JOSEPH, Mo. (Oct. 11) – Rain forced a long delay in the start of the Missouri Western Holiday Inn Express Invitational that kicked off here Monday, but Central Oklahoma went on a birdie binge when play finally got underway.
The Bronchos racked up 24 birdies on the 6,564-yard, par-71 St. Joseph Country Club in finishing with a four-under 280 total to seize an eight-stroke lead over Winona State. Washburn is third in the 16-team field at 291.
Thirty-six holes were on tap Monday, but heavy rains resulted in a four-hour delay and teams were able to finish just 18 holes. The final round is set for an 8:30 a.m. start Tuesday.
Caleb Kimmel led UCO’s charge with a 3-under 68 that has him in the individual lead by one shot. Bennett Baldwin and Kyle Hickey are tied for fifth after both opened with 1-under 70s, while Evan Griffith shot 72 and Liam Coughlin 73.
“I was really proud of the way we stayed focused after such a long delay,” head coach Derrick Thompson said. “We made a ton of birdies and really played well. The guys are feeling good and we’re excited about tomorrow.”
Kimmel bogeyed his first hole on the par-3 seventh, but responded with birdies on the par-5 eighth and par-5 10th to get to 1-under. He dropped back to even with a bogey on No. 12, then really got going.
The junior birdied the par-4 15th to get to one-under, made consecutive birdies on the par-5 17th and 18th holes and added another on the par-4 second to get to minus-four. Kimmel bogeyed No. 4, then finished with two pars for the 68.