Walk-on frosh stars in ORU’s Summit title
The guys talk to Oral Roberts walk-on freshman David Holtgrew, who led his team to a buzzer-beating victory at the Summit League Championship.
“It was a wild one. I didn’t see it coming.”
Oral Roberts coach Lance Watson had reason to be dumbfounded Tuesday afternoon. His Golden Eagles completed a dramatic come-from-behind performance to win the Summit League Championship.
Oral Roberts, No. 173 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, trailed throughout the final round until freshman walk-on David Holtgrewe rolled in a birdie putt on the 18th hole at Entrada at Snow Canyon in St. George, Utah, to give the Eagles a one-shot victory over No. 145 Missouri-Kansas City.
Holtgrewe, who was playing in just his fourth tournament of the year, rebounded from a 4-over 39 on the front nine to birdie two of his last three holes.
His birdie at No. 16 moved the Golden Eagles to within a shot of leader Western Illinois, ranked 137th. Holtgrewe then saved par from a greenside bunker on No. 17, which pulled ORU into a three-way tie with UMKC and Western Illinois. He then sank a 12-foot birdie putt on No. 18 after his playing partners from UMKC and WIU missed their putts.
Holtgrewe shot 72 to finish tied for the lead at 3-over 216 with UMKC’s Korbin Kuehn, who went on to win a one-hole playoff for the individual title. Holtgrewe’s low round before the league championship was a 75. At Entrada, he posted rounds of 71-72-73.
“We were down so many times, it was ridiculous,” Watson said. “We were still unsure of where we stood when we reached the 18th tee box, but by the time we got to the green, we knew we had a chance. I don’t know what to say about David Holtgrewe. What a performance.”
It was the second Summit League title in a row for the Golden Eagles and their seventh overall in 13 seasons in the conference. ORU closed with a final-round 298 to finish at 33-over 885, a shot ahead of UMKC (293) and two shots ahead of Western Illinois (298).
NCAA regional bids will be announced May 10 for play May 20-22 at six sites: Alpharetta, Ga.; Bryan, Texas; New Haven, Conn.; Notre Dame, Ind.; Santee, Calif.; and Bremerton, Wash.
The NCAA Championship is June 1-6 at The Honors Course in Chattanooga, Tenn.