OC, UCO advance to match play, Jordan Wilson is runnerup at NCAA D-II Nationals

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West Florida shot a 7-under 277 to rally for a one-shot victory over Oklahoma Christian at the conclusion of the stroke play portion of the NCAA Division II National Championship Thursday at Orange County National Golf Center in Winter Garden, Fla.

Oklahoma Christian shot 287 in the third round, 12 shots higher than its Wednesday round, in letting its eight-shot lead slip away. Central Oklahoma, led by Oklahoma State transfer Jordan Wilson’s sizzling 66, moved into third place with a round of 283. West Florida finished at 838, OC at 839 and UCO at 846.

The Bronchos will now face off head-to-head against Colorado Christian Friday morning, with the semifinals scheduled for Friday afternoon. The national championship match is set for Saturday.

UCO is joined by Oklahoma Christian, West Florida, Coker, North Georgia, Wingate, West Texas A&M, and Colorado Christian in the quarterfinals.

For Oklahoma Christian, Exequiel Rodriguez had the top individual finish for the Eagles, tying for fourth place with his third straight round of 2-under 69. Blas Ayesa finished stroke play tied for 15th, shooting a 73 and finishing two under par over his three rounds. Leandro Mihaich earned first-team GCAA All-American honors at the award ceremony and tied for 18th with his second 72 this week. Oskari shot a 73 (+2) and entered the clubhouse tied for 22nd, after finishing even through three rounds.

Oklahoma Christian advances to match play where it will take on Wingate at 6:30 A.M. (CDT) in the match play quarterfinals, and the winner will advance to play the winner of Central Oklahoma and Colorado Christian.

For UCO, Wilson would work his way up the individual leaderboard and finish tied as the national runner-up with a 7-under 206. He posted a 5-under 66 Thursday in the final round. Wilson’s week in Florida went 69-71-66 for the 54-hole tournament.

West Texas A&M’s Wyatt Provence won the individual national championship with a 12-under-par 201 (67-66-68).

Wilson began his day with a par, birdie, bogey on the first three holes before sinking an eagle putt on the 441-yard Par 4 fifth hole. He birdied No. 5 as well and was 3-under, where he stayed through No. 14. Then Wilson sank birdie putts on Nos. 14 & 16 to get to 5-under on the day.

Nick Canales surged up the leaderboard along with Wilson, playing the front nine 3-under par. On the back nine, the redshirt freshman from La Porte, Texas had bogeys on Nos. 10, 13, and 14, but his six par putts helped him to an even-par finish at 71, and a 2-under for the tournament at 211 (71-69-71). Canales finished tied for 15th.

Baylor Bostick chipped in with a 1-over-par 214 this week. The freshman from Duncan had rounds of 71-71-72 to finish the individual portion of the tournament tied for 29th. Thursday, Bostick played the front nine 3-under with four birdie putts on Nos. 2, 4, 8, and 9. He played the back nine 4-over with bogeys on 11, 12, 15, 16, and 18. Bostick did sink another birdie putt on No. 10 to go with three pars on the back nine.

Bennett Baldwin, a junior from Stillwater that has been tremendous for the Bronchos this year, including a runner-up individual run at the regional championships two weeks ago in Edmond, posted a season-high 76 on Thursday. After starting the tournament with rounds of 1-under 70 and even-par 71, Baldwin struggled to find a groove on Thursday. He was just 2-over at the turn but played the back nine 3-over for a 5-over 76 on the day. Baldwin’s 4-over 217 earned him a 44th place finish.

Kyle Hickey was also in the lineup again Thursday and he posted a 3-over-par 74.

Colorado Christian won four tournaments this season, including the RMAC Championship. CCU finished second at the West/South Central Regional Championships to earn a spot at nationals. The Cougars finished the 54-hole stroke play portion with an even-par 852. CCU had the low round Tuesday (277) and followed with a 284 Wednesday before shooting 7-over 291 Thursday, falling to sixth in the standings.

Central Oklahoma and Colorado Christian will tee off beginning at 7:30 a.m. (Eastern) off hole No. 10. Here are the matches for the quarterfinal:

7:30 a.m. – Nick Canales vs. Dylan Arthur
7:40 a.m. – Kyle Hickey vs. Petyon Jones
7:50 a.m. – Bennett Baldwin vs. Xavier Bighaus
8:00 a.m. – Baylor Bostick vs. Adam Duncan
8:10 a.m. – Jordan Wilson vs. Bradley Mulder

(2) Oklahoma Christian and (7) Wingate also match up in a quarterfinal and the winners of UCO/CCU and that matchup will meet in the semifinal Friday afternoon. (1) West Florida and (8) West Texas, and (4) Coker and (5) North Georgia meet on the other side of the bracket, teeing off at 8:20 a.m. Friday.


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