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OU's Kim wins Big 12 Golf Title
Anthony Kim - photo by Texas A&M Sports Information
Final-round 68 takes championship by six shots
TRINITY, Texas â€” Nine times in the 75-year history of the University of Oklahoma golf program, a Sooner has stood on the awards podium as individual medalist of a conference championship. OU great Charlie Coe, the only two-time winner, captured the Big Six and Big Seven titles in 1947 and 1948, respectively. Robert O. Smith brought the first Big Eight crown to Norman, while players like Andrew Magee and Grant Waite both earned Big Eight medalist honors during the Eighties.
Until this weekend, Hunter Haas was the only Sooner to win the Big 12
title, doing so with a memorable performance in 1998. Anthony Kim added
his name to that prestigious list by firing a 4-under 68 at Whispering
Pines Sunday, thus capturing the individual conference title by six
shots over Oklahoma Stateâ€™s Alex Noren.
In the team race, Oklahoma finished second to Oklahoma State.
â€śIâ€™m excited. It was a lot closer than the score showed,â€ť Kim said
afterward. â€śIt was a tough battle all day. I got down early but kept my
mind on my game and persevered. It felt good to close the deal. I
thought I played well and kept my head in the game. I had to change my
game a little bit because I like to hit the driver and you couldnâ€™t do
that on every hole on this course.â€ť
Kim and Noren went head-to-head through 16 holes, never separated by
more than three strokes. But when Noren bogeyed the par-5 17th, Kim
tucked the victory in his pocket with a pair of finishing birdies. The
Sooner sophomore and 2004 Big 12 Newcomer of the Year closed the
54-hole even at 8-under 208.
Noren still finished in the runner-up spot at 2 under - one stroke
ahead of OSU teammate Zack Robinson. OUâ€™s Justin Fraley, who began the
day tied with Kim for the lead, struggled to a final-round 78 and
settled for fifth-place tie.
â€śAnthony struggled some on the front nine,â€ť OU head coach Jim Ragan
said, â€śbut turned it on over the back nine and pulled out a great
The top-ranked Cowboys carded a 1-under 287 on Sunday to finish at 868,
ending Texasâ€™ three-year reign as team champs. The Sooners finished
nine shots back at 877, earning second place for the second consecutive
year. Missouri was third at 21 over (885). Texas (903, +39), tied for
last after the first round, climbed to fourth place with a solid final
OUâ€™s second place finish matches its best finish at the Big 12
Championships (2001, 2004). Under Coach Raganâ€™s tenure, the Sooners now
have three second-place and two third-place finishes in the Big 12
Tournament. OUâ€™s best previous result in the Big 12 was fourth in 1998.
â€śThis team has been playing hard and are only getting better,â€ť Ragan
said. â€śThey are playing with more and more confidence. We obviously
have some room for improvement and weâ€™ll continue to work hard to close
For Kim, who won the inaugural Texas A&M Intercollegiate on April 17,
it was his second consecutive tournament victory and third of his
collegiate career. After finishing runner-up in 2004, he becomes the
eighth Sooner all-time to capture an individual conference title. The
last was Hunter Haas in 1998.
Junior Justin Fraley, who started the day sharing the lead with Kim,
struggled through his final round, counting a 78 for a three-round
score of 218, to finish in a tie for fifth with Missouriâ€™s Ben Scott.
Sophomore Nick Sheedy shot his best round on the final dayâ€”a 74 helped
out by an eagle on the par-5 12th that cut his three-round total to an
11-over 227. The Burlington, Iowa, native gained four spots over the
final 18, finishing in a four-way tie for 18th.
Freshman Phillip Bryan concluded his round two strokes back from Sheedy
in a six-way tie for 25th. The Mustang, Okla., native also fired his
best score, a 74, in the third round.
Junior Shawn LaFontaine was the fourth Sooner to count his lowest round
on Sunday. The Canadian needed just 73 strokes to complete his round of
18, bookended by birdies.
The Sooners have improved with each spring tournament - finishing 18th,
Eighth, Sixth, Fourth and now secondâ€”and look to continue that trend
into the postseason.
â€śWeâ€™re certainly peaking at the right time,â€ť Kim said. â€śEveryone feels
good about their play and weâ€™re only getting better.â€ť
The Sooners return to the links Saturday, May 14, when they host the
14th Annual Perry Maxwell Invitational at the Dornick Hills Country
Club in Ardmore, Okla.
Big 12 Menâ€™s Golf Championship
Whispering Pines GC â€˘ Trinity, Texas
Par 72 â€˘ 7,300 Yards
1. Oklahoma State 285-296-287â€”868
2. Oklahoma 290-298-289â€”877
3. Missouri 295-297-293â€”885
4. Texas 311-305-287â€”903
5. Texas A&M 303-299-307â€”909
6. Kansas 304-303-303â€”910
7. Baylor 303-308-301â€”912
8. Texas Tech 299-310-309â€”918
9. Iowa State 302-318-301â€”921
10. Kansas State 308-306-311â€”925
11. Colorado 311-319-299â€”929
12. Nebraska 303-312-316â€”931
1. Anthony Kim, Oklahoma 69-71-68â€”208
2. Alex Noren, Okla. State 70-72-72â€”214
3. Zack Robinson, Okla. State 74-73-68â€”215
4. Matt VanCleave, Kansas St. 70-71-76â€”217
T5. Justin Fraley, Oklahoma 68-72-78â€”218
T5. Ben Scott, Missouri 71-73-74â€”218
7. Shawn Jasper, Missouri 71-74-74â€”219
T8. Chris Baker, Iowa State 78-75-67â€”220
T8. Tyler Leon, Okla. State 68-75-77â€”220
T8. Chase Thomas, Baylor 71-75-74â€”220
1. Anthony Kim 69-71-68â€”208
T5. Justin Fraley 68-72-78â€”218
T18. Nick Sheedy 75-78-74â€”227
T25. Phillip Bryan 78-77-74â€”229
T31. Shawn La Fontaine 80-78-73â€”231