Oklahoma State is positioning itself for another championship run.
The Cowboys, who are just two years removed from winning their 11th NCAA title in program history, experienced a down year by their lofty standards during a shortened 2019-20 season, not finishing better than fourth in any 54-hole tournament and ending up 27th in the final Golfstat ranking.
But during a busy transfer season, Oklahoma State head coach Alan Bratton bolstered his roster with the additions of Wake Forest’s Eugenio Chacarra and San Diego State’s Leo Oyo, both top-100 players who will be eligible to compete beginning this fall and have three years of eligibility remaining thanks to the NCAA’s decision to grant all student-athletes with an extra year.
Chacarra, who is currently No. 62 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, was the ACC Freshman of the Year two seasons ago thanks to a team-high six top-10s. He only had two top-10s as a sophomore, though he still cracked the top 100 in Golfstat, at No. 87.
The Spain native said he looked at Stanford, Cal, UCLA, Florida and Alabama, among others, before deciding on Oklahoma State.
“I thought to myself, it’s not just luck that they have 37 former players currently playing professionally around the world, guys like Viktor [Hovland] and Matthew [Wolff] and Rickie Fowler, Peter Uihlein, so many guys,” said Chacarra, who counts former Cowboy Pablo Martin as a mentor. “I feel like it’s the greatest program ever, and it was the best thing for me to do to get ready for the next level. All these guys on the team, they’re all great, too, so I feel like I’m going to get much better playing with them.”
Oyo finished his sophomore season at San Diego State ranked 38th by Golfstat and was an honorable-mention All-America selection.
“Leaving SDSU was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make,” Oyo wrote on Instagram. “Thank you to the coaches and players at SDSU for giving me two great years of friendships and memories. I’m super excited to see what the future holds.”
The arrivals of Chacarra and Oyo will strengthen what was already a stout lineup led by All-American Austin Eckroat. Brian Stark, Aman Gupta, Rasmus Neergaard-Peetersen and Rayhan Thomas are among the other returners.
“We’re going to be one of the best teams,” Chacarra said. “I wanted to go to a tough golf school where we have a chance to win every event and obviously the NCAA Championship. That’s my main goal. If we do what we’re capable of, we can do big things.”
Oklahoma State’s moves isn’t the only notable news coming out of the transfer portal this summer. Notre Dame senior Hunter Ostrom, ranked No. 81 by Golfstat last season, will play his extra year at Texas, a decision that makes the Longhorns the likely title favorites next season.
Also, four of the top-10 Division II players will play at Division I powerhouses next season, including Lynn's Carlos Bustos, who will join his teammate Gio Manzoni in transferring to Florida, which is losing Blake Dyer and John Axelsen to pro golf and Eugene Hong to Liberty.
UNCG senior Jonathan Brightwell, an All-American and Golfstat’s 13th-ranked player last season, is also in the portal, though he has yet to formally announce where he plans to play his extra year. Same for Kent State senior Pimnipa Panthong, one of the top women’s amateurs in the world at No. 29 in the WAGR.