Photo: Melissa Eldredge and Savannah Moody.
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Oklahoma City University looks to defend its national crown in the NAIA women’s golf championships Tuesday at PGA National.
Oklahoma City, the 2017 national champion, tees off 7:27 a.m. CDT Tuesday on the 10th hole. The Stars collected their eighth national title May 26, 2017 at PGA National.
OCU has captured national championships in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2013, 2014 and 2017. The 72-hole event begins 6:15 a.m. CDT Tuesday.
The Stars have taken two wins this season in nine events. OCU finished second place in the Sooner Athletic Conference Championships on April 20-22 at Lincoln Park Golf Course.
“We’ve played our best golf of the entire season in March and April, which is what you want to see especially with a younger team,” OCU coach Marty McCauley said. “Getting a group to jell, sometimes it happens automatically, sometimes it takes a little while. It took us through the fall and into the spring to get some of those things figured out that are important that are behind the scenes that a lot of people don’t know goes on. We certainly feel like we are improving. To be competitive at the national championship, we just have to catch fire for one week.”
Melissa Eldredge and Savannah Moody of OCU made all-tournament in last year’s NAIA Championships. Those two have propelled the 10th-ranked Stars, ranking among the top 20 in the NAIA in scoring average. Eldredge and Moody secured all-tournament in the SAC Championships and all-conference honors.
Eldredge, a sophomore from Eufaula, Okla., has provided Oklahoma City with a 76.77 scoring average while putting up four top-five finishes. Eldredge took third place in the O-City Spring Classic on April 9-10 before tying for fifth in the SAC Championships at Lincoln Park Golf Course.
Moody, a senior from Aledo, Texas, comes off back-to-back runner-up finishes in the Stars’ last two tournaments. Moody has posted a 76.81 stroke average with three second-place showings and a victory this season.
Emma Allen turned in top-10 finishes in the past two events. Allen, a senior from Broken Arrow, Okla., has carded 80.88 shots per round in 2017-18.
Regan McQuaid has contributed an 82.22 scoring average. McQuaid, a junior from Tulsa, Okla., has one top-five finish this season. Loren Matrone, a freshman from Frisco, Texas, has put together an 83.04 stroke average with one top-10 finish throughout the season.
PGA National hosts the NAIA Championships second consecutive year at the par-72, 5,875-yard Champion Course. Although the Champion course has generous landing areas and spacious and accepting TifEagle greens, golfers are presented with course management challenges throughout the round. Lincoln Park Golf Course in Oklahoma City will have the NAIA Championships the next two years.
The weather forecast calls for temperatures in the upper 70s and lower 80s during the week. Precipitation chances have been set at 80-100 percent.