Chaney, Stars take lead in Susie Maxwell Berning Classic

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Top-ranked Oklahoma City University sat atop the team standings as Reagan Chaney secured the individual lead through 18 holes of the Susie Maxwell Berning Classic on Monday at Lincoln Park Golf Course.

Oklahoma City, ranked No. 1 in NAIA women’s golf, forged a two-shot lead as a team. Chaney, a freshman from Ardmore, Okla., owned a two-stroke edge in the individual race.

The Stars posted a 290 on the par-72, 6,000-yard West Course. Sixth-ranked Southeastern (Fla.) came in second place with a 292, while ninth-rated Texas Wesleyan produced a 302. Lincoln Park hosts the NAIA Championships on May 24-27.

Chaney assumed the lead with a charge on the back nine, shooting a 39-30–69. Chaney made three birdies and an eagle on the last nine holes, burying her first eagle as a collegian on the par-5, 500-yard 13th hole. Chaney stood as one of three golfers under par through 18 holes with her seventh round below 70 this season.

Chaney and Morgan Palermo of the Stars held spots among the top five after round 1, while four OCU golfers were in the top 10. Palermo, a freshman from Parker, Colo., delivered a 38-35–73 to be tied for fifth. Palermo knocked in three birdies.

Oklahoma City’s Rachel Eckert and Natalie Gough landed tied in eighth place. Eckert, a senior from Bixby, Okla., came through with a 40-34–74. Eckert hit four birdies. Gough, a senior from Bixby, Okla., posted a 37-37–74 while collecting three birdies.

Maddi Kamas, the freshman from Kingfisher, Okla., turned in a 41-37–78. Paige Wood, a freshman from McKinney, Texas, led OCU’s individuals by tying for 15th with a 39-36–75. Also playing unattached were Lauren Behnken (37-40–77) and Meghan Charles (41-39–80).

Susie Maxwell Berning entered the World Golf Hall of Fame March 9 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. Berning blazed a trail for women’s athletes by competing on the OCU men’s golf team during the 1960s, becoming the first female student-athlete in school history. Berning went on to the LPGA Tour starting in 1964 and took 11 victories, including four in major events.

The tournament started under cloudy skies with the temperature in the upper 50s and damp grounds. Skies cleared by the afternoon as the temperature moved into the upper 60s. The high temperature in the metro area Monday hit 71 degrees with winds between 15-20 mph that calmed as the day wore on.

The final round of the Susie Maxwell Berning Classic starts 8:30 a.m. Tuesday in a shotgun start at Lincoln Park.

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Ken MacLeod

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