Oklahoma City Stars crush rivals in SAC Championship at Gaillardia

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Photo: Kaminski, Mendoza and Meyers of top-ranked OCU snag all-tournament awards.

Highlights from Oklahoma City University championship win.

OKLAHOMA CITY – No. 1-ranked Oklahoma City University secured its fourth team title in a row in the Sooner Athletic Conference men’s golf championships Tuesday at Gaillardia Country Club.

Rupert Kaminski, Garrison Mendoza and David Meyers paced the Stars by notching all-tournament awards. Oklahoma City, top-ranked in the NAIA, captured its 23rd SAC championship by 20 strokes.

OCU became SAC champion for the eighth time in nine years and collected its 25th league title, including two Midwestern City Conference crowns.

Oklahoma City forged a 290-281-280–851 on the par-72, 7,255-yard course. Seventh-ranked Wayland Baptist (Texas) finished second with a 287-292-292–871, and No. 2-rated Texas Wesleyan posted a 299-283-293–875.

“I’m very proud of the guys to go out and win with this competition in the fashion we did was awesome,” OCU coach Kyle Blaser said. “We knew we would have to play extremely well to win and they really stepped up to the challenge. Wayland played solid the first round and had us down by three shots. They are a great team. I challenged the guys to stay patient and stick to our plan, and they did a great job of doing that.”

Each of OCU’s five golfers were among the tournament top 10. Kaminski and Mendoza tied for tournament runner-up, while Meyers finished fourth. Peri’Don Castille from the Stars took seventh, and Carson Seals tied for ninth.

The Stars advance to the NAIA Championships on May 15-18 at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Ill. OCU owns 10 national championships won in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2016.

“This team is one of the closest I have ever been a part of,” Blaser said. “It doesn’t matter who is playing good they all cheer for each other. They push each other so hard. It’s fun to watch and be a part of.”

Paul Zwanzig from Wayland Baptist took the SAC individual title. All six individuals on the all-tournament team finished under par after 54 holes. Kaminski and Mendoza finished at a shot behind Zwanzig. Kaminski had won the previous two individual conference crowns.

Kaminski, a junior from Johannesburg, South Africa, and Mendoza, a senior from Clinton, Okla., each produced a 74-70-69–213. Kaminski drained 12 birdies. Mendoza knocked in 11 birdies while making par 36 times. Mendoza posted his third top-10 finish in SAC Championships play.

Meyers delivered a 69-73-72–214. Meyers, a sophomore from Johannesburg, South Africa, buried 13 birdies, the most in the tournament. Castille, a sophomore from Dallas, provided OCU with a 77-69-70–216 while making 12 birdies. Both finished in the top 10 of the SAC Championships for the second consecutive year.

Seals, a sophomore from Ardmore, Okla., carded a 73-72-74–223 with eight birdies.

“I’m so happy for the guys and particularly Garrison Mendoza,” Blaser said. “What a teammate and a great senior leader he has been. I’m excited that the guys to get a week or so to focus on their academics. I’m looking forward to competing for our 11th national championship.”

The temperature at the site began the day around 60 degrees and climbed to the mid-70s. The wind remained calm throughout the round.


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Ken MacLeod

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