BARTLESVILLE, Okla. (March 22, 2016) – Allison Sell grew up in Oklahoma playing golf in the wind and that experience paid off for the Oklahoma Christian junior on Tuesday in the final round of the Hillcat Classic.
Despite battling steady winds of 15-25 mph and gusts of up to 36 mph, Sell posted one of her best rounds as a collegian, a 1-over-par 73 at Hillcrest Country Club that gave her a second-place individual finish and helped the Lady Eagles win the team title going away.
OC’s team score of 316 on Tuesday gave the Lady Eagles a two-day total of 653, 18 shots ahead of traditional Heartland Conference power St. Edward’s (Texas). Sell, Audrey Meisch (fourth) and India Matthews (sixth) provided the Lady Eagles a powerful trio near the top of the leaderboard.
OC won its second straight tournament, having taken the Diffie Ford-Lincoln Invitational at Kickingbird Golf Course in Edmond earlier this month. The Lady Eagles have won three of their seven tournaments during the 2015-16 academic year.
"Allison played fantastic," OC coach Greg Lynn said. "She was one shot off the course record for women. The girls played great. I am so very proud of them. With the constant gusting winds, the greens were crazy hard and rolling real fast. Balls would get blown off the greens. I figured even-par would be about 76 in conditions like that."
Sell’s second-place showing was the best of her career and gave the Edmond North High School product three top-five finishes during her three years at OC. Her 73 was an 11-shot improvement over her opening round on Monday and put her at 157 for the tournament, three shots behind the medalist, Ana Sofia Benavides of St. Edward’s.
But while the Hilltoppers didn’t have another player in the top 10, OC had two others in Meisch and Matthews. Meisch, a senior from Wichita, Kan., shot a final-round 79 on the 5,959-yard course to close at 159, while Matthews’ 84 left her at 167.
OC freshman Kate Goodwin tied for 15th in the 40-woman field, as her 81 on Tuesday was an 11-shot improvement – matching Sell’s achievement – and put her at 173 for the tournament. Fellow freshman Elizabeth Freeman posted a final-round 90 and finished 26th at 179.
OC not only beat St. Edward’s, it also beat Midwestern State (Texas), which took third at 674. Those three teams are battling for one of 10 spots available in a NCAA Division II super regional tournament at the end of the regular season. St. Edward’s entered the week at No. 30 in the Golfstat.com Relative Ranking, while OC was No. 34 and Midwestern State was No. 35.
The Lady Eagles will return to action on April 2-3 in the Mustang Intercollegiate at Palm Valley Golf Club in Goodyear, Ariz.
Behind top-10 finishes from Chelsea Burney and Stirling Phillips, Rogers State ended the 2016 Hillcat Classic presented by Arvest Bank in fifth place posting a 353 in the final round.
Burney carded an 89 in the second round to close the tournament in a tie for ninth place with a 36-hole total of 169. The junior recorded her lone birdie of the day on the par-five seventh hole as she played the final five holes on the front side at even par.
Mica Eastin placed just outside the top 10 as her round-two mark of 86 landed a spot in 11th place overall at 170. She was one of the top players in the field in par-five scoring at 1-under-par, including a birdie on the 10th.
The Hillcats got another quality finish from Kina Boone as the junior placed 13th at 172 behind an 87 in Tuesday’s finale. She capped the event with a birdie on the last hole, narrowly missing an eagle, as her approach shot rattled the flagstick.
Elizabeth McCloskey net the closing score for RSU shooting a 91, while Raquel Trevino ended the Hillcat Classic firing a 92 in round two.
Competing as an individual, Phillips carded another great score on the difficult course with an 87 in round two for a 168 total. The freshman placed in a tie for seventh after a birdie on the par-five 18th.
After a three-week break, the Hillcats continue the spring season at the UAFS Lady Lion Classic held at Hardscrabble Country Club April 11-12.