Brictson, OC Eagles run away with Ryan Palmer Foundation Invite

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AMARILLO, Texas (Sept. 10, 2019) – Andres Brictson delivered clutch putts on Tuesday in the Ryan Palmer Foundation Invitational and both he and his Oklahoma Christian teammates celebrated yet another win.

Brictson forced a playoff with birdies on the final two holes, then sealed his third collegiate win on the fourth hole of that playoff with a par putt. Meanwhile, the rest of the 15th-ranked Eagles also put in solid work to pull away for a nine-shot win over No. 10 St. Mary’s (Texas) at Tascosa Golf Club.

OC, which won five times in 2018-19 but lost three starters off that squad, appears to have retooled if the 66th victory in program history is any indication. Brictson, a junior from Merida, Mexico, who was one of the two returning starters, became only the ninth player in OC history to win at least three individual titles.

The Eagles entered the day in second place, one shot behind St. Edward’s (Texas), but seized the lead over the first few holes and never looked back while posting a team score of 4-under 280, matching St. Mary’s for the best of the day. OC’s three-round score was 12-under 840, giving the Eagles – last year’s Heartland Conference champs – a successful Lone Star Conference debut in an event that included nine other LSC squads.

Brictson was the Heartland’s individual champion last April and went on to become only the second OC player ever to qualify for the prestigious U.S. Amateur. He appears to have picked up where he left off, recording only two bogeys over his final 39 holes at Tascosa. He was tied for 12th after an opening-round 70, but jumped into a tie for third after a 3-under 68 in the second round on Monday.

On Tuesday, he moved into a share of the lead with a birdie on the first hole and remained at or near the top the rest of the way. With four holes to go, he was in a four-way tie for the lead but a birdie on No. 17 by Jake Doggett of Midwestern State (Texas) put Brictson a shot behind. He nailed a birdie putt on No. 18 to finish off a round of 67, move to 8-under 205 for the tournament and force a playoff.

Doggett and Brictson both parred the par-4 No. 18 twice in the playoff, then parred the par-4 No. 10 before moving to the par-4 No. 1. Doggett blinked and bogeyed the hole, while Brictson hit a tap-in par for the second playoff win of his career. The other came in the Heartland Conference Championship tournament at Slick Rock Golf Course in Horseshoe Bay, Texas.

OC senior Trevor Norby of Carlsbad, Calif., a returning third-team All-American, started the final round tied for the lead and ended up tied for third at 207 after a 1-under 70. Norby overcame a double bogey on No. 10 to record a pair of birdies over his final eight holes.

In his OC debut, Alejandro Armijo, a sophomore from Rio Rancho, N.M., who transferred from Oregon Tech, tied for ninth in the 89-man field, with his final-round 71 putting him at 211 (2-under). Armijo’s final round proved to be a wild ride, with five birdies and five bogeys to go with eight pars.

The Eagles had 62 birdies in the tournament, seven more than any other team. Brictson and Norby had 14 each while Alex Motes had 13, Armijo had 11 and Mateo Pulcini had 10.

Motes, a junior-college transfer from Midland (Texas) College and Sulphur Springs, Texas, closed with a 75 and tied for 45th at 221, while Pulcini, a freshman from Rio Cuarto, Argentina, shot a 72 and tied for 72nd at 228.

The Eagles will return to action on Sept. 23-24 at the Missouri Southern Fall Invitational at Shangri-La Golf Club in Monkey Island, Okla. OC is the defending team champion in that tournament.

Joe Lemieux shot a 1-under-par 70 to lead Central Oklahoma to a 287 to finish the two-day, 54-hole tournament in a tie for ninth with an 866 total.

Blake Murray backed up Lemieux with an even-par 71, while Evan Griffith and Jacob Lackey both shot 73 and Peyton Knell had a 78.

Lemieux started final-round play on No. 11 and parred his first five holes before bogeying No. 16. He answered back with an eagle on the par-5 17th and then bogeyed No. 18 to drop back to even-par.

The senior birdied No. 3 to get to one-under, gave that stroke back with a bogey on the next hole and then made five straight pars before birdieing his final hole to finish one-under. He finished with a 215 total, tying for 23rd in the individual standings.

Murray opening his round on the 10th hole and ripped off eight consecutive pars before birdieing No. 18 to drop to one-under. He followed with a double bogey on No. 1, but got those strokes back with birdies on Nos. 2 and 4.

The senior made another double bogey on the eighth hole before finishing his round with another birdie on the par-4 ninth for the 71. Murray tied Lemieux for 23rd with a 215 total.

It was the first tournament of the fall schedule for UCO, which returns to action Sept. 23-24 in the Missouri Southern Invitational at Shangri-La Golf Resort on Monkey Island, Okla.

Southwestern Oklahoma State also tied for ninth in the event. Heston Brown, Kason Cook and Gregor Weck were all separated by two strokes. Brown shot consistent rounds, firing 1-over par in the first round before shooting par in the second and third rounds to finish at 214 and tied for 19th.


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Ken MacLeod

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