OKLAHOMA CITY – Rachel Eckert, Natalie Gough and Lauryn Pritchard inked their letters of intent to officially join the Oklahoma City University women’s golf team on Wednesday.
The three became a part of the Stars’ eight-time national championship program. OCU, the defending national champ, owns national titles won in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2013, 2014 and 2017.
“All three of these girls are very special student-athletes,” said OCU head coach Marty McCauley, who had led the Stars to three national titles. “Natalie and Lauryn have a wealth of playing experience and while Rachel is newer to competitive golf, I have no doubt that all three of them will have a positive impact on our program and university. I could not be more excited to have all three of these exceptional young ladies join our program and family.”
Eckert, from Bixby, Okla., is coming off a junior season where she had three top-10 individual finishes and two top-five finishes. On the South Central Section of the Junior PGA Tour, Eckert has taken first place five times and second place three times in the last two years.
She’s a three-time team captain at Bixby and received the 2017 Spartan Award for her outstanding character, leadership and teamwork. Eckert is a Tulsa area all-VYPE team member and was an honorable mention for the Tulsa World all-metro team last year.
Gough, also from Bixby High School, tied for fifth place in the Class 6A state tournament and turned in a 79.8 stroke average last season. She also was named to the Tulsa World’s all-metro first team, the all-VYPE team in the Tulsa area and VYPE magazine’s athletic of the month for May in 2017 while taking the Frontier Conference individual crown in 2016-17.
Gough was a qualifier for the 2017 USGA Junior Girls Championship and took third in the 2017 Women’s Oklahoma Golf Association Junior Girls State Championship. As a freshman and sophomore, she placed in the top 10 of the conference, regional and state tournaments.
Pritchard, from Allen, Texas, tied for 11th in the Class 6A University Interscholastic League tournament during her junior year. She also finished tied for fifth in the District-6 6A Championships, earning all-district team honors last season.
As a freshman, Pritchard turned in a round of 65 in the Texas-Oklahoma Junior Golf Championship.
Oklahoma City concluded the fall portion of its schedule with a third-place finish in the Susie Maxwell Berning Classic on Oct. 16-17. The Stars, ranked 13th in the NAIA, will resume their season March 5-6 in the Battle at Boulder Creek in Boulder City, Nev.