Choi stakes SWOSU to lead over UCO at windswept Kickingbird GC

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Southwestern Oklahoma State led Central Oklahoma by six shots after a windy first round of the Diffee Ford Lincoln Invitational hosted by Southern Nazarene Monday.

The Bulldogs got a 69 from Gloria Choi and a 74 from Elin Wahlin for two of the top three spots individually. Those two helped SWOSU shoot a 308.  Central Oklahoma trails by six at 314. Oklahoma Christian and Arkansas Tech are tied for third at 316 and Redlands Community College is in fifth at 320.

UCO had three players break 80 in the high winds. Sydney Roberts led UCO with a 76 that has her tied for fifth in the individual race, while Marla Souvannasing and Makena Mucciaccio are tied for 10th after shooting 79.  Grace Shin and Anna Pool both shot 80 for the Bronchos on a day when only 13 of 86 players shot in the 70s and the average score was 84.6.

Roberts had nine pars and two birdies during her six-over-par round, while Souvannasing and Mucciaccio made 10 pars apiece.

“It was really tough out there today with how hard the wind was blowing,” head coach Michael Bond said.  “It affected everything you did.  We’re right in the thick of it, but need to come out and play well tomorrow.”

UCO begins final-round play at 9:45 a.m. Tuesday.

The brutally high winds didn’t faze Oklahoma Christian freshmen Ashton Nemecek and Abigail Rigsby.

Battling steady 20-25 mph winds that gusted as high as 43 mph, Rigsby and Nemecek each fired a 7-over-par 77, placing the OC duo in a tie for sixth midway through the tournament.

The freshmen put OC in contention in the team race. The Lady Eagles – who won the tournament in 2016 – finished the round tied for third with a 316 team score and trailed Southwestern Oklahoma State by only eight shots.

Nemecek, from Purcell, posted the best score of her career despite the tough playing conditions on the 5,821-yard course. She and Rigsby, from Courtenay, British Columbia, trail the leader, Gloria Choi of Southwestern, by eight shots.

Sophomore Elizabeth Freeman (80) and senior Allison Sell (82) stood tied for 14th and tied for 25th, respectively, in the 86-woman field, while sophomore Kate Goodwin – the defending individual champion – shot an 85 and was tied for 52nd.

Three Lady Eagles are competing in the tournament as individuals, and senior Dana Todd led that group with an 85. Junior Chaise Lucero shot an 89 and was 71st, while senior Mindy Stafford was 83rd after posting a 97.

OC players will begin the second round between 8:37 a.m. and 9:37 a.m. on Tuesday.

The high winds caused havoc for the Northeastern State women’s golf squad, which shot 326 and is tied for seventh.

Halie Wright paced the RiverHawks with a 79 and she is tied for tenth on the individual leader board.

Round One Results

“Total debacle in the extreme wind for our girls today,” said head coach Scott Varner.  “Adversity hit us in the teeth and we didn’t respond.  Most of the damage was on and around the green…incredible amount of three putts with some four putts sprinkled in.

“The wind got in our heads on the greens more than anywhere else.  We took a big step backwards today in how we competed, especially after San Antonio…we have everything to gain and nothing to lose tomorrow.”

Ebba Moberg carded an 80 which was good enough for 14th overall, Baylee Price shot an 83 and she is in 35th. Lexi Armon and Ana Contreras were both one shot back of Price’s score, tied for 43rd.

Southern Nazarene opened its tournament with a 328, Sarah Rovenstine paced the Crimson storm with a 78 and she is ninth overall. Heidi Stafford and Rachel Donaldson are tied for 35th at 83 while Emilee White and Bailey Blake are tied for 43rd at 84.

Four others played as individuals and Cassidy Herbster led the way there with an 82 and is tied for 25thAshley Moore shot an 86 and is tied for 56thJordan Patterson and Bailee Ford are tied for 73rd at 91.

SNU trails Northeastern State and Arkansas-Monticello, who are tied for seventh by two strokes and are just eight back of the top five.

Henderson State is in sixth at 325, Oklahoma Baptist sites in 10th at 330, Southern Arkansas is in 11th at 345 and Northwestern Oklahoma State is 12th at 348.

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