Apr 11, 2013; Augusta, GA, USA; Rickie Fowler (right) talks with Padraig Harrington (left) on the 18th green during the first round of the 2013 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports

Ex-Oklahoma State Golfers Make Up Threesome At The 2013 Masters


This is Masters week, arguably the biggest highlight on the professional golf calendar and one of the natural rites of spring along with the opening of the Major League Baseball season.

The Big 12 Conference and its predecessor organizations has produced some of the world’s top professional golfers. Such legendary and well known names as Ben Crenshaw, Tom Kite and Hale Irwin Jr., Justin Leonard and Scott Verplank. Members of the Big 12 have won 12 national championships in golf: Oklahoma State has eight national titles, mostly in the 1970s and 1980s, the University of Texas owns three NCAA golf championships and Oklahoma has won national crown in golf to its credit.

The 2013 Masters, being played this weekend at historic Augusta (Ga.) National Golf Club, includes three former Big 12 players among the field of 87 professionals and six amateur golfers that make up this year’s field in the first of the major golf championships for this year.  All three – Hunter Mahan, Bo Van Pelt and Hunter Mahan  played their collegiate golf at Oklahoma State, which has won more national collegiate championships than any other school in the Big 12 Conference.

Rickie Fowler, the man best known on the PGA Tour for his bizaar clothing ensembles, shot a scrambling four-under-par 68 in the first round on Thursday and followed that with a second-round score of four-over 76 for a two-day total of even-par 144, which ties him for 22nd place at the tournament midpoint. Fowler is six shots back of the tournament leader, Jason Day, and five back of 53-year-old Fred Couples, who won a Masters’ green jacket 20 years ago in 1992 and is tied for second with Marc Leishman.

Looking at the 24-year-old Fowler, who typically wears bright clothing (he had a bright yellow shirt and pants on Thursday) and his traditional flat-bill cap, you would think he is in direct conflict with the prim and proper, old-school Masters culture. He is anathema to the late great Bobby Jones, one of the all-time great professional golfers who played in the 1920s and founded and helped design Augusta National Golf Club. Fowler typically honors his alma mater in the final round of the PGA tournaments by wearing all orange.

Fowler turned professional in 2009 and has one win and 21 top-10 finishes in his now five years on the PGA Tour. He was ranked 29th in the FedExCup standings coming into this year’s Masters.

Another Oklahoma State alum, Van Pelt, was tied for 30th after two rounds at one-over 145, shooting rounds of 71 and 74. The third of the Oklahoma State threesome, Hunter Mahan, didn’t fare as well as his fellow ex-Cowboy golfers. Mahan missed the cut after shooting a two-round score of 10-over-par 158, one shot worse than two-time Masters champion Tom Watson (1977, 1981), who shot 78-79-157 for the opening two rounds.

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Tags: Bo Van Pelt Golf Hunter Mahan PopularOklahoma State Cowboys Rickie Fowler