OCU women capture SAC crown, men finish second; Folch, Marchesani nab individual titles

AMARILLO, Texas – Oklahoma City University captured its third consecutive conference title in the Sooner Athletic Conference women’s golf championships Tuesday at the Tascosa Golf Club’s LaPaloma Course.

The Stars’ Elia Folch, a senior from Barcelona, Spain, won her second SAC individual crown in a row. Oklahoma City, ranked second in the NAIA, picked up its 12th league championship in 14 years.

Folch joined Emily Albrektson and Laura Jones of OCU as two-time SAC individual champions and players of the year. Albrektson took the 2004 and 2005 NAIA Region VI and league crowns, while Jones won the SAC individual title in 2009 and 2010.

Folch’s 73-73–146 overcame Fariza Zain of Northwood (Texas) by three shots. Zain led after the first 18 holes by one stroke. Folch made par 21 times and birdied six holes. Folch notched her fourth win of the season and fifth of her career.

Oklahoma City fired a 300-309–609 for the 16-shot win over 16th-ranked Northwood, which had a 309-314–623. No. 18 Texas Wesleyan carded 336-313–649.

The defending national champion Stars advanced to the NAIA Championships on May 20-23 at Wilderness Ridge Golf Club in Lincoln, Neb. OCU owns national titles won in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2013.

"I am extremely proud of this group," OCU coach Marty McCauley said. "The conditions were tough today, and they all fought through the adversity well. I’m also very proud of Elia. She is a very deserving conference champion."

Oklahoma City’s Caroline Goodin finished third with a 74-77–151. Northwood’s Daniela Martinez took fourth, while Natalie Ugalde of Wayland Baptist (Texas) finished fifth to be all-SAC.

Goodin, a freshman from Oklahoma City, buried five birdies and made 21 pars among the 36 holes. Goodin became the SAC freshman of the year, while McCauley took SAC coach of the year for the second year in a row.

Anna Mikish, a freshman from Choctaw, Okla., posted a 74-81–155 to finish sixth for the Stars. Katie-Lee Wilson, a freshman from Owasso, Okla., supplied OCU with an 81-78–159 to tie for eighth.

Kailey Campbell, a freshman from Oktaha, Okla., tied for 13th with a 79-82–161. OCU individual Abby Thompson shot an 82-77–159.

The day started with 52-degree temperatures and 9 mph wind. By mid-day, the conditions were 73 degrees with 24 mph wind gusts. The temperature climbed to 83 degrees with wind gusts up to 31 mph.
 
OCU’s Marchesani wins SAC men’s golf individual crown
 
AMARILLO, Texas – James Marchesani of Oklahoma City University took the individual championship, while the Stars finished second place in the Sooner Athletic Conference men’s golf championships Tuesday at the LaPaloma Course at Tascosa Golf Club.

Marchesani, a senior from Rosebud, Victoria, Australia, gave Oklahoma City its third consecutive SAC individual men’s golf champion and fourth in five years. Marchesani captured the title by three strokes.

Ian Ansett of Wayland Baptist (Texas) finished as league runner-up, while Marchesani’s brother Anthony Marchesani picked up a third-place finish at four shots off the pace. Wayland Baptist’s Anders Ellingsberg and Ryan Connolly were fourth and fifth, respectively, to round the all-SAC honorees.

James Marchesani posted a 67-71-67–205, making 13 birdies and two eagles. He eagled the par-5, 512-yard 11th hole in his first round and the par-5, 508-yard eighth hole in his second round Monday. Marchesani won for the second consecutive start and fourth time overall this season.

Marchesani earned his fourth all-league nod. Marchesani’s previous finishes in the SAC Championships were fifth place last year and third as a sophomore and freshman.

Oklahoma City, ranked second in the NAIA, shot 295-277-283–855 to finish 13 strokes behind league champion and No. 1-ranked Wayland Baptist. The Stars had captured the previous four SAC titles and 16 of the past 17 conference crowns.

Two-time defending national champion OCU will likely gain an at-large bid into the NAIA Championships on May 13-16 at LPGA International in Daytona Beach, Fla. The qualifiers for the 63rd annual NAIA men’s golf championships will be announced May 1.

The Stars own nine national crowns won in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2012 and 2013.

Wayland Baptist’s winning score was 283-280-279–842 on the par-71, 6,767-yard course. Fifth-ranked Texas Wesleyan had a third-place 302-285-285–872, while No. 23 Northwood (Texas) compiled a fourth-place 297-289-288–874. Sixth-ranked Oklahoma Baptist finished fifth with a 294-292-291–877.

Anthony Marchesani fired a 72-68-69–209 for the Stars. Marchesani, a sophomore from Rosebud, Victoria, Australia, dropped in 16 birdies to lead the tournament along with Ansett. Marchesani picked up his first all-SAC honor.

Garrison Mendoza of OCU tied for sixth with a 75-69-70–214, finishing a stroke away from gaining all-conference. Mendoza, a freshman from Clinton, Okla., made par 38 of the tournament’s 54 holes. He buried an eagle on No. 11 in his second round Monday.
Scott Verplank provided the Stars with an 81-69-78–228 to tie for 24th. Verplank, a sophomore from Edmond, Okla., nailed 10 birdies. Matthew Cheung carded an 81-77-77–235, while OCU individual Issa Abou el Ela had a 75-76-70–221.

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