Photo: OC senior Trevor Norby rallied for a second-place individual finish in the Las Vegas Desert Classic.
LAS VEGAS (March 3, 2020) – Oklahoma Christian and Trevor Norby both made strong runs up the leaderboard to finish third and second, respectively, in the Las Vegas Desert Classic, which ended Tuesday at Royal Links Golf Club’s Links Replica Course.
No. 6-ranked OC – one of six ranked teams in the 20-team field – started the day fifth and actually caught the second-round leader, No. 10 St. Mary’s (Texas). But the Eagles moved up only two spots to third place despite posting the best round by any team in the tournament, a 1-under-par 287 that gave them a three-round score of 890.
No. 8 Arkansas Tech won the tournament with a score of 887 after a final-day 288, with the Wonder Boys edging Colorado State-Pueblo by one shot and OC by three. St. Mary’s was fourth at 891. Among the teams OC did beat were No. 4 West Florida, No. 16 Colorado School of Mines and No. 23 California-San Diego, which had beaten the Eagles last month at a tournament in suburban San Diego.
OC has finished in the top three in all six tournaments it’s played against NCAA Division II competition during the 2019-20 season, with three wins and two runner-up showing.
Norby, a senior from Carlsbad, Calif., began the day tied for eighth in the 104-man field, but he had four birdies and an eagle (on the par-5 No. 18) to steadily move up. His 3-under-par 69 on the 6,292-yard course gave him an overall score of even-par 216. That was two shots behind his Lone Star Conference rival, Emilio Gonzalez of St. Mary’s, who had three birdies and an eagle while also shooting 69. Gonzalez closed at 2-under for the tournament.
Junior Alex Motes tied for 18th at 224 after posting a final-round 72 that included four birdies. Sophomore Alejandro Armijo (227, tied for 27th) and junior Andres Brictson (228, tied for 32nd) each shot a 73, with Brictson recording four birdies.
Freshman Mateo Pulcini had a roller-coaster round, posting six birdies, six bogeys and two double bogeys for the Eagles. He finished with a 76 and tied for 41st at 230.
OC’s next tournament will be considerably closer to home, as the Eagles will play in Central Oklahoma’s Broncho Invitational at Oak Tree Country Club’s East Course in Edmond, Okla., on March 16-17.
Northeastern State finished the day where it started, in tenth place. Of the teams ahead of them in the field, all but one was in the top-40 nationally.
“We competed and almost caught a top-five team in West Florida,” said head coach Scott Varner. “It was a power-packed nationally ranked field with teams from California and Florida. We had a decent performance, and we played under some challenging conditions that led to some higher scoring.”
Sophomore Carlos Gomez was a stroke back of a top-10 spot and shot a 221 (74-74-73) beating 13 players that had a national ranking. Gomez, who finished tied for 11th, was tied for the best scoring average on par-5s and landed an eagle on the opening day.
After playing back-to-back weeks, NSU will be off until March 23-24 where they will travel to Branson for a tournament.