OCU moves up to fourth in NAIA National Championship

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma City University climbed back into the top five in the NAIA women’s golf championships Thursday at Lincoln Park Golf Course.

Oklahoma City, ranked 11th, held fourth place in the team standings. Melissa Eldredge of the Stars moved into a tie for fourth place individually.

The Stars carded a 287-319-296–902 on the par-72, 6,050-yard course. OCU posted its best 54-hole total in NAIA Championships play, topping the 288-306-317–911 the Stars totaled through three rounds en route to the 2006 national championship.

Eldredge, a junior from Eufaula, Okla., delivered a 33-36–69, bringing her three-day score to 67-82-69–218. Eldredge buried four birdies, all on the front nine, Thursday. She sank birdies on the fourth and fifth holes for the second time each this week. She recorded one bogey in the third round. Eldredge became the only golfer with two rounds under 70 this week.

Natalie Gough of Oklahoma City turned in a 39-36–75 on Thursday. Gough, a freshman from Bixby, Okla., made par 15 times with three bogeys in the third round. She has a 73-76-75–224 to tie for 23rd place.

OCU’s Lauren Behnken tallied a 38-38–76 on Thursday to accumulate a 75-80-76–231 through three days. On Thursday, Behnken, a freshman from Tulsa, Okla., made two birdies.

McKenzie McCoy supplied Oklahoma City with a 39-37–76. She hit birdies on the fifth and 10th holes Thursday. McCoy, a sophomore from Beggs, Okla., has a 76-81-76–233 through the third round.

Lauryn Pritchard of the Stars produced a 39-38–78 during the third round to make her 54-hole number 72-85-78–235. Pritchard, a freshman from Allen, Texas, nailed a birdie on No. 18.

British Columbia maintained its top perch in the team standings with a 294-296-294–884. Fifth-ranked British Columbia has broken 36-hole (594) and 54-hole (908) team records in the NAIA Championships. No. 1-ranked Keiser (Fla.) stands second at 297-296-296–889. The top nine teams this week have better scores than the record total of 305-299-304–908 British Columbia had through three rounds of the 2012 NAIA Championships.

Michela Tjan from Keiser stood first in the race for individual medalist with a 73-70-71–214, which topped the 54-hole individual NAIA Championships mark set by Maria Paula Otero of SCAD Savannah (Ga.) last year. British Columbia’s Kate Johnston holds second with a 75-69-72–216.

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Ken MacLeod

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