OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma City University secured the 12-shot win in the Sooner Athletic Conference women’s golf championships Saturday at Lincoln Park Golf Course.
The Stars, ranked 17th in the NAIA, rallied from two strokes down entering the final round to capture their 16th SAC title and seventh league championship in eight years. Melissa Eldredge of OCU became the SAC individual champion.
Oklahoma City accumulated a 305-296–601, while Wayland Baptist (Texas) took second place with a 303-310–613. Southwestern Christian (313-310–623) and 11th-ranked Texas Wesleyan (314-309–623) finished tied for third place.
Houston-Victoria collected fifth with a 334-320–654, and St. Thomas (Texas) was sixth at 344-331–675. Central Christian (Kan.) picked up seventh, and University of the Southwest (N.M.) came in eighth. Panhandle State was ninth.
Eldredge, a junior from Eufaula, Okla., forged the winning score with a 71-71–142. Eldredge led the field with nine birdies and buried five Saturday. She overcame a two-shot deficit on the back nine to grab the individual crown by one stroke over Chante Van Zyl of Wayland Baptist.
Marty McCauley guided OCU to its seventh conference crown in his ninth year as head coach. The Stars won for the third time in nine events this season. OCU enters the NAIA Championships on May 14-17 at Lincoln Park Golf Course seeking its ninth national title. The Stars played at Lincoln Park for the third time this season.
“I don’t think I have ever been prouder of a team,” McCauley said. “We have certainly struggled some this year, and to see our vast improvements over the past few weeks speaks volumes about how hard the girls have worked. We know that we still have a lot of work to do before nationals, but this is very, very encouraging.”
OCU and Wayland Baptist had two all-tournament performers. Texas Wesleyan’s Elena Sinde Romero, Oklahoma City’s Natalie Gough, Southwestern Christian’s Brittany Boles and Wayland Baptist’s Summer Pearson joined Eldredge and Van Zyl among the top five finishers to earn all-tournament.
Van Zyl assumed a two-shot lead by hammering in an eagle on the par-5, 503-yard 13th hole. Eldredge made up the deficit as she closed her round with a birdie on No. 15 and making par the rest of the way. Van Zyl posted a 71-72–143.
Melissa Eldredge, Oklahoma City
Chante Van Zyl, Wayland Baptist
Elena Sinde Romero, Texas Wesleyan
Natalie Gough, Oklahoma City
Brittany Boles, Southwestern Christian
Summer Pearson, Wayland Baptist