Photo: Joe Lemieux.
BOLIVAR, Mo. (April 16) – Joe Lemieux birdied all four par-5s and fired a sizzling 3-under-par 69 to ignite a final-round surge that carried Central Oklahoma to the team title at the SBU Bearcat Invitational Tuesday. Northeastern Oklahoma State placed seventh.
The Bronchos entered the final 18 holes in third place and trailed leader Central Missouri by eight shots, but closed with a 292 to overtake the Mules and Missouri Western. UCO ended with a 54-hole total of 892 on the 6,900-yard, par-72 Silo Ridge Golf and Country Club, finishing four shots ahead of UCM and MWSU.
It’s the first tournament win of the year for Central and gives the Bronchos plenty of momentum going into next week’s Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association Championships.
Lemieux’s 69 was the low round of the day, while Jacob Lackey added an even-par 72 as those two finished 2-3 in the individual standings. UCO also got a 75 from Alexander Hughes, while Blake Murray shot 76 and Cody Troutman 77.
Lemieux started his final round on the second hole and birdied the third, sixth and 12th holes – all par-5s — to get to three-under through 11 holes. He bogeyed the par-4 13th, then made four straight pars before birdieing the par-5 18th and finishing with a par to polish off his spectacular round.
The sophomore standout finished with a 219 total to come in second in the medalist standings to Missouri Western’s Patrick McCarthy.
Lackey was third with a 220 total after his closing 72. The junior started the final day on the first hole and was two-over after double bogeying the par-4 fourth, but he got those strokes back with an eagle on the par-5 sixth.
Lackey birdied the par-4 seventh to get to one-under, parred the next five holes and then bogeyed the par-4 13th before reeling off five straight pars to finish the round.
Hughes tied for ninth individually with a 224 total.
The Bronchos go to Shangri-La Golf Club and Resort in Monkey Island, Okla. next week for the conference tournament.
Tying the team-low round of the day with the medalists, Central Oklahoma, the RiverHawks climbed three spots up the leaderboard on Tuesday and finished seventh in the SBU Invitational.
Firing off a four-under-par 68 in the final round, freshman Jax Johnson led the RiverHawks to a team score of 292. NSU finished tied with Washburn and Missouri Southern with a total score of 910 (+46). Johnson’s 68 was the low round in the field on Tuesday and had him climb 34 spots individually to tie for 37th.
Broken Arrow junior Casey Paul shot even par and climbed 20 spots individually up to tie for 25th and was the best placed NSU player in the field. Freshman Tyler Ashman shot a 79 the final day and finished two shots behind Paul and tying for 29th place. Carlos Gomez was one shot behind Ashman after shooting a 77 on Tuesday, which had him tied for 32nd place. Senior Griffen Matthias shot 75 and tied for 37th.
The RiverHawks will be back in action again on April 22, as they play the MIAA Championship at Shangri-La Golf Club and Resort in Afton, Okla.