WVU Set for Big 12 Golf Championship
TULSA Okla. (April 22, 2018) – The West Virginia University golf team travels to Tulsa, Oklahoma, this week to compete in the 2018 Big 12 Golf Championship. The event will run Monday through Wednesday at Southern Hills Country Club.
The 2018 season marks the third Big 12 Championship for WVU, as the Mountaineers resumed varsity competition in the 2015-16 season. They enter the event as the No. 9 seed and will be paired with Kansas State for the first two rounds of play. The Mountaineers and the Wildcats will tee off starting at 10:30 a.m. ET on Monday, playing 36 holes on the first day of action. Tuesday’s third-round pairings will be based on Monday’s scores, while Wednesday’s final-round pairings will be based on 54-hole totals with the leaders teeing off last.
The par-70, 7,151-yard Southern Hills Country Club has played host to seven major championships. It previously hosted the U.S. Open in 1958, 1977 and 2001, and played host to the PGA Championship on four occasions, most recently in 2007.
Five of the Big 12’s 10 teams rank inside the top 20 of the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings. No. 1 Oklahoma State leads the way, followed by defending National Champion Oklahoma, who comes in at No. 4. No. 10 Baylor, No. 13 Texas Tech and No. 18 Texas are also at the top of the rankings.
“We’re looking forward to the Big 12 Championship,” WVU coach Sean Covich said. “It’s a major championship for college golf. We’re excited to get out to Southern Hills and we’re starting to play well. It’s been a year of improvement, and everybody on the team has gotten better. That’s what it’s all about when you’re starting a program from scratch. The Big 12 Championship is just a great opportunity – it’s why you come to West Virginia, to play in this tournament.”
Junior Max Sear and sophomore Etienne Papineau return for their third and second Big 12 Championship appearances, respectively. Senior Avery Schneider, along with freshmen Mark Goetz and Matthew Sharpstene, will all make their debuts at the tournament.
Sear posted the program’s best-ever individual finish at the event as a freshman in 2016, finishing 12th overall to narrowly miss earning All-Big 12 accolades (top 10). He currently leads the Mountaineers with a 72.35 scoring average for 0.65 vs. par. Sear boasts five top-10 finishes on the season, most recently finishing as the runner-up at last weekend’s Rutherford Intercollegiate at Penn State.
Papineau is second on the team with a 73.06 stroke average. He’s posted four top-20 finishes this season, including a top-10 finish at Penn State last week.
Sharpstene enters the tournament with a 73.26 scoring average and four top-20 finishes on his resume. In February, he set a new WVU program record with a low round of 64 on his way to a runner-up finish at the Martin Downs Collegiate. Goetz, his classmate, had tied the program low round with a 66 prior to Sharpstene’s performance. Goetz is averaging 74.04 strokes per round and brings a trio of top-20 finishes into the event.
Schneider ranks fourth on the team with a 73.83 scoring average. He’s posted a pair of top-20 finishes through six events, scoring a 54-hole low of 214 at the Martin Downs Collegiate in February.
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