Oklahoma Advances to NCAA Match Play

Quade Cummins and Jonathan Brightwell finish tied for sixth while Logan McAllister fires an ace as Sooners take fourth in stroke play.
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Oklahoma is back in familiar territory.

The Sooners finished fourth in the stroke-play portion of the NCAA Men’s Golf Championships at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, AZ, and advance to their fifth consecutive match play round.

OU (10-over par) is the only team in the nation to make every match play championship since 2016.

“(Tuesday) we'll start a completely different golf tournament with match play," head coach Ryan Hybl said in a press release. “We're excited to be in this position like we have been for the last five years, it's really special for our program. If we want to avoid going home (Tuesday) then we'll have to come out and play great golf and execute.”

Jonathan Brightwell

Jonathan Brightwell

The fourth-seeded Sooners match up Tuesday morning against No. 5-seed Illinois. The winner moves on to face No. 1 Arizona State and No. 8 North Carolina later in the day on Tuesday, while the championship match unfolds on Wednesday afternoon.

Golf Channel has live coverage of all matches Tuesday and Wednesday. Quarterfinal coverage will begin at 11 a.m. CT and run until 1:30 p.m. CT with the semifinal broadcast running from 4-8 p.m. CT.

Oklahoma is 3-3 all-time at NCAA match play, winning the national championship in 2017 when they defeated the Fighting Illini in the semifinal match, 3-1-1.

“Match play is an animal,” Hybl said. “You have to get excited about winning holes and can't be focused on not trying to lose holes. We need to be aggressive and have a killer mentality. We've been working our tails off trying to get these guys ready for match play and played a ton of it last fall and this spring.”

OU posted a 9-over 289 on Monday to wrap up stroke play. The top-ranked Sooners' 72-hole score of 1130 matches the lowest 72-hole score in program history.

In stroke play, Arizona State overtook Oklahoma State to earn the No. 1 seed entering match play, and Clemson's Turk Pettit won the individual national championship by firing a 7-under 273.

Quade Cummins

Quade Cummins

Seniors Quade Cummins and Jonathan Brightwell led the way for the Sooners by tying for sixth place at 2-under 278, good for second-best in Oklahoma history.

Junior Logan McAllister stole the spotlight with an ace on No. 5 on his way to an even-par 70 in the final round. McAllister (t17th, 3-over) finished with back-to-back 70s to shoot up the leaderboard for his eighth top-20 finish of the season.

“I was pretty solid this week I thought,” McAllister said. “I didn't make too many mistakes out here. If you're in the desert you're not going to score very well, so I tried to be really smart off the tee and hit a lot of irons off tee boxes. But a lot of these holes you're just trying to make par anyway, so I think I did a good job.”

On his hole-in-one, McAllister switched from an 8-iron to a 9-iron, then one-hopped the shot into the pin. It was the first competitive ace of his career.

“The pin location was kind of between the 8- and 9-iron for me,” McAllister said. “I switched at the last second and picked up the 9 to try and draw it to where if it's 10 feet right then it's perfect, but then I overdrew it. In the air it looked perfect and I was playing with Austin (Eckroat) and he was telling the ball to go in. I was really shocked but it was great moment.”

Brightwell (t-6th, 2-under) found himself in the bunker on the 18th hole, but stuck his approach five feet from the pin and sunk the putt for birdie to tie Cummins for sixth. Playing in his first NCAA Championship after transferring from UNC-Greensboro, now has now 20 top 10-finishes in his career, including eight this year. He fired 17 birdies in the tournament, second-most in the field.

Cummins (t-6th, 2-under) was one of three Sooners playing in their final collegiate event. He finished his championship with a 3-over 73 and posted the best NCAA finish of his career.

“This was obviously Quade's last stroke play and he's been with us for six years,” Hybl said. “I’m really proud of Jonathan, (Garett) Reband, Quade and all of our guys for putting themselves in this position. It's been a such a great run, especially with those seniors, but we're not done. We haven't reached our goal yet.”

Freshman Ben Lorenz moved up 10 spots on the final day to finish in 57th for the week, finishing birdie-par for a 4-over 74 Monday.

Reband (80th, 26-over) finished with a top-five spot in the final PGA Tour U rankings and locked down a spot on the Korn Ferry Tour beginning with the BMW Charity Pro-Am next week.

Reband was joined by Cummins and Brightwell inside the top 10 of the Tour U ranking, making Oklahoma the only school to have three players earn automatic professional status following the championship. Cummins and Brightwell will receive status on the newly-formed Forme Tour, which begins play in late June.