OCU men, women look to repeat at Sooner Athletic Conference champs

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OCU strives for sixth SAC men’s golf crown in seven years

FORT WORTH, Texas – Oklahoma City University looks to repeat as league champion in the Sooner Athletic Conference men’s golf championships Monday and Tuesday at Waterchase Golf Club.

The tournament starts 8 a.m. Monday in a shotgun start, then with tee times Tuesday on the par-72, 7,159-yard course. Live scoring of the tournament will be available.
Sixth-ranked Oklahoma City will face a field featuring two other teams among the NAIA top 25 – second-ranked Wayland Baptist (Texas) and seventh-ranked Texas Wesleyan.
Other SAC teams playing will be John Brown (Ark.), Mid-America Christian, St. Gregory’s and Southwestern Christian. The SAC champion picks up an NAIA Championships bid.

Oklahoma City won its fifth SAC championship in six years, 17th SAC title in 19 years and 20th SAC crown overall. The Stars own national titles won in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2012 and 2013.

The NAIA Championships run May 24-27 at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Ill. The NAIA releases the national-tournament field May 12.

OCU took four tournament crowns this season including Arkansas-Fort Smith’s Hardscrabble Invitational on April 11-12 at Hardscrabble Country Club in Fort Smith, Ark. The Stars won three of four fall tournaments.

The Stars come off shooting 272-287 – 559 to win by 26 shots in the Hardscrabble Invitational.

“We played really well on a demanding golf course and to come away with the win, we should have some confidence and momentum,” said OCU coach Kyle Blaser, who has guided the Stars to 97 tournament wins. “To win championships you need to peak at the right time, and we are starting to play our best golf now. We look forward to competing hard these last two events.”

Zac Oliver, then at Oklahoma Baptist, edged Anthony Marchesani in a playoff for the individual conference title last year. Marchesani, a senior from Rosebud, Victoria, Australia, has provided OCU with a 72.83 stroke average plus the win in the NAIA Fall Preview on Oct. 19-20 at TPC Deere Run. Oliver, a senior from Checotah, Okla., joined the Stars this season and has averaged 75.00 strokes per round with two top-10 finishes.

Rupert Kaminski tops the Stars with a 71.96 stroke average as well as two individual titles in The Mid-South on Sept. 29-30 in Newton, Kan., and the Hardscrabble Invitational. Kaminski, a freshman from Johannesburg, South Africa, carded a 64-66 – 130 while sinking 13 birdies to secure the win in the Hardscrabble Invitational.

Matthew Cheung has contributed 73.25 shots per 18 holes. Cheung, a junior from Brisbane, Australia, turned in a season-best third-place finish in the U.C. Ferguson Classic on Sept. 14-15 at Lincoln Park Golf Course. Jett Johnson has added a 75.22 stroke average for OCU. Johnson, a senior from Norman, Okla., finished fourth in the San Antonio Shootout.

The forecast for the area calls for a high temperature of 72 degrees Monday with a 60 percent chance of rain. Tuesday’s projected weather has a high of 75 with a 90 percent chance for rain. Waterchase Golf Club, designed by Steven D. Plumer, includes Bermuda grass, tree-lined doglegs, split fairways and a waterfall between the ninth and 18th greens.
 
Stars seek sixth consecutive SAC women’s golf title
 

FORT WORTH, Texas – Oklahoma City University takes aim at its fifth consecutive conference crown in the Sooner Athletic Conference women’s golf championships Monday and Tuesday at Waterchase Golf Club.

The 36-hole tournament begins 8 a.m. Monday in a shotgun start, then using tee times 8:30 a.m. Tuesday at the par-72, 5,891-yard course. Follow the tournament on live scoring.

The fifth-ranked Stars will be competing against two other teams in the NAIA rankings,  ninth-ranked Texas Wesleyan and 12th-ranked Wayland Baptist (Texas). St. Gregory’s and Southwestern Christian plus Red River Athletic Conference members Houston-Victoria, St. Thomas (Texas) and University of the Southwest (N.M.) will also be in the field. The conference champion earns an NAIA Championships berth.

“I am really excited for the girls to get back into action,” OCU coach Marty McCauley said. “We did some really nice things at our last event, and I feel we are beginning to peak at the right time of season. We are looking forward to the challenge of a great golf course and the competition of our strong conference foes.”

OCU owns 13 SAC titles won in the past 15 years. The Stars have won seven national championships in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2013 and 2014.

The NAIA Championships will be May 17-20 at Savannah Quarters Country Club in Pooler, Ga. The national-tournament qualifiers will be announced May 5.

Oklahoma City has won two tournament titles this season in the Susie Maxwell Berning Classic at Lincoln Park Golf Course on Oct. 24-25 and the Claud Jacobs Invitational at The Club at Colony Creek in Victoria, Texas on Feb. 14-15. OCU set a program record with a 30-stroke margin of victory in the Jacobs Invitational.

Kailey Campbell and Katie-Lee Wilson earned all-SAC nods to pace OCU to the 2015 league championship. Campbell has produced a 77.40 stroke average in 2015-16. Campbell, a junior from Oktaha, Okla., had her finest collegiate finish with a tie for third in the Jacobs Invitational. Wilson, a junior from Owasso, Okla., adds 81.36 strokes per 18 holes this season.

Emma Allen leads the Stars with a 77.60 stroke average this season. Allen, a sophomore from Broken Arrow, Okla., had a career-best runner-up finish in the Claud Jacobs Invitational and shot her career-low round of 69 in the Susie Maxwell Berning Classic.
Caroline Goodin, a junior from Oklahoma City, has supplied OCU with 78.00 shots per round, taking her first career college win in the Jacobs Invitational. Goodin was named the 2015-16 Jim Wade Award winner as OCU’s female student-athlete of the year earlier this week. She was all-conference as a freshman. Anna Mikish captured her first college tournament win in the Berning Classic. Mikish, a junior from Choctaw, Okla., has posted a 78.36 stroke average this season.

Abby Thompson equaled her best OCU finish with an eight-place showing in the Jacobs Invitational. Thompson, a senior from Edmond, Okla., has chipped in an 80.48 stroke average. Raegan Barnes, a junior from Choctaw, Okla., has had an 81.00 stroke average this season for the Stars.

The forecast for the area calls for a high temperature of 72 degrees Monday with a 60 percent chance of rain. Tuesday’s projected weather has a high of 75 with a 90 percent chance for rain. Waterchase Golf Club, designed by Steven D. Plumer, includes Bermuda grass, tree-lined doglegs, split fairways and a waterfall between the ninth and 18th greens.
  

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