DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Oklahoma City University’s James Marchesani fired a final-round 69 and won the individual title at the NAIA Championships Friday at LPGA International.
The senior from, Rosebud, Victoria, Australia, finished with a five-under par final score of 70-72-69—211 on the par-72, 6,928-yard course and defeated Jay Monahan of Grand View (Iowa) in a one-hole playoff. Marchesani received the Arnold Palmer Award as the NAIA’s top golfer and was named PING first-team all-American by the Golf Coaches Association of America.
The Stars, ranked No. 3 in NAIA men’s golf, turned in a final score of 287-294-288—868 and finished four shots behind tournament champion Coastal Georgia. OCU’s only other runner-up finish came in 1991 at Twin Hills Country Club in Oklahoma City.
Marchesani rolled in 12 birdies in three rounds to win his fifth individual title of the season and become OCU’s fifth individual champion. OCU’s past individual champions are Tyrone van Aswegen in 2002, Nicholas Allain in 2003, Daniel Mitchell in 2007 and Sondre Ronold in 2013.
Freshman Matthew Cheung, of Brisbane, Australia, finished in a tie for seventh place with a three-round score of 72-74-69—215. Cheung made 10 birdies and an eagle in three rounds of play.
Garrison Mendoza, a freshman from Clinton, Okla., finished with a final score of 70-77-76—223. Mendoza rolled in 10 birdies in the tournament.
Sophomore Scott Verplank, of Edmond, Okla., turned a final score of 75-75-74—224. Verplank made three birdies in three rounds of action.
Anthony Marchesani, a sophomore from Rosebud, Victoria, Australia, finished with a final score of 78-73-76—227. Marchesani carded six birdies on the tournament and also garnered PING first-team all-America honors.
Teams saw temperatures range from the low 60s to the high 70s with winds out of the northwest on the day. Play was suspended Thursday due to inclement weather and course conditions, and the tournament was shortened to 54 holes instead of the original 72-hole format as a result.
GCAA NAIA PING First-Team All-Americans
Ian Ansett, Wayland Baptist
Ryan Connolly, Wayland Baptist
Tyler Falk, Northwest Christian
Dylan Freeman, Coastal Georgia
Daniel Jansen, Faulkner
Anthony Marchesani, Oklahoma City
James Marchesani, Oklahoma City
Jose Rolz, Texas Wesleyan
Damon Salo, Johnson & Wales
Julian Taylor, William Woods