OC’s Johnston wins eighth Heartland award

OKLAHOMA CITY (March 4, 2015) – It’s becoming commonplace during the 2014-15 academic year  – Oklahoma Christian’s Sam Johnston plays in a golf tournament, then soon is named as the Heartland Conference player of the week.

It happened again Wednesday, as the junior from San Diego received the honor for the fourth time in OC’s seven tournaments thus far. All told, in three years with the Eagles, Johnston is an eight-time winner of the weekly award given by the NCAA Division II conference.

Johnston was honored this time for his play in the Las Vegas Desert Classic, which ended Monday at Paiute Golf Club. In chilly, windy conditions, Johnston shot rounds of 2-under-par 70 and 74 to finish at even-par for the tournament on the 6,886-yard course, good for a second-place individual finish.

He helped OC finish second in the team race in a field full of quality NCAA Division II and III teams. Johnston has finished in the top 10 individually in his last six tournaments, a run that includes two wins and two runner-up finishes.

Johnston, a two-time Division II All-America pick, won the Heartland weekly honor three times as a freshman and once as a sophomore. He is the only player to take the honor multiple times during the 2014-15 campaign.

During the 2014-15 campaign, he previously was named as the conference’s player of the week after finishing second in the National Christian College Athletic Association Central Region Championship in Owasso in September; after winning the Newman Fall Invitational in Wichita, Kan., in October; and after winning the San Antonio Shoot-Out at TPC San Antonio last month.

He ranks 30th in NCAA Division II (and third among Heartland Conference players) in stroke average at 72.17. He’s also fifth in Division II and tops in the Heartland in total birdies (62 in 18 rounds).

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