Eagles, Riverhawks finish 4-5 in Las Vegas Desert Invitational

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Photo: Andres Brictson shot a career-best 6-under 66 in the Las Vegas Desert Invitational.

LAS VEGAS (March 5, 2019) – Paced by a sizzling round from Andres Brictson, No. 9-ranked Oklahoma Christian jumped two spots on the final day of the Las Vegas Desert Invitational to finish fourth Tuesday at Royal Links Golf Club’s Links Replica Course. Northeastern State also moved up from sixth to tie for fifth and Central Oklahoma finished 10th.

Brictson, a sophomore from Merida, Mexico, shot a career-best 6-under-par 66 on the 6,962-yard course to tie for sixth individually – his highest collegiate finish – in the 83-man tournament at 4-under 212. He recorded five birdies and an eagle on the par-4 No. 13 against only one bogey while zooming up the leaderboard. It was Brictson’s second career top-10 finish, with both coming this spring season.

The Eagles posted a team score of 294 (6-over) in the final round, good enough to rise from sixth to fourth in a power-packed 15-team field. OC’s three-day score of 879 trailed No. 3 West Florida (839), tournament host Missouri-St. Louis (852) and No. 10-ranked St. Mary’s (Texas) (863).

The Eagles, who posted a top-five team finish for the seventh time in as many tournaments in 2018-19, ended two shots ahead of Northeastern State and Texas-Tyler, three shots ahead of Redlands (Calif.) and four shots ahead of Hawaii Pacific. No. 22-ranked Wingate (N.C.) finished 11th at 890.

OC’s other top-20 finisher was junior Trevor Norby of Carlsbad, Calif. Norby had four birdies en route to a final-round 75 that put him in a tie for 18th. OC senior Garrett White (77) tied for 23rd at 221, while senior Juan Pallach (76) tied for 49th at 226 and senior Cameron Brown (77) placed 64th at 232.

Two OC seniors played the tournament as individuals. Ethan Smith posted a 1-under 71 and tied for 42nd at 225, while Grady Neal’s 74 left him at 229, tied for 58th.

The Eagles will return to action on March 18-19 in the Central Oklahoma Invitational at Oak Tree Country Club’s East Course in Edmond.

Tahlequah’s Jax Johnson led the RiverHawks with his first career top-10 individual finish. The NSU freshman fired off a 1-under 71 and finished tied for ninth overall with a 215 (76-68-71).  Johnson tied with five others, including the number-two ranked player in the nation.

Northeastern State climbed as high as fourth on the leaderboard before finishing tied for fifth on an 811 (301-287-293) for a three-round total.

Tuesday’s finish is the RiverHawks third top-five in the season and they placed ahead of four teams in the top-45 on GolfStat.com.

Carlos Gomez was five strokes back of Johnson with a 220 (74-74-72) and tied for 18th place.  Ty Shelnutt carded a 222 (74-72-76) which landed him tied for 30th overall.  Tyler Ashman shot a 224 (77-73-74) and put the freshman tied for 37th.  Grant Hynes shot 238 (79-78-81) and was 73rd on the leaderboard.

Among the MIAA programs, RiverHawks were the leading team and finished four shots ahead of Washburn and five ahead of Central Oklahoma.

Cody Troutman finished 17th for UCO after a final-round 71.. Alexander Hughes closed with a 73 to finish tied for 23rd at 221, while Joe Lemieux notched a final-round 68 to move up to a tie for 32nd at 223. Blake Murray and Jacob Lackey each shot 76 in the final round.


1 West Florida 287 279 273 839 -25
2 Missouri – St. Louis 291 278 283 852 -12
3 St. Mary’s (TX) 290 283 290 863 -1
4 Oklahoma Christian U 298 287 294 879 +15 
T5 Northeastern State 301 287 293 881 +17 
T5 Texas -Tyler 297 285 299 881 +17
7 Redlands 297 286 299 882 +18
8 Hawaii Pacific 305 288 290 883 +19
9 Washburn  303 292 290 885 +21
10 Central Oklahoma 307 291 288 886 +22 
11 Wingate University 297 300 293 890 +26
12 Colorado Mesa  311 285 298 894 +30


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Ken MacLeod

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