Oklahoma Christian finishes two shots back in Fujikura Classic

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Photo: OC sophomore Alejandro Armijo finished in the top 10 in the Fujikura Invitational.

VISTA, Calif. (Feb. 4, 2020) – Oklahoma Christian’s perfect record this season against NCAA Division II competition took a hit on Tuesday – but just barely.

OC and California-San Diego swapped the lead on multiple occasions in the final round of the California State-San Marcos Fujikura Invitational, but at the end, it was UCSD prevailing by two shots over the Eagles and the host school at Shadowridge Golf Club.

UCSD, which entered the day one shot behind OC, posted a team score of 302 to finish at 888 overall, while the Eagles’ 305 on Tuesday left them at 890. Cal State-San Marcos closed with a 293 to also finish at 890. Amazingly, UCSD won without placing a single player in the individual top 10 in the 87-man field, as the Tritons’ top two finishers tied for 15th.

OC, ranked No. 6 in Division II, had won all three of its tournaments last fall against D-2 competition and they did beat several top West Coast squads in suburban San Diego, including No. 20 Sonoma State (Calif.) and two teams that received votes in the latest Division II coaches’ poll, California State-Monterey Bay and Chico State (Calif.).

At season’s end, those head-to-head results against West Region programs could prove important when the NCAA puts together its South Central-West Super Region rankings, which determine the teams will make the Division II postseason field.

OC senior Trevor Norby, playing just a few miles from his hometown of Carlsbad, shot a 6-over-par 78 on the 7,008-yard course and finished third – the highest by a Division II player in the tournament – at even-par 216. Two players from Division I San Diego State who played as individuals – Steve Sugimoto and Zihao Jin – finished first and second, with Sugimoto firing a 5-under 67 to close at 208, six shots ahead of Zin.

Two other Eagles both tied for 10th – junior Andres Brictson and sophomore Alejandro Armijo, who each shot a 74 and closed at 221 for the tournament. Armijo had three birdies in the final round, while Brictson had two.

Freshman Walker LaRue tied for 47th at 232 after shooting a 79, while freshman Said Powers’ 80 left him at 235, tied for 61st. Each recorded a pair of birdies.

The Eagles’ next tournament will be in three weeks, when they head south to San Antonio to play in the St. Mary’s Invitational at The Dominion Country Club on Feb. 24-25.

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Ken MacLeod

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