OKLAHOMA CITY (March 21) High winds and a tough Gaillardia Country Club layout caused scores to soar here Monday, but Central Oklahoma managed to limit the damage the best in taking the first-day lead in the Broncho Invitational by RCB Bank.
There were almost as many scores in the 90s (12) as in the 70s (14) on the par-72, 7,136-yard course as winds of up to 35 miles per hour wreaked havoc on the 93-player field, resulting in an average score of 84.4.
The Bronchos managed to put three players in the 70s in finishing with a 314 total, giving them a seven-shot lead over Oklahoma Christian headed into Tuesdayâ€™s final round. Lindenwood and Southwestern Oklahoma are tied third in the 16-team tourney at 322, followed by Southeastern Oklahoma (324).
Teams start teeing off at 8:30 a.m. on the first and 10th holes Tuesday, with the wind expected to be even stronger.
â€œIt was really hard out there today with the wind and the way the course was set up,â€ head coach Pat Bates said. â€œOur guys did a good job staying patient and hopefully we can come out and do the same thing tomorrow.â€
Eric Kline and Eli Armstrong led UCO with 76s to share the individual lead in the tournament, one shot ahead of three other players. Cody Troutman managed a 78, while Russ Purser shot 84 and Logan Gray 85.
The Bronchos also had four players competing as individual medalists, with Alberto Nava shooting 79, Wesley Jackson 81, Cody Shore 82, Gavin Mastell 85.
Kline made the turn at three-over 39 following a stellar bogey save after hitting in the water on the par-3 ninth hole and came in with a one-over 37 by playing the last five holes at even-par.
Armstrong made the only birdie of the day on the rugged par-3 ninth with a 15-foot putt to turn at two-over 38 and used three birdies to equal that on an up-and-down back nine.
For second place Oklahoma Christian, Zac Schaefer and Alejandro Valenzuela both resided in the top 10 after the opening round.
Schaefer, a sophomore from Edmond, fired a 5-over-par 77 on the 7,136-yard course and was tied for third individually, one shot behind Kline and Armstrong.
Valenzuela, a freshman from Cochabamba, Bolivia, was another shot back, tied for eighth in the 93-man field. He recorded two birdies to go with an eagle on the par-5 No. 14 at Gaillardia, on a day with wind gusts that soared above 40 mph.
Among OC’s starting lineup, freshman Manuel Hernandez posted the third-best score, an 81 that left him tied for 22nd. Two other freshmen, Juan Pallach and Ethan Smith, were tied for 50th and tied for 82nd after shooting an 85 and a 90, respectively.
The Eagles also have four players competing as individuals in the tournament, Chris Karlovich (tied for 41st at 84), Casey Rebmann (tied for 65th at 87), Ryan Trousdale (tied for 88th at 92) and Ty Tamura (tied for 92nd at 97).
The tournament’s final round will be played Tuesday. The first OC players will tee off about 8:30 a.m.