OC’s Johnston one shot short in Las Vegas

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LAS VEGAS (March 2, 2015) – A rough start to the final round for Oklahoma Christian probably cost the Eagles a team title on Monday in the Las Vegas Desert Classic.

The Eagles – leading entering the final round at Paiute Golf Course – had two triple bogeys during their first five holes and never quite recovered despite a strong finish. OC posted a team score of 300 to finish at 592 for the two-round event, two shots behind the team winner, NCAA Division III Redlands (Calif.), which closed with a tournament-best 291.

OC junior Sam Johnston also just missed out on an individual title. Johnston, who was the co-leader after Sunday’s opening round, shot a respectable 2-over-par 74 on the 6,886-yard course to finish at even-par 144. But Bobby Holden of Redlands sizzled with a closing-round 67 to beat Johnston by one shot. Johnston tied with Juan Miguel Heredia of third-place West Florida for runner-up honors.

"I am pleased with our progress," OC coach David Lynn said. "I like the direction we’re going and we were the low Division II team in the field. I think we beat a few top 25 teams this week. I’m really pleased with how we are competing. I’m just a little disappointed we let one slip away."

On what Lynn described as a "rough" weather day, OC senior Trey Payne played strong down the stretch to salvage a 77. That put him at 150 for the tournament, tied for 17th in the 89-man field. The Eagles’ other senior, Jared Consoli, played his final four holes in 2-under and shot a 73 to finish at 153, tied for 27th.

Junior Kevin Workman, who was third individually after the first round, shot an 83 to finish at 154, the same as freshman Zac Schaefer, who posted a 76. They tied for 34th overall.

"We counted two doubles and two triples today in our four best scores," Lynn said. "It’s difficult to overcome that."

OC’s next tournament will be the St. Mary’s Invitational at New Republic Golf Club in San Antonio on March 16-17.

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Ken MacLeod

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