DENTON, Texas (May 5, 2021) – Oklahoma Christian’s bid to advance as a team in the NCAA Division II women’s golf postseason fell painfully short on Wednesday, but OC freshman Camilla Jarvela provided the Eagles some solace with one of the top individual performances in program history.
In a five-team race for one of three national qualifying spots out of the Division II West Super Regional at Wildhorse Golf Club at Robson Ranch, the Eagles finished fifth, just three shots out of the third position. Jarvela, from Espoo, Finland, did finish second, though, and thus qualified as an individual for the NCAA Division II Championship, set to start next Tuesday at TPC Michigan in Detroit.
St. Mary’s (Texas) was the surprise team winner, posting a three-round score of 874 to finish ahead of the prohibitive favorite, No. 1-ranked and tournament host Dallas Baptist (Texas), which was second in the nine-team field at 890.
Third place was up for grabs throughout the final round, with OC briefly moving into the coveted spot. But at the round’s end, Texas A&M-Commerce finished at 896 (thanks to a team score of 289 in the final round) to edge West Texas A&M (897, with a 298 final round) and OC (899, with a 293 final round).
Jarvela started the day in second place, three shots behind Sofia Ruescas of St. Mary’s, but a hot start – three birdies in the first six holes – helped propel Jarvela briefly into the lead. Ruescas eventually began draining putts, though, with five birdies over her final 11 holes, and Jarvela had a double bogey on the par-3 No. 11, putting Ruescas back on top.
But Jarvela closed strong, with birdies on the par-5 No. 12 and the par-4 No. 15, and posted a 1-under-par 71 on the 6,411-yard course. All three of her rounds in the tournament were at or under par and she posted a final score of 214 (2-under), the third-best 54-hole score in the 10-season history of the OC women’s golf program.
She and Ruescas (210, 6-under) were the only two players in the 48-woman field to finish under par. Jarvela grabbed one of the three national qualifying spots that went to the highest individual finishers whose teams did not qualify. The other two spots went to third-place Loukyee Songprasert of West Texas A&M (218) and Anahi Servin of Academy of Art (Calif.), who tied for fourth at 219.
Jarvela is the fourth OC player to qualify for the Division II Championship as an individual, joining Audrey Meisch (2016), current senior Abigail Rigsby (2017) and current graduate assistant coach Kate Goodwin(2018). The Eagles made the field as a team in 2019.
OC’s second-highest finisher was another freshman, Wilma Merenmies from Jyvaskyla, Finland. Her final-round 74 (which included a pair of birdies) was her best score of the tournament and left her at 229 overall, tied for 20th.
One shot behind Merenmies at 230 was junior Shaley Goad of Wheeler, Texas. Goad, likely playing in her final collegiate tournament, had three birdies and shot 75 for the second straight day to tie for 22nd. Another shot back was Rigsby, of Courtenay, British Columbia. In the final round of her stellar collegiate career, she posted a 77 for the third straight day to close at 231, tied for 26th.
OC sophomore Alexandria Bennett of Plano, Texas, had the Eagles’ second-best round of the day, a 73 with four birdies, and tied for 33rd at 235.
Finishing after OC in the tournament standings were Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.) at 920, Arkansas-Fort Smith at 922, Westminster (Utah) at 947 and Western Washington at 958.
NCAA West Division II Super Regional
Wildhorse Golf Club, Denton, Texas