Tom Murphy is a sports reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of Louisiana Tech University, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and voter for the Heisman Trophy and AP Top 25 football poll. He was the 2017 Arkansas Sportswriter of the Year.
Razorbacks in final 15 after 3rd round
Mateo Fernandez De Oliveira of Arkansas during an NCAA golf tournament on Monday, Oct. 4, 2021, in Fayetteville. (AP Photo/Michael Woods).
Mateo Fernandez de Oliveira fired a 2-under 68 on Sunday to lead the No. 13 seed University of Arkansas men’s golf team to a team score of 6-over 286 and into the final 15 at the NCAA Championships at Grayhawk Country Club in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Fernandez de Oliveira had one birdie and one bogey through 12 holes after teeing off on No. 10, but the junior finished the 7,289-yard, par 70 Raptor Course with birdies on Nos. 4 and 8 to turn in the Razorbacks’ best round at the championships.
“Mateo had a great day,” Arkansas Coach Brad McMakin said. "He made one bogey today, which is very difficult, and shot 68. He’s just been so consistent all year."
Fernandez de Oliveira will begin the final round of stroke play in a tie with Texas’ Parker Coody, North Carolina’s David Ford and Ryan Burnett for fifth at 2-under 210.
Arkansas, playing in the morning wave with more manageable greens and winds, began the day in sixth place and fell back two slots to eighth, comfortably under the cut line of 15 teams heading into the final round of stroke play. The individual winner and the final eight teams will be determined today, with the first round of match play scheduled for Tuesday.
“We got off to a bad start this morning and played extremely well on the back nine,” McMakin said immediately after the Razorbacks’ round with the afternoon wave just beginning its day. “The wind picked up a little bit that was probably the best nine holes we’ve played all year long. I was really pleased with the guys coming down the stretch.
“We’ve put ourselves in good position for tomorrow and we’ll see where we stand and go out and try to finish this thing off.”
No. 1 Oklahoma fired a 3-under 277 to surge into first place at 1 under for the tourney, four shots ahead of No. 2 Oklahoma State, which also shot 277.
No. 3 Vanderbilt, the second-round leader, had a 281 on Sunday and dropped back to 5 over for the tournament. The Commodores were followed by No. 4 North Carolina (+9) and defending champion and No. 5 Pepperdine (+13). Arizona State (+19) is sixth and Texas is seventh at 2o-over.
The Razorbacks (+26) are 27 strokes behind first place.
Senior Julian Perico had an adventurous 72 on Sunday, with two bogeys and a double bogey on the back nine, followed by birdies on 4, 6 and 8 and a closing bogey. Perico is at 6 over and in a tie for 32nd.
Seniors Luke Long and Segundo Oliva Pinto carded matching 3 overs on Sunday. Pinto had four bogeys and a birdie, while Long turned in five bogeys and two birdies. Pinto continues to lead the field with 42 pars out of his 54 holes, while Fernandez de Oliveira has 38.
The Razorbacks’ non-counting score belong to Wil Gibson, who shot a 79.
Pinto is in a a tie for 17th place at 4 over, while Long is at 20 over and Gibson 23 over.
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