OCU men, women take aim at conference crowns

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OCU strives for SAC women’s golf title

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma City University tests itself on the national championship course in the Sooner Athletic Conference women’s golf championships Friday and Saturday at Lincoln Park Golf Course.

The SAC Championships tee off 8 a.m. Friday with 18 holes followed by the final round 10 a.m. Saturday. Keep up with the tournament via live results.

Oklahoma City owns 15 league titles. Texas Wesleyan halted the Stars’ streak of consecutive SAC crowns at six by taking last year’s conference championship. The Lady Rams won by a seven-stroke margin led by Alex Schies, who won her second SAC individual crown in a row.

Lincoln Park Golf Course will be set up as a par-72, 6,025-yard course for the tournament. The NAIA Championships will come to Lincoln Park on May 14-17 for the first of a two-year run as the national tournament site.

The teams vying for the title will be 11th-rated Texas Wesleyan, 17th-ranked OCU, Central Christian (Kan.), Houston-Victoria, Panhandle State, Southwestern Christian, St. Thomas (Texas), University of the Southwest (N.M.), Wayland Baptist (Texas) plus Mid-America Christian has entered individuals in the tournament.

OCU picked up the win in the Susie Maxwell Berning Classic by 16 shots over Texas Wesleyan on April 8-9 at Lincoln Park Golf Course. The Stars take to Lincoln Park’s West Course for the fourth time this season in the conference tournament.

Melissa Eldredge, a junior from Eufaula, Okla., took runner-up as four OCU golfers made the top 10 in the Susie Maxwell Berning Classic. Natalie Gough (fourth), Lauren Behnken (tied for seventh) and Lauryn Pritchard (tied for 10th) were the Stars’ other top-10 finishers.

Eldredge boasts of a team-best 76.62 scoring average and 44 birdies in 21 rounds. Eldredge and Gough have become SAC golfer of the week honorees. Gough, a freshman from Bixby, Okla., has produced a 76.90 stroke average this season.

In last year’s SAC Championships, Eldredge and Arianna Medina collected all-tournament honors.

The SAC Championships came back to Lincoln Park Golf Course in 2018 for the first time since 2012. Lincoln Park hosts the SAC Championships and the NAIA Championships in 2020. Lincoln Park rates as one of Oklahoma’s finest public golf courses. Oklahoma City’s oldest public golf course unveiled its new state-of-the-art $9.25 million club house in spring 2015. The course was designed by Art Jackson and built in 1922. It features bent grass on the greens and Bermuda grass on the fairways.
The Stars have captured national championships in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2013, 2014 and 2017.

Stars pursue fifth consecutive SAC crown

AMARILLO, Texas – Oklahoma City University aims to take its fifth consecutive team crown in the Sooner Athletic Conference men’s golf championships Monday and Tuesday at Tascosa Golf Club.

Play starts 9 a.m. Monday, while the teams start 8:30 a.m. Tuesday on the par-71, 6,805-yard La Paloma Course.

The event features three ranked NAIA teams – second-ranked Oklahoma City, No. 3 Texas Wesleyan and 20th-ranked Wayland Baptist (Texas). The tournament also includes Central Christian (Kan.), Mid-America Christian, Panhandle State and Southwestern Christian.

In the 2018 SAC Championships, the Stars became SAC champion for the fourth year in a row and 23rd time overall April 23-24. OCU prevailed by 20 shots over Wayland Baptist at Gaillardia Country Club in Oklahoma City.

Paul Zwanzig from Wayland Baptist returns to defend his individual title. Texas Wesleyan’s Rowan Lester earned all-tournament acclaim a year ago.

The SAC Championships will be staged at Tascosa Golf Club for the first time since 2014. Wayland Baptist captured its first SAC title then.

OCU, the defending national champion, opened the season at No. 1 in the top 25 and kept its perch for four consecutive polls. The Stars had been the top-ranked team for nine consecutive rankings dating back to last season until Coastal Georgia ascended to the top spot in the March 22 poll. The Stars completed the regular season with seven victories and two runner-up finishes in 10 events.

Jack Madden paces OCU with a 72.30 stroke average through 27 rounds. Madden, a freshman from Dungannon, Northern Ireland, Ireland, delivered wins in the Ottawa-Arizona Spring Invitational on Jan. 28-29 in Litchfield Park, Ariz., and the San Antonio Shootout on March 4-5 in San Antonio. Madden is a two-time SAC golfer of the week.

Peri’Don Castille, a junior from Dallas, produces 72.89 shots per round with four top-five showings for OCU. Ty Stites has been the Stars’ low individual the past two tournaments. Stites, a sophomore from Sallisaw, Okla., owns three top-10 finishes in four starts for Oklahoma City. Stites, the SAC golfer of the week for March 18-24, has supplied OCU with a 73.36 scoring average.

Tascosa Golf Club’s La Paloma Course features dramatic elevation changes, natural rock outcroppings, native rough and several lakes. La Paloma is totally unique to the Texas panhandle in its natural beauty and architectural style.

Oklahoma City owns 11 national championships won in 2001, ’02, ’03, ’04, ’06, ’07, 2010, ’12, ’13, ’16 and 2018.


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Ken MacLeod

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