Southwestern Christian takes ninth, OCU 13th in NAIA National Championship

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SILVIS, Ill. –In its first appearance in the NAIA National Championship, Southwestern Christian University cracked the top 10, finishing ninth. Oklahoma City University placed 13th.

The National Tournament featured 4 rounds at the TPC Deere Run golf course in Silvis, Illinois. The course played as a par-71, spanning 6,732 yards.

Southwestern Christian had its best day in the third round, shooting 293, and moved from 12th to ninth in the final round after closing with a 298.

. They had their best round of 293 (+9) and claimed solo 12th at the end of the round. The team then climbed back into the top-10 after shooting 298 (+14) during the final round.

“I am extremely proud of how our team fought back after a difficult scoring day on Wednesday,” said head coach Tim Braaten. “We could have easily put our heads in the sand and finished last of the teams that made the cut. We pushed hard the last two days. Making the top 10 our first time in the NAIA National Tournament was special, and a great way to send our seniors out.”

It was a full team effort over the final two days as the Eagles did not have any individual finish inside the top-30. Leonardo Ruggieri led the way in a tie for 30th at 13-over after rounds of  71-82-72-72. Just one stroke behind Ruggieri was Julian Alanis. He finished T34 with rounds of 78-73-73-74. Emiel Van Geet was the other top-50 finisher at T49 with a 77-78-72-75 (+18).

Seniors Daren Reed and Lenny Trotta rounded out the group for SCU at T66, shooting 310 (+26) over their final four rounds with the Eagles.

The season will go down as the most successful one in program history. The team claimed three  titles and finished runner-up five times.

Mason Mikeska led OCU with a top 30 finish while the 10th-ranked Stars took 13th among the teams.

Oklahoma City put together a 303-297-297-306–1,203 on the par-71, 6,732-yard course. Mikeska led the Stars with a 77-70-72-78–297, which tied for 30th. Mikeska knocked in 10 birdies over the past week.

Dalton Daniel, a senior from Newcastle, Okla., supplied OCU with a 72-72-78-76–298 with 12 birdies. Will Fore, a junior from Southlake, Texas, carded a 79-80-69-79–307 with six birdies.

The Stars’ Bosten Benn, a junior from Edmond, Okla., pieced together an 82-79-83-73–317. Robbie Sager, a freshman from Carthage, Mo., had a 46-41–87 after subbing into the lineup for David Meyers. Meyers turned in a 75-76-78–229. Meyers completed the 2020-21 season with a 69.40 scoring average in 25 rounds to set the single-season OCU record, surpassing James Marchesani’s 70.74 stroke average in 2013-14.

Oklahoma City became the Sooner Athletic Conference champion for the 24th time in 2020-21. The Stars notched three second-place showings this season. OCU owns 11 national championships won in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2016 and 2018.


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Ken MacLeod

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