OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma City University athletics will return to competition as the 11-time national champion Stars hit the golf course in the Southwestern Christian Classic at 7:50 a.m. Tuesday at Lake Hefner Golf Course.
Three-time all-American David Meyers has returned to anchor the 2020-21 squad. Meyers, a senior from Johannesburg, South Africa, has the second-best scoring average in the storied OCU program’s history.
The 54-hole tournament will start using tee times Tuesday. The event will group each team together in a format employed in The Maxwell hosted by Oklahoma State. The forecast calls for temperatures to rise to the upper 70s with winds 15-25 mph on Tuesday. For the tournament’s conclusion, projected conditions include a high temperature in the upper 60s with wind 10-20 mph. Rain chances for the tournament fall between 30-40 percent.
“We are excited for the opportunity to compete this fall,” OCU coach Andy Crabtree said. “Our sport has proven that we can safely social distance and compete. I want to thank OCU’s administration for all their hard work to implement precautionary measures and guidelines to keep our student-athletes, coaches and staff healthy and safe.”
In 2019-20, Oklahoma City posted three wins and two second-place showings in five tournaments. The Stars finished with the No. 6 national ranking and remained among the top 12 in the NAIA ratings. The Stars have captured national championships in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2016 and 2018.
• Meyers opted to return to the team for his fifth season of competition and add to one of the finest resumes in Oklahoma City history. Meyers has been the Sooner Athletic Conference player of the year, three-time Golf Coaches Association of America all-American and all-region, two-time NAIA all-American and all-SAC, Jack Nicklaus player of the year semifinalist, NAIA Championships all-tournament and NAIA all-freshman. Meyers turned in a 71.44 stroke average with three eagles, 64 birdies and top-five finishes in all five tournaments last season. In his career, Meyers owns a 72.03 scoring average, five victories, 21 rounds in the 60s and two rounds of 63
• Quinton Tews supplied the Stars with 82.80 shots per 18 holes in two events last season. Tews, a senior from Edmond, Okla., is attending OCU law school. Carson Breckenridge, a sophomore from Tucson, Ariz., is OCU’s other returner
• Two golfers arrived from McLennan (Texas)’s tradition-rich junior-college program. Mason Mikeska, a junior from Waco, Texas, became an honorable-mention NJCAA all-American, all-district and all-conference performer while posting 71.93 strokes per round with three top-10 showings in 2019-20. Will Fore, a junior from Southlake, Texas, provided McLennan with a 73.43 scoring average last season
• Ben Thionnet led Heritage Hall in Oklahoma City to three state championships. Thionnet, a freshman from Edmond, Okla., collected a ninth-place finish in the Class 4A state tournament as a prep junior
• Bosten Benn contributed to a state championship and a runner-up finish at Oklahoma Christian School during his high school career. Benn, a freshman from Edmond, Okla., had two top-15 finishes in the Class 3A state tournament
MEET THE COACH
• Andy Crabtree enters his third season at OCU. Crabtree guided the Stars to a third-place finish in the 2019 NAIA Championships at Las Sendas Golf Club in Mesa, Ariz.
• Crabtree notched his first career tournament win with the Stars in the U.C. Ferguson Classic on Sept. 3-4 at Lincoln Park Golf Course. He has coached eight all-Americans and eight all-region honorees at Oklahoma City
• Prior to coming to OCU, Crabtree led Old Dominion to its best finish in the Conference USA Tournament (runner-up) as a head coach. Crabtree helped bring UNLV two Mountain West Conference championships
MARK ON YOUR CALENDAR
• The Stars are set to play in three in-state tournaments this fall. OCU hosts the Southern Plains Intercollegiate on Sept. 14-15 at Gaillardia Country Club in Oklahoma City before heading to Dornick Hills Golf & Country Club in Ardmore, Okla., for the Dornick Hills Classic hosted by Southwestern Christian on Oct. 5-6
• Support OCU men’s golf by coming to the Champions Cup at 1 p.m. Sept. 29 at Gaillardia Country Club. Register here
• The NAIA Championships will happen May 18-21, 2021 at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Ill. Oklahoma City captured three of its national titles at TPC Deere Run, site of the PGA TOUR’s John Deere Classic, in 2010, 2016 and 2018
OCU women open season in Southwestern Christian Classic
OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma City University tees off for the first time in 2020-21 at 7:50 a.m. Tuesday in the Southwestern Christian Classic at Lake Hefner Golf Course.
The Stars bring back two all-Americans – four-time all-American Melissa Eldredge and two-time all-American Natalie Gough. All seven of OCU’s women’s golfers are returnees.
Oklahoma City begins play in the Southwestern Christian Classic starting on the seventh hole at 7:50 a.m. Tuesday. Other OCU individuals will tee off No. 7 at 8 a.m. and the first hole at 8:50 a.m. Tuesday. The tournament lasts 36 holes. OCU has won the tournament the past two years.
The projected conditions include a high temperature in the middle-to-upper 70s Tuesday and in the lower 60s Wednesday. Winds could blow between 10-20 mph with a 60 percent chance for rain.
In 2019-20, the Stars collected two wins and four top-five finishes in seven events. OCU remained among the top eight in the NAIA rankings during the season.
Oklahoma City has captured eight national championships in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2013, 2014 and 2017.
- Eldredge joined an elite group, becoming OCU’s ninth four-time all-American women’s golfer by taking honorable-mention Women’s Golf Coaches Association NAIA all-American acclaim. Eldredge, a senior from Eufaula, Okla., supplied the Stars with a 77.00 scoring average, two top-five finishes and 33 birdies last season. In her career, Eldredge is two-time NAIA Championships all-tournament, four-time all-Sooner Athletic Conference, the 2019 SAC player of the year and SAC individual champion with the fifth-best stroke average (76.92) in OCU history. She will be a fifth-year senior for the Stars
- Gough produced a 76.53 stroke average, four top-10 finishes, 38 birdies and an eagle in 2019-20. Gough, a junior from Bixby, Okla., became the 2020 SAC player of the year as well as two-time all-American, all-conference and 2019 SAC freshman of the year
- OCU’s other seniors are Clair Hill, McKenzie McCoy and Arianna Medina, while the Stars’ juniors are Lauren Behnken and Rachel Eckert. Behnken, a junior from Tulsa, Okla., reeled in the inaugural WGCA NAIA Kim Moore Spirit Award for the inspiration she has provided her teammates
MEET THE COACH
- Marty McCauley has guided OCU to 28 victories, seven SAC crowns and three national championships in 10 years as head coach
- McCauley picked up SAC coach of the year for the second consecutive year and sixth time overall last season. McCauley is three-time NAIA coach of the year
- McCauley owns more wins and has logged more tournaments than any coach in the OCU women’s golf program history
MARK ON YOUR CALENDAR
- OCU has scheduled seven tournaments within Oklahoma boundaries for the upcoming season. The Stars host the Southern Plains Intercollegiate on Sept. 14-15 at Gaillardia Country Club in Oklahoma City. Lincoln Park Golf Course will be the site for the Sydney Cox Invitational on Oct. 12-13 and the Susie Maxwell Berning Classic on April 12-13
- The SAC Championships are set for April 26-27 at Dornick Hills Golf & Country Club in Ardmore, Okla. OCU won the SAC title when the 2013 conference tournament took place at Dornick Hills
- The NAIA Championships will be May 25-28 at Eagle Crest Golf Club in Ypsilanti, Mich. Lincoln Park will host the 2022 NAIA Championships