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Gary Putnik | NCAA.com | May 25, 2022

Predictions for the 2022 DI men's golf championship

See the final hole that clinched Pepperdine's 2021 men's golf title

The 2022 DI men's golf tournament will begin Friday, May 25 at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona. Last season at Grayhawk provided a great stage for an exciting tournament where Pepperdine defeated Oklahoma to win the 2021 title. 

This time around, the competition will be that much better with some teams already having prior experience with the course. This year's championship field features a slew of top teams from every corner of the country. 

To catch up on a few storylines, Pepperdine has a chance to repeat as champions and Oklahoma is back to avenge its second-place finish in 2021. Also, Texas Tech's Ludvig Aberg is looking to cap off a great 2021-22 season and Texas is looking to get back in the winner's circle for the first time since 2012. 

Stroke Play: 

Teams to qualify for match play:

1. Oklahoma — The Sooners have been one of the top teams all season. Chris Gotterup and Logan McAllister have combined for three individual wins between the fall and spring and both have a sub-70 stroke average. Oklahoma also has some experience with desert golf, it won the Thunderbird Classic in Tempe, Arizona. 

2. Oklahoma State — Just like Oklahoma, the Cowboys have been a dominant factor in the sport for years. This is the sixth year in a row they’ve won a regional and will be playing in the championship Eugen Lopez-Chacarra has three wins on the season, including his win at the Columbus Regional. Since 2015, Oklahoma State hasn’t finished worse than fifth in a national championship. 

3. Vanderbilt — The Commodores have won their last four outings including the Palm Beach Regional and the SEC championship. Vanderbilt has a solid roster from top to bottom. They’ve combined for 24 top-10 finishes, and three individual wins over the course of the season. 

4. Pepperdine — Pepperdine has been playing some of their best golf at the right time. In their last four events, the Waves have two wins and two second-place finishes as a team. That also includes three individual wins: Two from Dylan Menante and one from Joe Highsmith. 

5. Texas Tech — Texas Tech might not have the most wins out of this group of eight teams, but they do have some players who can turn it up when their name is called. Ludvig Aberg has a legitimate chance to win the individual title with a sub-70 stroke average and two wins on the season. Baard Skogen and Calum Scott also have the ability to post low scores. 

6. Texas — Another deep roster, this time with a lot of experience. Pierceson and Parker Coody both missed some time early in the season due to injury, but have bounced back well enough to earn a spot in the championship starting five. Cole Hammer and Travis Vick also provide added depth to this roster.

7. North Carolina — The Tar Heels are going to rely on their upperclassmen. Ryan Gerard and Austin Greaser have been the two the team can rely on. Both have played 16 rounds in the 60s this season and have a stroke average right around 70. Greaser has some extra experience in match play as he finished runner up at the 2021 U.S. Amateur Open.

8. Florida — The Gators are also playing some of their best golf at the right time. As a team, they have four top-three finishes in their last four events. Fred Biondi and Ricky Castillo will need to step up if the team wants to break into the top eight and secure a spot in the match play. 

Individual Champion

Ludvig Aberg,  Texas Tech — Ludvig Aberg has been one of the best individual players in the world this year. He is the highest-ranked collegiate player in the men’s World Amateur Golf Rankings at second. He has two wins this spring, including the Big 12 Championship. He hasn’t finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since early February. 

Match play

Quarterfinals

No. 1 Oklahoma def. No. 8 Florida

No. 2 Oklahoma State def. No. 7 North Carolina

No. 6 Texas def. No. 3 Vanderbilt

No. 4 Pepperdine def. No. 5 Texas Tech

Semifinals

No. 1 Oklahoma def. No. 4 Pepperdine

No. 2 Oklahoma State def. No. 6 Texas

Championship

No. 1 Oklahoma def. No. 2 Oklahoma State
 
Oklahoma lost in last year’s national championship to Pepperdine, but this time they’ll get over the hump against their in-state rival. These two faced off in the East Lake Cup’s match-play championship in the fall. That time, Oklahoma got the best of Oklahoma State in a 3-2-0 win. The Sooners have had their number all season, outplaying the Cowboys in five of their seven common events. 

Stay tuned here for live updates throughout the 2022 DI men's golf championship. 

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