Oklahoma Christian places second, Cameron, UCO trail in Houston Classic

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HUMBLE, Texas (Feb. 8, 2022) – Oskari Nikku posted Oklahoma Christian’s top-round, a 2-under-par 70, while Exequiel Rodriguez recorded a top-10 individual finish for the Eagles in the Houston Classic men’s golf tournament, which ended Tuesday at The Golf Club of Houston.

No. 6-ranked OC finished second behind No. 2 Arkansas Tech in the 14-team tournament, the first time during the 2021-22 season that the Eagles finished behind a NCAA Division II team in any event. OC won its three Division II events during the fall portion of the season.

UCO’s Evan Griffith tied for medalist honors before losing in a playoff in leading Central Oklahoma to a fourth-place finish.

Arkansas Tech posted a three-round score of 860, with OC with a score of 884. Cameron, one of OC’s Lone Star Conference rivals, was third at 889. No. 18-ranked Midwestern State (Texas) placed fifth at 904.

Playing as an individual, Nikku, a freshman from Tuusula, Finland, had four birdies – including three over a four-hole stretch on the front nine of the 6,945-yard course. He finished 11th in the 87-man field at 220 (4-over).

Rodriguez, a freshman from Buenos Aires, Argentina, had five birdies en route to a 73 on Tuesday and had a three-round score of 219 (3-over) to tie for eighth. Two Eagles finished two shots behind him, tied for 12th at 221 – senior Andres Brictson of Merida, Mexico (who shot a 71) and junior Alejandro Armijo of Rio Rancho, N.M. (who shot a 74). Armijo also had five birdies on Tuesday.

Sophomore Mateo Pulcini of Rio Cuarto, Argentina, shot a 74 and tied for 16th at 224. Freshman Santiago Villareal of Cordoba, Argentina, tied for 37th at 229 after a final-round 73.

For the tournament, Rodriguez finished with 12 birdies, tied for second-highest in the tournament. Armijo had 11 birdies, Nikku and Pulcini nine each and Villareal eight.

Francois Jacobs of Arkansas Tech won a three-way playoff for medalist honors at 213 (3-under).

OC’s next tournament won’t be for more than a month – the Las Vegas Desert Classic, which will be played March 6-8 at The Legacy Golf Course in Las Vegas.

Tournament results on Golfstat can be found here.

The Bronchos closed with a 310 for a 903 total. Griffith had a final-round 74 to finish with a three-under 213 total in tying ATU’s Francois Jacobs and Santiago De La Fuente for the individual title. Jacobs won the three-way playoff on the first hole.

Bennett Baldwin shot 78, while Caleb Kimmel and Liam Coughlin had 79s. Kyle Hickey was unable to play the final round with a back injury that hampered him throughout Monday’s 36-hole day. Riley Harris had a 78 competing as an individual medalist.

“We really struggled today,” head coach Derrick Thompson said. “It was good to finally get started and we saw a lot of things we need to work on before our next tournament.”

Griffith offset a second-hole bogey with a birdie on the par-4 fourth, then bogeyed No. 7 in making the turn at over-over 37. The sophomore reeled off six straight pars to start the back nine, bogeyed No. 16 and finished with two more pars in coming back with another 37.

UCO returns to action Feb. 28-March 1 at the Broncho Invitational, which will be held at Gaillardia Country Club in Oklahoma City.


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Ken MacLeod

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