EDMOND – Sydney Roberts used a red-hot back nine to rally for the individual title and catapult Central Oklahoma to the team championship in the Diffee Ford Lincoln Invitational that ended Tuesday at KickingBird Golf Club.
Roberts fired a 4-under-par 31 on the closing nine to finish with a 2-under 68 and earn medalist honors by one shot, while the Bronchos shot a final-round 291 to finish with a 605 total for a three-stroke victory over first-round leader Southwestern Oklahoma.
Henderson State was third in the 13-team event hosted by Southern Nazarene at 611, followed by Oklahoma Christian (613) and Arkansas Tech (617).
It was the second tournament win of the year for UCO and its first since the Central Region Preview back in September. The Bronchos have finished in the top six in all seven tournaments in 2016-17.
“We played well today and came out with a great win,” head coach Michael Bond said. “I didn’t think it was enough to get it done until they added it all up. Sydney’s back nine was phenomenal and really carried us.”
Three other players finished in the top 20 for the Bronchos — Mucciaccio (seventh at 151), Souvannasing (13th at 154) and Pool (19th at 156).
Roberts, a freshman from Brownwood, Texas, was fifth entering the final round after opening with a 76 Monday before pulling off the comeback. She eagled the par-5 12th hole and also had two birdies on the back in coming in with the 31 that vaulted her past first-day leader Gloria Choi of SWOSU for the first individual crown of her young career.
Choi shot a 69 (-1) and 76 (+6) in her two rounds, ending five over for the tournament and just one stroke behind the best score of 144. Wahlin carded consistent scores of 74 (+4) and 72 (+2) to end just one stroke shy of Choi’s mark.
OC slipped despite a 19-shot improvement in its team score from the first round. The Lady Eagles posted a 297 to close at 613 overall, eight shots behind local rival Central Oklahoma. First-round leader Southwestern Oklahoma State was second at 608 and Henderson State (Ark.) used the low round of the day (286) among the 14-team field to zoom into third at 611.
The Lady Eagles had finished no lower than second in the annual spring event at Kickingbird the past three years, winning twice.
“Other teams just played better than us today,” OC coach Greg Lynn said.
Rigsby, from Courtenay, British Columbia, posted the third top-10 finish of her career, closing with a 75 to end up at 152 for the tournament. Nemecek was right behind at 153 after a final-day 76. It was the first collegiate top-10 finish for the Purcell product and the second straight day in which she posted her career-best round.
Two shots behind Nemecek was senior Allison Sell, who had one of OC’s two best rounds of the day, a 3-over-par 73 on the 5,821-yard course. That left her tied for 15th in the 86-woman field.
Also shooting a 73 for OC was sophomore Kate Goodwin, and as a result she jumped 29 spots in the standings – into a tie for 23rd – at 158 for the tournament. Sophomore Elizabeth Freeman‘s 82 left her at 162, tied for 38th.
Three OC players competed as individuals and each of them improved on her first-round score. Senior Dana Todd led the group, finishing 55th at 166 after an 81. Junior Chaise Lucero tied for 64th at 170 after also shooting an 81, and senior Mindy Stafford fired an 89. She finished 82nd at 186.
Northeastern State fired off the third lowest round on Tuesday and finished sixth at 621, (326-295). Baylee Price shot NSU’s individual low round with 71 and was tied for 13th place scoring a 154; Ebba Moberg was one shot in front with a 153 (80-73) to finish tied for tenth.
“This is who were are today,” said head coach Scott Varner. “There was too much damage done yesterday. We are not far from being a great team and we will figure it out.”
Ana Contreras picked up ten shots on day two and fired off a 158 (84-74) to land her tied for 23rd place, Halie Wright was to shots back of Contreras in 30th (79-81), and Lexi Armon scored a 161 (84-77) for 35th on the individual leader board.