. The guys have put in the effort and they were rewarded this week with a championship.

The Sooners will look to continue their winning ways at the 15th annual Perry Maxwell Intercollegiate Invitational at Dornick Hills in Ardmore, Okla., May 13-14. The Maxwell will be the teams final tune-up before NCAA Regionals, May 18-20.
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    Kelly beats Monty with two-shot swing on final hole

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 3:21 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Jerry Kelly made an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole, Colin Montgomerie missed a 6-footer for par and Kelly turned a one-shot deficit into a victory Saturday in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    After Kelly drove it well right into lava rocks on the par-4 16th, leading to bogey and giving Montgomerie the lead, Montgomerie made a mistake with his tee shot on the last, finding a fairway bunker. Montgomerie's approach went over the green and after Kelly converted his birdie, the 54-year-old Scot jammed his par putt well past the hole.

    Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship

    It was the third win on the over-50 tour for the 51-year-old Kelly, who finished tied for 14th last week at the PGA Tour's Sony Open in Honolulu. That gave him confidence as he hopped over to the Big Island for his tournament debut at Hualalai. The limited-field event includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Kelly closed with a 6-under 66 for a three-day total of 18-under 198. Montgomerie shot 69. David Toms shot 67 and finished two shots back, and Miguel Angel Jimenez was another stroke behind after a 66.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, closed with a 70 to finish at 10 under.

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    Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 1:21 am

    Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.

    Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.

    “I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.

    “The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”

    Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.

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    Cook leads by one entering final round at CareerBuilder

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:51 am

    LA QUINTA, Calif. – Austin Cook hit a hybrid into the fairway bunker on the par-4 18th on a breezy Saturday afternoon at La Quinta Country Club, then chunked a wedge and raced a chip 20 feet past the hole.

    Kip Henley, the longtime PGA Tour caddie who guided Cook to a breakthrough victory at Sea Island in November, stepped in to give the 26-year-old former Arkansas star a quick pep talk.

    ''Kip said, 'Let's finish this like we did on the first day at the Nicklaus Course.' We made a big par putt on 18 there and he said, 'Let's just do the same thing. Let's get this line right and if you get the line right it's going in.'''

    It did, giving Cook an 8-under 64 and a one-stroke lead in the CareerBuilder Challenge going into the final round on the Stadium Course at PGA West. Fellow former Razorback Andrew Landry and Martin Piller were tied for second, and Jon Rahm and Scott Piercy were a another stroke back after a tricky day in wind that didn't get close to the predicted gusts of 40 mph.

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    ''I know that I wouldn't have wanted to play the Stadium today,'' Cook said. ''I think we got a great draw with the courses that we got to play on the days that we got to play them.''

    Cook played the final six holes on the front nine in 6 under with an eagle and four birdies.

    ''Starting on my fourth hole, I was able to make a birdie and kind of get the ball rolling and it never really stopped rolling,'' Cook said. ''Kip and I were doing really good at seeing the line on the greens.''

    After a bogey on 10, he birdied 11, 12 and 15 and parred the final three to get to 19-under 197.

    ''I think that tonight the nerves, the butterflies, all that will kind of be a little less,'' Cook said. ''I've been in the situation before and I was able to finish the job on Sunday. I think it would be a little different if I didn't play like I did on Sunday at Sea Island.''

    He's making his first start in the event.

    ''I came in from Hawaii on Monday, so I only had two days to prepare for three courses,'' Cook said.

    Landry, the second-round leader, had a 70 at the Stadium. Piller, the husband of LPGA tour player Gerina Piller, shot a 67 at La Quinta. Winless on the PGA Tour, they will join Cook in the final threesome.

    ''Piller's a good guy and we have played a lot together and same with Cookie,'' said Landry, the only player without a bogey after 54 holes. ''Hope the Hogs are going to come out on top.''

    Rahm had a 70 at the Stadium to reach 17 under. The third-ranked Rahm beat up the par 5s again, but had four bogeys – three on par 3s. He has played the 12 par 5s in 13 under with an eagle and 11 birdies.

    ''A little bit of a survival day,'' Rahm said.

    The wind was more of a factor on the more exposed and tighter Stadium Course.

    ''The course is firming up,'' Rahm said. ''I know if we have similar wind to today, if we shoot something under par, you'll be way up there contesting it over the last few holes.''

    Piercy had a 66 at the Stadium.

    ''I controlled my ball really well today,'' he said.

    Adam Hadwin had a 67 at La Quinta a year after shooting a third-round 59 on the course. The Canadian was 16 under along with Grayson Murray and Brandon Harkins. Murray had a 67 on the Nicklaus Course, and Harkins shot 68 at the Stadium.

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his first tournament of the year for the second time in his career, shooting a 74 on the Stadium to finish at 4 under – four strokes from a Sunday tee time. The 47-year-old Hall of Famer was playing for the first time since late October. He also missed the cut in the Phoenix Open in his 2009 opener.

    Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on the first sponsor exemption the event has given to an amateur, also missed the cut. He had three early straight double bogeys in a 77 on the Stadium that left him 1 over.

    John Daly had an 80 at La Quinta. He opened with a triple bogey and had six bogeys – four in a row to start his second nine - and only one birdie. The 51-year-old Daly opened with a 69 on the Nicklaus layout and had a 71 on Friday at the Stadium.

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    Phil misses CareerBuilder cut for first time in 24 years

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 am

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge. It’s a rare occurrence in his Hall of Fame career.

    He has played the event 15 times, going back to when it was known as the Bob Hope Classic. He has won it twice.

    How rare is his missing the cut there?

    The last time he did so, there was no such thing as a DVD, Wi-Fi, iPods, Xbox, DVR capability or YouTube.

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    The PGA Tour’s Jon Rahm didn’t exist, either.

    The last time Mickelson missed a cut in this event was 1994, nine months before Rahm was born.

    Mickelson struggled to a 2-over-par 74 in the heavy winds Saturday on the PGA West Stadium Course, missing the 54-hole cut by four shots. He hit just four of 14 fairways, just nine of 18 greens. He took a double bogey at the 15th after requiring two shots to escape the steep-walled bunker on the left side of the green.

    Mickelson won’t have to wait long to try to get back in the hunt. He’s scheduled to play the Farmers Insurance Open next week at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.