NSU men in second, UCO fifth in MIAA Championship at Shangri-La

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MONKEY ISLAND, Okla. – Northeastern State is three strokes back of the lead after two rounds of the play at the MIAA Men’s Golf Championship on Tuesday. The University of Central Oklahoma is in fifth place.

The RiverHawks (283-291) held the tournament lead for most of the day until being surpassed by Lindenwood who finished the day with a 571.

Should NSU retake the lead it will be their first MIAA Championship and first conference title since 2009 while they were members of the Lone Star Conference.

The RiverHawks best finish, as a member of the MIAA, was runner-up in 2014.

Griffen Matthias is three strokes off the lead after carding the low score for the RiverHawks and is tied for third overall with a 141 (71-70).

Casey Paul fired off a 143 (69-74) and is tied for eighth place.  Carlos Gomez is tied 13th overall after turning in a 146 (70-76) and Tyler Ashman is one stroke back (76-71) tied for 15th place.

Jax Johnson rounded out the RiverHawks’ starters with a 149 (73-76) and he is tied for 24th place.

Lindenwood’s Markus Lindgren is the individual leader with a 138.

Alexander Hughes had a pair of under-par rounds to lead Central Oklahoma to a fifth-place showing. The Bronchos opened with a 295 in the morning round at the 7,009-yard, par-72 Shangri-La Golf Club before shooting 289 in the afternoon to finish with a 584 total.  Lindenwood tops the 10-team field at 571, followed by Northeastern State (574), Washburn (577), Central Missouri (582) and UCO.

Final-round play begins at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, with the tournament champion earning an automatic berth into the NCAA Division II national tournament.

Hughes started the tournament with a two-under 70 in the morning round before coming back with an afternoon 71 and is tied for third in the individual race at three-under 141.

Joe Lemieux bounced back from an opening-round 77 with a three-under 69, while Cody Troutman shot 74-73, Blake Murray 76-76 and Jacob Lackey 75-78.

Alexander dominated the par-5s Monday, playing them five-under in the morning and three-under in the afternoon.

He teed off on No. 1 in the first round and was two-over through seven holes, but then birdied the par-3 eighth and eagled the par-5 ninth in making the turn at one-under 35.  Alexander had four birdies, three bogeys and two pars in coming in with another 35.

The senior birdied the par-5 fourth and par-3 fifth to offset a third-hole bogey in shooting another 35 on the outgoing nine in the afternoon, then overcame bogeys on Nos. 11 and 12 with birdies on the par-5 16th and 18th holes in closing with a 36.

Lemieux rebounded strong from his morning 77 with the 69 that tied for the lowest score of the second round.  He’s tied for 13th in the medalist race at 146.

The junior started on the second hole in the second round and made three straight bogeys after an opening-hole par, but soon heated in.  Lemieux birdied the par-4 sixth, par-5 10th, par-3 13th and par-4 15th to get to one-under, then highlighted his impressive surge with an eagle on the par-5 16th before finishing with three straight pars.

Troutman started the first round on No. 5 and parred his first six holes before going five-over in the next three holes.  He re-grouped quickly, making four birdies in playing his last nine holes two-under to rebound for a 74.

The senior came back in the afternoon and had three birdies in a five-hole stretch to get to one-under before settling for the one-over 73 that has him tied for 15th at 147.


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Ken MacLeod

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