EDMOND (March 10) – Lindsey Bensch and Bethany Darrough both shot 72 to lead a final-round rally that lifted Central Oklahoma to the team championship at the Diffee Ford Lincoln Invitational here Tuesday.
The Bronchos trimmed 12 shots off their first-round score with a blistering 293 at the par-70 KickingBird Golf Course to finish at 598 for the two-day, 36-hole tournament in beating Oklahoma Christian by five strokes for their sixth title in seven events this year.
Oklahoma City was third in the 14-team field at 610, followed by Arkansas Tech (617) and Henderson State (632).
L. Bensch and Darrough led UCO’s comeback with their 2-over-par efforts, while Marla Souvannasing shot 73 and Daniela Martinez and Katie Bensch both had 76s.
"We came out and played really well today," coach Michael Bond said. "We had struggled some in our first three rounds this spring, but had a good, clean round today and that was good to see."
The Bronchos ended up with four players among the top 10 individuals in the tournament, led by Souvannasing’s runner-up finish with a 148 total. L. Bensch tied for fourth at 149, Darrough tied for seventh at 150 and Martinez was 10th at 151.
Oklahoma Christian’s Anna Arrese Cortadellas won the individual title, her second win in as many weeks, shooting a sizzling 2-under-par 68 to take the individual title by five shots.
It was the seventh career individual title for Arrese Cortadellas, who also took top honors last week in the Las Vegas Desert Classic. Her sensational round lifted her team to a second-place finish. OC posted a final-round team score of 297 to finish at 603, five shots behind NCAA Division II power UCO.
"I’m very proud of the girls," OC coach Greg Lynn said. "Anna is playing fantastic and just keeps getting better and better. It’s fun to watch her play. All the girls played well."
Waterlogged after a day of soaking rain, Kickingbird played much longer than its listed 5,768 yards. That didn’t bother Arrese Cortadellas, who recorded three birdies and only one bogey to quickly make up a four-shot gap she faced entering the final round. Her 68 was the best score of her OC career and her first sub-70 round in three years.
By the end of the round, the only question was how far ahead of everyone else she’d be. Her two-round score of 143 put her five shots clear of Souvannasing of UCO and Claudia Chemin of Oklahoma City University.
"I’m telling you, when she tees it up in a tournament, she’s the best player in the tournament," Lynn said of Arrese Cortadellas. "In order to win, you have to have a decent putting day and today she did."
Arrese Cortadellas wasn’t OC’s only top-five individual finisher. Junior Audrey Meisch shot a 74 to finish at 149, tied for fourth. OC sophomore India Matthews just missed a spot in the top 10 of the 88-woman field, finishing 12th at 153 after a final-round 76.
Sophomore Allison Sell fired her second straight 79 and tied for 22nd at 158. OC senior Catherine Odgers shot an 83 and tied for 43rd at 165.
The Lady Eagles also had four players compete as individuals. Sophomore Dana Todd led that group, shooting an 85 to close at 168, tied for 49th. Freshman Chaise Lucero was two shots back at 170 after shooting an 82 (a six-shot improvement over Monday) to tie for 52nd.
Junior Alyssa Schneider shot an 85 and tied for 71st at 184 while sophomore Mindy Stafford’s 90 left her at 189, tied for 78th.
It will be another quick turnaround for OC’s next tournament, which will be the Augustana Spring Fling on March 19-20 at The Classic Club in Palm Desert, Calif.The Bronchos return to action to action at the Missouri Western Invitational March 22-23 in St. Joseph, Mo.
Oklahoma City University dropped from first to third in the final round.
Emma Allen, a freshman from Tulsa, led the Stars with a 75-75-150 while converting four birdies and tied for seventh. Anna Mikish, a sophomore from Choctaw, turned in a 76-76-152 while knocking down six birdies and took eleventh.
Kailey Campbell tied for 14th with a 74-80-154 and Caroline Goodin, a sophomore from Oklahoma City turned in a 79-16-155. Abby Thompson, a sophomore from Owasso, provided an 83-79-162.
The Stars travel to Daytona Beach, Fla. to play in the Embry-Riddle Eagle Invitational at the LGPA International on March 16.