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Oklahoma State Narrowly Trails Duke After Three Rounds of NCAA Championship



Oklahoma State’s golf team is in premium position following their 3-under 285 on Sunday in Round 3 of the 2018 NCAA Championship at Karsten Creek. The Pokes currently sit in second place at 7 under for the tournament, three back of leader Duke, after a 3-under 285 on Sunday.

The Blue Devils shot a preposterous 12-under 276, which is the round of the week by three strokes and doubles as the course record.

“There were a couple of times I looked at (scores), and I was like, ‘Wow.’ ” said Duke’s head coach.

There is a zero percent chance they repeat that on Monday during the final round of the stroke play portion of the event, and OSU should have a good shot to grab the No. 1 seed on their home course after rounds of 287, 285 and 285.

“It looked like we had a really good round going at the turn so we let a really good round get away, but we’re still in good position,” head coach Alan Bratton said. “We’ll go iron that stuff out. I like where we’re sitting in the overall score. The goal is to try to get a little bit better every day, and I think we shot the same score we did yesterday. I like where we’re at. We’ll just keep building momentum and get ready for another round tomorrow.”

OSU was one of just three teams under par on Sunday and is easily inside the top 15 teams, all of which advance to the final round of stroke play at Karsten on Monday.

  1. Duke: -10
  2. Oklahoma State: -7
  3. Texas Tech: -3
  4. Vanderbilt: +2
  5. Oklahoma: +4
  6. Auburn: +6
  7. Texas A&M: +7
  8. Kent State: +8
  9. Alabama: +10
  10. Texas: +11
  11. Arkansas: +12
  12. Clemson: +14
  13. Arizona State: +16
  14. Illinois: +17
  15. North Carolina: +18

The biggest flop of the week was probably Florida, which came in as the No. 7 seed and failed to make it to the final 15 on Monday. Duke and Kent State were two of the lower seeds and are two of the more interesting stories heading into the final round.

By the way, I can already see the No. 1 vs. No. 8 OSU-Texas matchup unfolding. That would not be great for Oklahoma State as Texas has two stars in Doug Ghim and Scottie Scheffler, both of whom are in the top six on the individual side after three rounds.

The Cowboys have three golfers inside the top 11 on the individual side of things, but only Viktor Hovland is within five of the lead held by Bryson Nimmer of Clemson at 9 under.

T7. Viktor Hovland (-4)
T11. Matthew Wolff (-3)
T11. Austin Eckroat (-3)
T68. Zach Bauchou (+7)
T83. Kristoffer Ventura (+9)

Wolff and Eckroat are freshmen, by the way.

“I feel really good,” Wolff, who shot 3-under 69, said. “Our team played pretty solid. I’d say today was definitely the hardest day. Pins were tucked in some corners and the wind picked up a little. I was pretty happy with how I played. I stayed really solid. I knew a good score out here would probably be even par considering it was playing a little harder. I just knew if I stuck to my game plan and stayed solid that it would work out in the end.

“As a team, I feel really good about it. You stick us out here on this course four days in a row we’re bound to have a really good round. We haven’t yet, but we just need to stick to what we know.”

Monday is all about positioning for OSU. It would be an unmitigated disaster for OSU to fall out of the top eight and miss match play altogether, and the more likely scenario is that they keep their No. 2 position or pull ahead into the No. 1 slot and draw the No. 8 team in stroke play in the Tuesday morning matches.

Tensions are about to get cranked up at Karsten Creek as OSU searches for their first NCAA title since 2005 and first in the match play era. They have taken care of business thus far, but there’s a long way to go and a lot of pitfalls to navigate before head coach Alan Bratton and his nine-win team in 2018 taste the ultimate prize in college golf.

OSU will tee off with Texas Tech and Duke on Monday at 12:50 p.m.

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