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Eagles battle elements in first tournament

The Oklahoma Christian University Eagles golf teams played in opposing weather conditions early this week. The men dealt with high winds in the San Antonio Shootout, while the Lady Eagles battled in sunny California at The Victoria Club.

The Lady Eagles left Oklahoma last Friday to participate in the Glen Ivy Invitational in Riverside, Calif. The conditions in Oklahoma prior to leaving deprived the Lady Eagles, including sophomore Anna Arrese Cortadellas, of time to hone their game.

“I honestly couldn’t practice much before I left,” Cortadellas said. “The weather here was really bad, and most of the courses in Oklahoma were closed for the snow.”

Participants in the tournament started off on Monday with two back-to-back competitive rounds. They then followed by playing one final round that took place on Tuesday.

The Lady Eagles started off Monday posting round scores of 319 and 317, making their team total for the day 635. This left them in second place for the day, 22 shots behind Grand Canyon University who is ranked in the top 10 in NCAA Division II.

Two Lady Eagles went into the second day in the top 10 out of the field of 31 athletes. Cortadellas shot a 77 and a 76 to come out in fourth, and senior Sarah Harper scored a 79 and a 78 to begin day two in seventh place.

Cortadellas would then place third overall on the second day of the Invitational, seven over par with a final score of 79.

Her tally contributed to the team’s third round score of 321.

Several other Eagles also finished high in the rankings. Harper finished in sixth with a score of 79 during the second day. Freshman Audrey Meisch scored an 80 on her final day to land her tied for 18th place.

The Lady Eagles ended with a total score of 956 over the two-day tournament. Grand Canyon managed to beat them out by 20 shots, putting the Lady Eagles in second place overall for the tournament.

Cortadellas led the squad in individual rankings, taking third place.

“Finishing in third doesn’t feel as good as it should,” Cortadellas said. “After practicing daily for these tournaments I don’t like to be number three, I want to be number one.”

California may have offered sunny conditions with warm temperatures during the women’s invitational, but the men of the Eagles golf team faced conditions on the opposite end of the spectrum during the San Antonio Shootout.

The Eagles golf team began their season-opener battling strong gusts and less than ideal conditions on San Antonio’s Canyons course, but the squad remained undeterred.

“I was mentally prepared for the strong winds,” senior Logan Herbst said. “So I knew coming in that it was going to be a challenging day, and that I was ready for it.”

In the first round of the day, the Eagles’ first squad posted a team score good enough to land them in second place with 317. Oklahoma City University finished five shots below the Eagles and secured an initial first place lead.

Herbst finished his first round in third place after shooting four over par with a score of 76.

Oklahoma Christian also sent a second team to the tournament which placed seventh during the first round with a team score of 325.

Sophomore Taylor Williams took the lead of that second group, and ended the first day tied for first shooting three under par with a score of 75.

Terms of the event called for the tournament to begin on Monday with two rounds of play. Harsh winds however forced coaches from multiple teams to make the decision that Monday’s second round could not be played out.

Gusts at the time reached upwards of 60 mph and caused balls to constantly move while on the green.

Because of the round cancellation of the previous day, the score would be settled during the final round on Tuesday.

In the end, Oklahoma City countered the Eagles’ comeback attempt, albeit by a slim margin. The Eagles ended with a total score of 608, while Oklahoma City came in one stroke less to take first with 607.

Sophomore Trey Payne had a part in the Eagles attempted comeback by ending the second round at three under par with a 69.

Payne commented on his performance during Tuesday’s round.

“My last round was just really solid,” Payne said. “From tee to green I didn’t do anything special; I just didn’t make any mistakes and took advantage of holes when I could.”

Three Eagles finished round two in 74 strokes, Herbst, senior Vilhelm Bogstrand and freshman Sam Johnston.

Herbst led as the Eagles’ top overall finisher, tying for fourth place in 150 strokes.

The Eagles’ four-man second team posted a final overall score of 644 to tie for 11th place at the tournament.

The Eagles will begin their next tournament on Monday, March 4 in Las Colinas, Texas.

The Lady Eagles will have a three-week break before their next tournament, the Midwestern State Invitational on March 18.

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