LAWRENCE, Kan. (April 23) – Central Oklahoma put three players in the 70s and finished off a wire-to-wire victory at the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association Women’s Golf Championships here Wednesday.
The Bronchos fired a closing 317 and ended up with a 958 total after three trips around the 6,237-yard, par-72 Alvamar Golf Club, outdistancing second-place Northeastern State by 15 shots and third-place Northwest Missouri by 89.
It was the second straight league title for UCO, which had all five players finish between third and seventh in the individual standings while recording seven of the 13 sub-80 rounds shot in the tournament.
"We got off to a little bit of a slow start, but didn’t panic and did a great job closing it out," said head coach Michael Bond, whose team has won five of 10 tournaments this year. "It was a tough golf course with a lot of trouble and I’m proud of how we played."
Aly Seng led the Bronchos in the final round with a 77, while Bethany Darrough and Katie Bensch both shot 79. June Tigert added an 82 and Taylor Neidy an 83.
Neidy entered the day with a two-shot lead in the individual race, but fell to third with a 238 total. Tigert came in fourth at 239, Seng fifth at 243, Bensch sixth at 245 and Darrough seventh at 246.
Seng got off to a rough start and was six-over-par through eight holes before playing the final 10 holes at one-under in finishing with the 77 that tied for the second-lowest score of the tournament.
Darrough also struggled out of the gate and was six-over through seven holes before playing her final 11 holes just one-over.
UCO is virtually assured of a berth in the NCAA Division II Super Regional Three Tournament, which will be held May 4-6 in Lake Elmo, Minn.
Northeastern State women’s golf team finished second after shooting 320 in Wednesday’s final round. The RiverHawks finished the three-round event at 109-over-par 973 (326-327-320). They found themselves within four strokes of Central Oklahoma midway through the final round, but the No. 13-ranked Bronchos (320-321-317) closed strong to win the event. NSU now has six runner-up finishes at conference championship events since joining the NCAA in 1996-97, including four in the Lone Star Conference (2003, 2005, 2008-09) and two in the MIAA (2013-14).
Freshmen Baylee Price (79-77-77) and Sofia Castiello (80-78-78) finished first and second in the individual standings. Price won the tournament at 17-over 233. She became the fifth RiverHawk in school history to capture an individual conference crown and the first since Courtney Epps won the LSC tournament in 2008. Castiello landed three strokes back of her teammate at 20-over 236. Both Price and Castiello were named to the MIAA All-Tournament Team.
Northeastern State will now await its postseason fate, as the selection show for the NCAA Central Regional will be held at 2 p.m. April 28. The next set of regional rankings will be released April 24.
2014 MIAA WOMEN’S GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP – Final Results
April 23, 2014 at Lawrence, Kan.
(par-72, 6,237-yard Alvamar Golf Club Members Course)
1. #13 Central Oklahoma 320-321-317=958 (+94)
2. (RV) Northeastern State 326-327-320=973 (+109)
3. (RV) Northwest Missouri State 352-345-350=1047 (+183)
4. Lindenwood 345-359-354=1058 (+194)
5. Central Missouri 359-361-349=1069 (+205)
6. Nebraska-Kearney 357-354-363=1074 (+210)
7. Missouri Western State 363-372-362=1097 (+233)
8. Fort Hays State 392-378-381=1151 (+287)
9. Southwest Baptist 424-418-408=1250 (+386)
1. Baylee Price (Northeastern State) 79-77-77=233 (+17)
2. Sofia Castiello (Northeastern State) 80-78-78=236 (+20)
3. Taylor Neidy (Central Oklahoma) 76-78-83=237 (+21)
4. June Tigert (Central Oklahoma) 79-78-82=239 (+23)
5. Aly Seng (Central Oklahoma) 85-81-77=243 (+27)
2014 MIAA Women’s Golf All-Tournament Team
1. Baylee Price, Northeastern State
2. Sofia Castiello, Northeastern State
3. Taylor Neidy, Central Oklahoma
4. June Tigert, Central Oklahoma
5. Aly Seng, Central Oklahoma