Fifth-Place Finish Concludes USAO’s Season


Coach Luke Burns

USAO’s men’s golf team, including Luca Gisler, Luke O’Dell, Tate Trotter, Caleb Smith, Jax Brewer, Grant Murphey, Conner Cryer, and Jaeden Ellis huddle together at Waterchase Golf Club.

Caleb Smith, Contributing Writer

USAO men’s golf team completed their final tournament of the 2022-23 season with the Sooner Athletic Conference (SAC) tournament at Waterchase Golf Club (Par 72, 7085 yards) in Fort Worth, Texas. The Drovers fought valiantly against the seven-program conference and finished in fifth place with scores of 312, 307 and 306 to total 925 (+61)

Post-regular season play opens up changes in the team format for golf. Where normally the five-man team play all three rounds and the four best scores from that group are taken for the group score. But as in this conference tournament, after one round if a team’s coach wants to substitute a player from the team’s chosen seven-man roster for another player, they can do so. USAO made substitutions from round to round, this means that for three of the players at least one of their rounds was not official for the tournament and will be denoted by an (*). 

Leading the squad once again was freshman Conner Cryer who after the first of two days was tied for second place individually, shooting 70 and 73 for a day of one under par. After his round of 81 during the final round, Cryer fell to 14th place for a total score of 224 (+8). Cryer has been impressive in his first year capturing a few top ten finishes.

Senior Caleb Smith in his first round was on the bogey train leading to a round of 85. During the second round he was substituted out for sophomore Luke O’Dell, Smith went on in his second round to shoot a round of 69* which is three under par. To accomplish the impressive round Smith birdied six of his last ten holes. Smith was substituted back in for the third round shooting a round of 75 to total 229 (+13) which would have finished 21st place.

Graduating senior Grant Murphey finished his college career tied at 24th place, with solid rounds of 79, 77, and 76 to total 232 (+16). Murphey has been a solid contributor to the team in his year and a half venture with the Drovers. One of his accomplishments was capturing the individual victory at the 2022 Battle of Winter Creek.

Sophomore Jax Brewer played valiantly with rounds of 83, 74, and 76 to total 233 (+17) placing 26th. Junior Tate Trotter played hard shooting rounds of 80, 83, and 79 to total 242 (+26) and a tied 29th finish. 

As an individual Jaeden Ellis played well shooting rounds of 79, 74, and 79 to total 232 (+16) and tied 24th. As the alternative Luca Gisler played consistently with rounds of 77*, 78* and 77* to total 232 (+16) which would have earned a tied 24th finish. O’Dell started off as an alternative shooting 75* in his first round before being substituted in for Smith. In the second round, O’Dell shot 84 for the squad. In the third round he was back in the alternate spot, where he shot a solid round of 74* to total 233 (+17) which would have tied 26th place.

USAO’s men’s golf team will return in the fall for the 2023-24 season.


Caleb Smith is a fourth-year Biology major at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.