Argentine import helps Eagles soar to second in Western Washington

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Photo: OC freshman Pablo Duster watches a tee shot on Tuesday in the Western Washington Invitational.

BELLINGHAM, Wash. (Sept. 26, 2017) – Oklahoma Christian men’s golf coach David Lynn has enjoyed good fortune with several players from South America during his career, including stars such as Bruno Buccolo and Juan Lizzaralde.

It’s a small sample size, for sure, but through two tournaments of his collegiate career, freshman Pablo Duster of Argentina is showing signs he could be OC’s latest South American standout. Duster shot a 4-under-par 68 on Tuesday to seal a third-place finish in the Western Washington Invitational.

Duster and junior Cameron Brown, who shot a 69 on Tuesday and tied for seventh, led the Eagles to a second-place finish in the 16-team tournament. OC posted a final-round team score of 291 to close at 867, 11 shots behind fellow NCAA Division II squad Simon Fraser (British Columbia), which had a final-day score of 281.

The Eagles tied for second with NAIA power British Columbia, one stroke ahead of Division II Colorado Christian. The tournament host, Division II No. 24-ranked Western Washington, tied for sixth at 871.

Duster posted five birdies in his final round over the 6,561-yard course at Bellingham Golf and Country Club. Five of his six collegiate rounds – including three in the season-opening Great American Conference Preview at Lake Hefner Golf Club’s North Course in Oklahoma City – have been at par or better.

In OC’s first trip to the Pacific Northwest since the 2012 NAIA Championship in Salem, Ore., Duster shot 7-under 209 for the tournament and finished behind only two players from Simon Fraser – Scott Kerr (10-under after a 6-under 66 on Tuesday) and second-round leader Chris Crisologo (8-under).

At 7-under, Duster was tied for 20th on the all-time OC list for best 54-hole score.

Brown wasn’t far behind, also rolling in five birdies en route to a final-round 69. That left him at 2-under 214 for the tournament.

Junior Juan Pallach birdied his final hole, the par-5 No. 1, to move the Eagles into a tie for second. That capped a round of 75 that included four birdies and put him at 221, tied for 31st in the 93-man field.

Two other OC juniors didn’t fare as well Tuesday. Garrett White, who opened the tournament with a 69, closed with a 79 while Ethan Smith shot an 80. Both tied for 58th place at 228.

The Eagles will be back in action next Monday and Tuesday in Wichita, Kan., playing in the Newman Fall Invitational at Crestview Country Club.

Northeastern State remained were it started on Tuesday and completed the three-round Western Washington Invitational in 11th place with an 897.

The RiverHawks had all five of the scores below 80 for the first time this season with Ty Shelnutt leading the squad on Tuesday with an even 72 on the course; the NSU sophomore finished in 36th place scoring a 222 (76-74-72).

Bryce Newton was three shots back of Shelnutt tied for 45th on the leader board (75-76-74).  Garrett McDanielHunter Pennington, and Matt Willingham all shot matching 229 scores in the three round tournament tied for 66th place.

Northeastern State will have a week off before playing on Oct. 9-10 at the Missouri Western Invitational in St. Joseph, Mo. in their second the last fall event.

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Ken MacLeod

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