AMARILLO, Texas (Sept. 16, 2014) – Looking to move up in the final round of the Ryan Palmer Foundation Invitational on Tuesday, Oklahoma Christian had to instead scramble to hang on to what it had.
The Eagles, who began the day at Tascosa Country Club in fourth place in the 17-team field, ended it tied for fourth with Cameron and Heartland Conference rival Lubbock Christian (Texas). OC closed with a final-round 291 – 3-over-par as a team – for an overall score of 862, 15 shots behind tournament winner (and NAIA No. 6-ranked) Wayland Baptist (Texas).
Two Eagles – seniors Trey Payne and Jared Consoli – tied for 15th individually in the 89-man field with a three-round score of 215. Consoli closed with a 1-under 71 on the 6,538-yard course, while Payne shot a 73.
Junior Sam Johnston fired a 76 and tied for 34th at 219, one shot ahead of freshman Asher Owen, who shot a 78 after posting a 4-under 68 in the second round. The other freshman in OC’s lineup, Zac Schaefer, recorded his best round of the tournament, shooting a 71 to finish at 223, tied for 53rd.
Among the seven Heartland schools in the tournament, OC finished tied for second. St. Mary’s (Texas) led the conference contingent, finishing third overall at 857. OC and Lubbock Christian finished ahead of defending conference champion and NCAA Division II No. 13-ranked St. Edward’s (Texas), which closed at 868.
Jose Hernandez of St. Edward’s won a one-hole playoff against West Texas A&M’s Oscar Spolander for medalist honors. Both players finished at 9-under 207.
OC will return to action next Monday and Tuesday, when the Eagles play in the inaugural National Christian College Athletic Association Central Region Championship at Owasso Golf and Athletic Club. The winner of the tournament will automatically qualify for the NCCAA Championship, which will be played in late October in Panama City Beach, Fla.