SALEM, Ore. – Oklahoma City University’s Sondre Ronold carded a round-four 71 to capture the individual title at the NAIA Championships and lead the second-ranked Stars to their ninth NAIA men’s golf title Friday at Creekside Golf Club.
OCU was the only team to finish under par finishing with 280-288-289-291–1,148, four under par, on the par-72, 6,887-yard course. The Stars defeated top-ranked Texas Wesleyan by 28 strokes and No. 3 Cal State San Marcos by 33 shots.
28 shots is the widest margin of victory since 2005 when Johnson & Wales (Fla.) defeated Oklahoma Christian by 28.
“The guys really fought hard this week,” OCU coach Kyle Blaser said. “It’s awesome to have the guys step up. We stress peaking at the right time – sometimes we do and sometimes we don’t. I think on the ninth hole I saw a few teams struggling a bit and I believed we had it locked up.”
Ronold, a senior from Stavanger, Norway, finished the tournament with 69-69-74-71–283, five under par, to become OCU’s fourth individual champion. Ronold carded five of his 17 birdies in the final round to edge Aaron Flores of Our Lady of the Lake (Texas) and Adam Loran of Cal State San Marcos by two shots.
“It feels good, but I think the team championship feels extra good,” Ronold said. “My round today started off a little sketchy, but I managed to score decently and it picked up on the back nine. It’s only sweet feelings right now.”
OCU’s past individual champions are Tyrone van Aswegen in 2002, Nicholas Allain in 2003 and Daniel Mitchell in 2007. Brent Akin finished runner-up in 2006.
Fellow senior Michael Palmer, of Johannesburg, South Africa, made birdie three times in the final round and turned in a 70 to finish fourth overall. Palmer finished the tournament two under par with 71-72-73-70–286.
Freshman Anthony Marchesani, of Rosebud, Victoria Australia, finished in sixth place overall with 68-72-73-76–289. Marchesani carded 14 birdies over four rounds and won the Phil Mickelson Award as the NAIA’s top freshman.
James Marchesani, a junior from Rosebud, Victoria, Australia, shot a final-round 74 and finished in a tie for seventh place individually. Marchesani made 14 birdies and finished with 72-75-69-74–290.
Oswin Schlenkrich, a freshman from Queenstown, Eastern Cape, South Africa, finished the tournament with 81-81-76-82–320.
Anthony Marchesani, James Marchesani, Palmer and Ronold all landed on the all-tournament team and were named Ping first-team all-Americans while Blaser was named NAIA coach of the year for the second consecutive season.
OCU has won NAIA men’s golf titles in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2012 and now 2013.
In all sports, OCU has captured 50 total national championships. OCU has won at least one national championship every year since 1994.
2013 All-Tournament Team
Sondre Ronold, Oklahoma City
Aaron Flores, Our Lady of the Lake
Adam Loran, Cal State San Marcos
Michael Palmer, Oklahoma City
Davis Garner, Bellevue (Neb.)
Anthony Marchesani, Oklahoma City
Dylan Anthony, Texas Wesleyan
James Marchesani, Oklahoma City
Jose Mario Vega, Bellevue (Neb.)
Trevor Banks, Virginia Intermont
Zach Cabra, St. Thomas (Texas)
Matthew Latham, St. Andrews (N.C.)
Nathan Anderson, Texas Wesleyan
Tyler Christians, Grand View (Iowa)
Julian Taylor, William Woods (Mo.)