Kaminski repeats as SAC champion, Stars win by 16

OKLAHOMA CITY – Rupert Kaminski rallied to win the individual title and spurred top-ranked Oklahoma City University to the team crown in the Sooner Athletic Conference men’s golf championships Tuesday at Gaillardia Country Club.

Kaminski, a sophomore from Johannesburg, South Africa, took his second consecutive SAC individual championship. The Stars, ranked No. 1 in the NAIA, captured their third SAC title in a row.

Oklahoma City snared its seventh SAC championship in eight years and 22nd SAC crown. OCU owns 24 conference championships including its two Midwestern City Conference titles.

The Stars produced a 287-298-289–874 on the par-72, 7,035-yard course as fifth-ranked Wayland Baptist (Texas) became team runner-up with a 290-299-301–890. No. 2 Texas Wesleyan finished third with a 298-304-291–893.

OCU’s Matthew Cheung became all-conference with his fifth-place finish. All five Stars finished in the top 13.

“I’m obviously happy with the team’s win today,” said OCU coach Kyle Blaser, named the SAC coach of the year. “They came out and had some ups and downs, but really fought hard to distance themselves from the other teams.”

The defending national champion Stars secured their berth in the NAIA Championships on May 16-19 at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Ill., with the league title. Oklahoma City will seek its 11th national crown.

“We will spend the next couple days focusing on academics and go back to the grind because we’re still making way too many little mistakes, ones that can cost you big in the end,” Blaser said. “I’ve got five great kids that are playing hard for each other, and I’m excited about heading to TPC Deere Run in a couple of weeks and competing for a national championship.”

Kaminski, the SAC player of the year, supplied OCU with a 67-75-69–211, overcoming a three-stroke deficit entering the final round Tuesday. Kaminski nailed 11 birdies and an eagle during the tournament.

“What an awesome performance from Rupert Kaminski,” Blaser said. “To win back-to-back conference championships is very impressive.”

Cheung, a senior from Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, turned in a 74-73-72–219. Cheung collected 10 birdies and an eagle on his last hole of the tournament on 18th.

David Meyers of the Stars held sixth place with his 72-77-73–222, finishing three shots shy of all-league acclaim. Meyers, a freshman from Johannesburg, South Africa, notched eight birdies. Peri’Don Castille, a freshman from Dallas, tied for seventh with a 76-73-75–224, knocking in seven birdies and an eagle.

OCU’s Garrison Mendoza carded a 74-82-76–232 to take 13th. Mendoza, a junior from Clinton, Okla., posted seven birdies.

At the course, the temperature climbed from 65 degrees at the start of the round to 85 degrees. Winds blew between 13-25 mph with gusts at 33 mph.

SAC AWARDS
Medalist

Rupert Kaminski, Oklahoma City
All-conference
Andrew Williamson, Wayland Baptist
Steven Diack, Wayland Baptist
Rowan Lester, Texas Wesleyan
Matthew Cheung, Oklahoma City
Player of the year
Rupert Kaminski, Oklahoma City
Freshman of the year
Rowan Lester, Texas Wesleyan
Coach of the year
Kyle Blaser, Oklahoma City

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