OSU Golf: Double The Pleasure

Oklahoma State freshmen Rickie Fowler and Jaclyn Sweeney captured medalist honors Sunday in leading the Cowboy and Cowgirl golf teams to first-place finishes in their respective Big 12 Championships. Fowler, a freshman from Murrieta, Calif., was medalist in the men's tournament by shooting a 4-under par 68 on Sunday. Sweeney, a freshman from Andover, Mass., took top honors in the women's field.

The Cowboys, ranked sixth in the nation, captured the 51st conference golf championship in the 62 years of the program's history. Fowler got plenty of help from teammate Kevin Tway, another freshman, en route to the team's 20-stroke victory over second-place Texas. Oklahoma State finished 11-under par for the 72-hole event, while Texas was the closest competition at 9-over.

Tway, the son of former OSU All-American golfer Bob Tway, began Sunday's final round in first place. He shot a respectable 1-over 73 Sunday and finished second to Fowler in the individual race. Other Cowboys and their finishes were Mark Johnson, another freshman, who finished at 2-over (tied for seventh); sophomore Trent Whitehiller, 6-over (tied for 13th), and junior Trent Leon, 8-over (tied for 18th).

Fowler lived up to billing as the No. 1-ranked collegiate golfer during the three-day event at Whispering Pines Golf Club in Trinity, Texas. In Sunday's final round, the Cowboy standout birdied five holes while recording just one bogey en route to a 4-under 68, equaling the 4-under he shot in the second round on Friday.

Sweeney, who should be completing her senior year of high school but graduated early and joined the OSU women's team in January, got her first victory in just the sixth start of her college golfing career. She led a one-two-three finish by the Cowgirls as 14th-ranked Oklahoma State captured an impressive 27-stroke victory over second-place Texas A&M at Karsten Creek in Stillwater.

The conference championship is the Cowgirls' first Big 12 title since 2005 when they captured the conference title by one stroke over Texas, and OSU senior Annie Thurman-Young took medalist honors.

Sweeney began Sunday's final round with a two-stroke lead over Texas A&M's Sarah Zwartynski. Sweeney shot a 5-over 77, while Zwartynski struggled to a 11-over 83 in the windy conditions which allowed a pair of Cowgirls to finish second and third behind their teammate.

Sweeney finished with her only birdie of the day on the par-5, 18th to record a 5-over 77. She had shot back-to-back 74s in the first two rounds of the tournament.

OSU junior Karin Kinnerud finished four strokes back of Sweeney to capture second place, and junior Amanda Johnson was just a shot back of Kinnerud to place third. OSU senior Tammy Cleeland was the fourth Cowgirl to finish among the top seven players in the tournament by tying for sixth. Junior Pernilla Lindberg, the Cowgirls' No. 1 player who is ranked seventh nationally, finished in a tie for 12th place.

The Cowboys will take a couple of weeks off before playing in the Maxwell tournament May 10-11 at Dornick Hills Country Club in Ardmore, Okla. They then travel to the NCAA Central Regional tournament May 15-17 in Columbus, Ohio, with hopes of qualifying for their 62nd consecutive NCAA Championship.

The Cowgirls return to action May 8-10 when they compete at an NCAA Regional tourney. The NCAA Championship is scheduled May 20-23 in Albuquerque, N.M.

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