Schell Leads Rebels in NCAA Regional Debut
Published 7:00 am Wednesday, May 19, 2021
STILLWATER, Okla. – Making his first appearance in an NCAA Regional, redshirt-freshman Brett Schell led the Ole Miss men’s golf team through the first two rounds at Karsten Creek Golf Club. Bouncing back from bogeys over his first three holes, he played the final 33 holes 1-under par to sit in a tie for 24th at 2-over (75-71—146).
With inclement weather forecasted in Stillwater, Oklahoma over the next two days, the 13 teams played 36 holes on the difficult course Monday (May 17). Once the long day was completed, the 10th-seeded Rebels found themselves in a tie for ninth with fifth-seeded Notre Dame at 19-over (297-298—595).
“Thirty-six holes walking is a long day anytime, but especially on this golf course as demanding as it is,” said head coach Chris Malloy. “We’ve got to be better. We did plenty of good out there today, but again this golf course demands great shots. It doesn’t let you get away with anything.”
Making his debut in postseason play, Schell may have shown some nerves with some early bogeys. However, he steadied the ship with six straight pars to close out his opening nine. Making the turn, Schell took advantage of the par-5 first by making his first birdie of the tournament. He ended his first round with a birdie, signing for a 75 (+3). He improved by four strokes over the second 18, starting with six pars. After a bogey on No. 16, Schell eagled the 18th to move into red figures. With seven pars, one birdie and one bogey coming in, he ended his second round under par. The 1-under 71 was the Rebels’ best round of the day, and at 2-over through 36 holes, Schell led the way in an impressive introduction to NCAA postseason golf.
“We think the world of him,” said Malloy. “As a freshman, he showed a lot of poise today in a big time situation on a big time golf course. That was certainly encouraging for us.”
Jack Gnam followed Schell, firing a pair of 74s. The Ridgeland, Mississippi, native led Ole Miss with seven birdies throughout the 36 holes. Six of those birdies occurred on the front side. Gnam birdied three of the four par 5s during his second round, and he finished the day strong with a 35 (-1) over his final nine holes.
Jackson Suber (72-81—153), Sarut Vongchaisit (77-76—153) and Veeti Mahonen (76-77—153) rounded out the Rebels’ scoring. Suber’s even-par 72 paced Ole Miss in the opening round. His first 18 featured an eagle on the par-5 18th, while grinding out 14 pars during the round.
The Rebels are scheduled to begin the final round Tuesday morning at 10:55 a.m. CT, weather permitting. Ole Miss is looking for a low round to rise up the leaderboard and crack the top five in order to earn a spot in the NCAA Championships in Scottsdale, Arizona.
“If we can clean up some of our short games, like eliminating three-putts, we’ll be just fine,” said Malloy. “We need a low round tomorrow, and I know these guys have it in them.”
For updates throughout the rest of the tournament, follow @OleMissMGolf on Twitter.
T24. Schell: 75-71—146 (+2)
T35. Gnam: 74-74—148 (+4)
T58. Suber: 72-81—153 (+9)
T58. Vongchaisit: 77-76—153 (+9)
T58. Mahonen: 76-77—153 (+9)
TEAM LEADERBOARD (Rankings: Golfstat)
1. No. 4 Oklahoma State: 288-271—559 (-17)
2. No. 9 Illinois: 286-275—561 (-15)
3. No. 21 SMU: 293-277—570 (-6)
4. Baylor: 290-286—576 (E)
5. Northwestern: 286-293—579 (+3)
6. Sam Houston: 295-285—580 (+4)
7. No. 15 Auburn: 287-294—581 (+5)
8. Little Rock: 290-295—585 (+9)
T9. Ole Miss: 297-298—595 (+19)
T9. Notre Dame: 301-294—595 (+19)
11. Charleston: 304-292—596 (+20)
12. Middle Tennessee: 304-294—598 (+22)
13. Alabama: 310-294—604 (+28)