OCU Stars men win, women second in SAC championships, Mikeska, Behnken are medalists; Meyers, Gough are Players of the Year

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ARDMORE, Okla. – Oklahoma City University wrapped up the Sooner Athletic Conference men’s golf championship Tuesday at Dornick Hills Golf & Country Club.

The Stars’ Mason Mikeska took the league individual title, while OCU’s Dalton Daniel and David Meyers came next in the individual standings. Oklahoma City, ranked eighth in the NAIA, captured its 24th SAC title. On Wednesday Meyers was named the SAC Golfer of the Year. He won six consecutive events heading into the conference championship.

Oklahoma City posted a 281-281-289–851 to win by 13 strokes. Southwestern Christian, ranked 16th, pieced together a 294-289-281–864, and No. 4-ranked Wayland Baptist (Texas) compiled a 294-298-289–881. Tenth-ranked Texas Wesleyan recorded a 298-306-293–897.

The Stars have taken five of the past six SAC championships. Oklahoma City picked up its first tournament title this season after finishing second in three events. OCU owns 26 conference titles, including two crowns in the Midwestern City Conference, now known as the Horizon League.

“I am very proud of the team,” Oklahoma City coach Andy Crabtree said. “They fought hard against tough competition on a difficult golf course. I challenged the team before the SAC Championships to see themselves holding the conference trophy. The guys played with composure, and it’s great to see them believing in themselves and what they can accomplish.”

Mikeska won by a single shot. Mikeska made par on six holes in a row on the back nine before hitting his ball into the water surrounding the green on the 17th hole. He took a double bogey on No. 17.

“My main goal for this week was to take it one hole at a time and to be patient and wait for my scoring opportunities to come,” Mikeska said. “I made double on 17, and I looked again at the scoreboard and saw that I had a one-shot lead. I made sure I hit the fairway and the green to give myself the best chance at par. I tapped in for par, walked off the green, met my mom and dad and gave them a big hug.”

Mikeska, a junior from Waco, Texas, had the winning score of 66-66-76–208. Mikeska added a birdie on the par-5 sixth hole Tuesday.

Daniel made his push for the SAC individual crown and secured all-tournament acclaim with a 68-69-72–209. Daniel, a senior from Newcastle, Okla., knocked in three birdies during the final round.

Meyers earned his second all-tournament nod in the SAC Championships with a third-place 70-72-69–211. Meyers, a senior from Johannesburg, South Africa, pounded in an eagle on the sixth hole to go with two birdies Tuesday. Meyers finished among the top five for the 15th consecutive tournament.

Southwestern Christian boasted of two all-tournament performers in Julian Alanis (72-70-70–212) and Emiel Van Geet (74-71-67–212). Joshua Smedema of Wayland Baptist tied for fourth and grabbed all-tournament with a 74-70-68–212.

Oklahoma City’s Bosten Benn, a freshman from Edmond, Okla., turned in a 79-74-75–228, while Bo Robbins, a freshman from Guthrie, Okla., collected a 77-80-73–230 to finish among the top 25.

Will Fore paced OCU’s individuals with a 73-74-74–221, good for 11th. Robbie Sager shot 79-80-76–235, while Quinton Tews carded a 78-88-77–243. Carson Breckenridge put together an 89-83-83–255, and Ben Thionnet had an 89-86-86–261.
The Stars move on to the NAIA Championships on May 18-21 at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Ill. Oklahoma City owns 11 national championships won in 2001, ’02, ’03, ’04, ’06, ’07, ’10, ’12, ’13, ’16 and ’18.

Stars’ Behnken collects SAC individual crown.

Stars’ Behnken collects SAC individual crown

ARDMORE, Okla. – Oklahoma City University’s Lauren Behnken rallied to win the Sooner Athletic Conference women’s golf individual championship Tuesday at Dornick Hills Golf & Country Club.

Behnken, a junior from Tulsa, Okla., took the win by one stroke. The Stars, ranked 16th in the NAIA, finished second place in the team standings.

Oklahoma City produced a 342-325-311–978, while 13th-ranked Texas Wesleyan racked up its second SAC title with a 317-320-317–954.

Behnken secured her first career tournament crown with an 82-81-72–235. Behnken posted the top round in the SAC Championships in the last 18 holes. Behnken sank four birdies, including one on the par-5 No. 6 hole. Behnken ended the first day trailing Emily Hunt of Texas Wesleyan by five shots.

OCU’s Natalie Gough collected her second all-tournament accolade in the SAC Championships. Gough, a junior from Bixby, Okla., shot an 83-77-78–238 to tie for third place. Gough buried three birdies Tuesday.

All six Stars finished among the top 20 of the tournament. McKenzie McCoy, a senior from Beggs, turned in an 83-86-77–246, which put her 13th. Clair Hill, a senior from Gig Harbor, Wash., tied for 14th with an 87-84-82–253.

Rachel Eckert, a junior from Bixby, carded a 92-83-79–254, and Arianna Medina, a senior from Phoenix, had a 90-89-83–262.

The NAIA Championships have been relocated to Rose Creek Golf Club in Edmond, Okla., for May 25-28. The national-tournament field will be announced May 13. Oklahoma City has taken eight national crowns in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2013, 2014 and 2017.

Gough from OCU becomes SAC golfer of year

OKLAHOMA CITY – Natalie Gough of Oklahoma City University took Sooner Athletic Conference women’s golf player of the year for the second year in a row.

Texas Wesleyan came away with the SAC coach of the year (Kevin Millikan) and freshman of the year (Annaka Watts).

Gough has placed among the top three her past three tournaments, including winning the Texas Showdown on March 29-30 in Dallas. Gough, a junior from Bixby, Okla., has posted a 77.25 stroke average this season with a season-best round of 37-34–71 in the Texas Showdown. She picked up the last two SAC golfer of the week awards of the season.

In her career, Gough has taken three all-conference honors, three SAC player of the week accolades and two all-tournament accolades in the SAC Championships.

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