SWOSU wins NSU Classic in playoff, Francois makes impressive debut for hosts

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TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – For the second straight year, Southwestern Oklahoma State is the team champion of the Northeastern State Women’s Golf Classic after the Lady Bulldogs held off Henderson State and Missouri Western on the first hole of a playoff to break a three-way tie atop the leaderboard.

SWOSU’s team stroke total rose by two strokes on Tuesday, but at the end of 36 holes the Lady Bulldogs were tied with Henderson State – who’s second-round 305 tied for the low round of the tournament – and Missouri Western, who scored a team total of 307 for the second straight day.

Leading the Lady Bulldogs was Gloria Choi, who fired a 2-over 72 in the second round to climb into the top 10 and earn All-Tournament Team honors by tying for fourth place with a two-round total of 151. Chloe Thackeray (77), Emily Folsom (78) and Jenna Eidem (79) all shot in the 70’s on Tuesday to complete the scoring while Elin Wahlin held on for a tie in 17th place despite carding an 84 in the second round.

After two strong performances to start the 2017-18 season, the Lady Bulldogs have a week off before returning to action at the Dallas Baptist National Preview on September 25-26 in Houston.

Northeastern State freshman Sumie Francois made an opening statement to her RiverHawks’ career as a force to be reckoned with a second-place finish.

Final Results

Francois carded a 148 (74-74) and was five shots back of Missouri Western State’s Shi Qing Ong.

The RiverHawks fell out of contention in their home tournament in the final holes scoring a 619 (308-311) and tying for fifth with Oklahoma Christian.

For the RiverHawks they had three players tied for 17th with a 157 between Lexi Armon (78-79), Kelsey Lumpkin (75-82), and Ebba Moberg (81-76).  Kennedy Hudson rounded out NSU’s squad with a 169 (85-84).   Individually for Northeastern State Halie Wright was tied for eighth place with a 152 (74-78), and Fiona Hakanen shot a 177.

Northeastern State will be off until Sept. 25-26 where they will be play in the MIAA Fall Preview in Maryville, Mo.

Abigail Rigsby picked up in the fall season where she finished in the spring season, and that’s good news for Oklahoma Christian’s women’s golf team.

The sophomore from Courtenay, British Columbia, shot a final-round 74 on Tuesday at Cherokee Springs Golf Club to climb into a tie for fourth.

Rigsby finished the two-round tournament at 151, making the all-tournament team. The fourth-place finish was the highest of her career and her sixth top-10 showing while playing for OC – with the last three of those coming in succession, starting with the Heartland Conference Championship and continuing with the NCAA Division II West Super Regional, both in May.

Strong rounds by Rigsby and Elizabeth Freeman kept OC in contention for the team title at Cherokee Springs, with the Lady Eagles eventually finishing fifth among 17 squads – but only five shots behind tri-winners Henderson State (Ark.), Southwestern Oklahoma State and Missouri Western. The Lady Eagles’ final-round score of 309 put them at 619 for the tournament.

Freeman, a junior from Edmond, posted her third career top-10 finish, tying for eighth in the 89-woman field at 152 after a final-round 1-over-par 73 that included back-to-back birdies on the par-5 No. 14 and the par-4 No. 15.

Two birdies over the final three holes enabled OC junior Kate Goodwin to record a top-20 finish, as she tied for 17th at 157 after shooting an 81 on Tuesday. At 160, tied for 32nd in her first collegiate tournament, was OC freshman Felicity Wittenberg. The Australian shot 82 on Tuesday and was at 160 for the tournament.

Another OC freshman, Shaley Goad, fired a final-round 81 and tied for 54th at 167. Also at 167 was OC sophomore Ashton Nemecek, who played as an individual. Nemecek shot an 88 in the final round.

The Lady Eagles will return to action Sept. 25-26, playing in a NCAA Division I event, the Mark Allen ORU Shootout, to be hosted by Oral Roberts University at MeadowBrook Country Club in Tulsa.

For Rogers State, Jess Whitting placed fourth overall and the Hellcats shot a 308 in the second round to move up to seventh.

Whitting shot 77-74 for a 7-over 151 to tie for fourth.  Sophomore Sydney Murray shot 78-76 to tie for 15th, while sophomore Mariana Flores tied for 17th at 157. Senior Mica Eastin matched Flores in the final round with a 7-over-par 79 and shot 159 to place 28th overall.

The Hillcats are back in action next Monday (Sept. 18) at the Skyhawk Women’s Fall Regional Preview in Durango, Colo. at Hillcrest Golf Course.


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Ken MacLeod

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