CORVALLIS, Ore. – After a pair of third-place finishes to open the 2013-14 season, the Oregon State men’s golf team heads to the Midwest to compete at the Erin Hill Intercollegiate Sunday through Tuesday at renowned Erin Hills Golf Course in Erin, Wis., the site of the 2017 U.S. Open.
FIELD (14): Oregon State, DePaul, Green Bay, Marquette (host), Michigan, Michigan State, Northern Illinois, Northwestern, Oklahoma, St. John’s, SMU, Stanford, UCLA and Wisconsin.
COURSE: The tournament will be held at the par-72, 7,234-yard Erin Hills Golf Course. The course opened in 2006 and hosted the 111th U.S. Amateur Championship in 2011. It was ranked No. 10 in Golf Digest’s latest list of “America’s 100 Greatest Public Golf Courses.” This will be the first collegiate tournament ever played at Erin Hill Golf Course.
BEAVERS’ LINEUP: Oregon State will go with a lineup of senior David Fink, junior Alex Franklin, sophomore Brian Jung and freshmen Conner Kumpula and Kevin Murphy. It will be the collegiate debut for Kumpula, a native of Albany.
FORMAT: Three-day, 54-hole tournament with 18 holes each day. The top-four individuals from each five-member team with the lowest scores for each 18-hole round constitute the scoring members for that given round.
TEE TIMES: There will be tee times beginning at 8:30 a.m. CT (6:30 a.m. PT) off the first tee. The final round on Tuesday will be off the first and 10th tees.
TOURNAMENT NOTES: Northwestern freshman Matt Fitzpatrick is currently ranked No. 1 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR), while Stanford junior Patrick Rodgers is ranked No. 4 in the world. Fitzpatrick is the reigning U.S. Amateur champion and was the top amateur at the 2013 British Open.
Also competing will be Stanford senior Cameron Wilson, the No. 3-ranked individual in NCAA Division I, according to the latest Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index, along with SMU’s Bryson Dechambeau (No. 4), Michigan’s Chris O’Neill (No. 23) and Oklahoma’s Max McGreevy (No. 32).
QUOTING HEAD COACH JON REEHOORN:
What are your thoughts about playing this tournament against teams you normally don’t face?
“It isn’t that often we get off the West Coast, but it isn’t about the teams we are playing, it is about giving the guys an opportunity to travel the country, play different venues and get some experience for when we might have to travel in the post-season.”
What about playing a golf course that will host the U.S. Open?
“Part of the reason we scheduled this event was to give the guys an opportunity to play a U.S. Open course. There are not many U.S. Open courses that are open to the public and places our guys will ever have a chance to play, so this will be a great opportunity for them.”
You’ve had two third-place finishes; what are your thoughts on the season thus far?
“Through two events I’m excited about the potential this team has shown. At Washington I felt like we played pretty solidly from top to bottom, but at Colorado, while we also finished third, we were not as sharp. We left way too many shots on the course. We’ve spent a lot of time the last 7-10 days talking about playing to our own standards and let them results take care of themselves.”
Did you expect Alex Franklin and Kevin Murphy to be this good this soon?
“When I recruited both of them I had hoped they would make an impact on our success immediately, but you never know what will happen. The first two events they haven’t had to worry about going to school, which has probably helped their transition to Oregon State. The key is to make sure it continues now that they have school to think about.”
Do you expect David Fink to step up the last two tournaments of the fall?
“As always, I have complete confidence in Dave. We’ve had some good chats the last week and I think his mind is in the right place heading into the last two events of the fall. The biggest key for him to have success is to just let it happen.”
LAST TIME OUT: Oregon State battled until the final shot at the 15-team Mark Simpson Invitational in Erie, Colo., but fell one stroke short of repeating a tournament it won last season. Host Colorado and Washington State both finished with an 18-over 882 and shared the team title.
It was the second consecutive third-place finish for the Beavers after opening their season in third at the Kikkor Husky Invitational in Bremerton, Wash. In that tournament they finished behind Washington and Arizona State and ahead of four Pac-12 schools -- Oregon, USC, Washington State and Utah.
The Beavers got out of the gate with a slow start as four of their golfers were over par through nine holes. But they didn’t give up and ended up shooting an even-par 288 in the final round of the two-day, 54-hole tournament to finish third with a 19-over 306-289-288--883 at the par-72, 7,741-yard Colorado National Golf Club.
Franklin had his best round of the tournament, a 1-under 71, to finish just outside the top 10 with a 4-over 74-75-71--220 and a tie for 11th place. Murphy played well for the second consecutive tournament, posting his first career top-10 finish -- sole seventh -- with a 2-over 75-71-72--218.
Fink was unable to card a birdie in the final round but still finished in 16th place with a 6-over 78-70-74--222, while junior Scott Kim finished in a tie for 20th with an 8-over 79-73-72--224 and Jung was tied for 61st with a 16-over 84-75-73--232.