Bennett, Oklahoma Christian prevail in Midwestern State Invitational, UCO fifth

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Photo: OC’s women’s golf team poses for a team shot after winning the Midwestern State Invitational. Left to right, medalist Alex Bennett, Shaley Goad, Abigail Rigsby, Camilla Jarvela, Wilma Merenies and coach Greg Lynn.

Complete results:

WICHITA FALLS, Texas (March 16, 2021) – Oklahoma Christian sophomore Alexandria Bennett won her first collegiate title and led the Eagles to their first team tournament crown in two years in the Midwestern State Invitational, which ended Tuesday at Wichita Falls Country Club.

Bennett, from Plano, Texas, closed the tournament with her best round, a 1-under-par 71 that lifted her to a three-shot win over the second-round leader, Loukyee Songprasert of West Texas A&M. Bennett’s three-round score of 219 (3-over) matched the fifth-best 54-hole score in program history and matched the second-best round in the history of Midwestern State’s tournament, which first was played in 2010.

She became the fifth player in OC history to win an individual tournament title and was the program’s first first-time winner since current teammate Abigail Rigsby won the Midwestern State tournament in 2018. OC players have won 21 tournaments since the program started with the fall 2011 season.

It also was the second top-10 finish for Bennett in as many weeks, as she tied for sixth last week in the Diffie Ford-Lincoln Invitational at Kickingbird Golf Course in Edmond, Okla. She was named as the Lone Star Conference’s player of the week following that performance.

Coming off their best team round in more than four years – a 291 in the second round on Monday – the unranked Eagles posted a final-round team score of 299 to finish the event with an overall score of 904, four shots better than No. 19-ranked St. Mary’s (Texas), like OC a member of the LSC. Another LSC power, No. 21 West Texas A&M, was a distant third in the 12-team field at 929.

It was the 13th team tournament win in OC history but the first since 2019, when the Eagles won Rogers State’s Hillcat Classic at Bailey Ranch Golf Club in Owasso, Okla. It was the second straight win for OC in the Midwestern State tournament, as the Eagles also took the 2019 edition before the 2020 tournament was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Three Eagles finished in the top six in the 63-woman field at Midwestern State. Freshman Camilla Jarvela of Espoo, Finland, closed with a 77 on Thursday and tied for third at 227. Rigsby, a senior from Courtenay, British Columbia, had four birdies en route to a 72 on the 5,836-yard course and tied for sixth at 228.

Junior Shaley Goad of Wheeler, Texas, tied for 17th at 235 after shooting a final-round 79, while freshman Wilma Merenmies of Jyvaskyla, Finland, tied for 24th at 238. She also posted a 79.

OC will play its third tournament in as many weeks next Monday and Tuesday, when they’re scheduled to compete in Texas A&M-Commerce’s Lion Invitational at Trophy Club Country Club in Trophy Club, Texas.

Central Oklahoma  moved up one spot in the team standings on the final day, finishing in fifth place. The Bronchos closed with a 316.

“We didn’t play our best,” head coach Michael Bond said. “The wind made it pretty tough, but we had too many big numbers and that’s something we can’t do.”

Kinsley Hall paced the Bronchos with a final-round 78, while Emma Shelley and Susana Olivares both shot 79. Sydney Roberts added an 80, Madison O’Dell shot 82 and Mika Ramos carded an 81 competing as an individual medalist.


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Ken MacLeod

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