On Monday, Oct. 12, and Tuesday, Oct. 13, Oklahoma Christian University sent 11 golfers to Lincoln Park Golf Course in Oklahoma City to compete in the Sydney Cox Invitational golf tournament. The teams consisted of seven women’s competitors and four men, all competing as individuals.
The men’s team averaged 11-over-par during the two-day tournament, with junior Andres Brictson leading the team with a 3-under-par, good enough for an eighth-place tie.
On the women’s side, junior Shaley Goad stole the show with a second-place finish with impressive rounds of 69 and 73 to finish even on the tournament.
Goad gave some insight on how the team prepared for the invitational.
“We knew that the course was going to be pretty short, compared to what we’re used to,” Goad said. “We worked on our wedges a lot to make sure we were giving ourselves birdie opportunities.”
The course’s short distance lined up well according to Goad.
“I carry four wedges in my bag,” Goad said. “A 60 degree, 56 degree, 52 degree, and a pitching wedge.”
Goad explained how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the team.
“There hasn’t been a huge change with practices, but definitely with competition,” Goad said. “Normally in tournaments in the past years, we played with people from other schools, but with this year all of our tournaments we played with our own teammates. In some ways it’s nice because ‘yeah, I get to play with my friends.’ But you don’t feel like you’re playing in a tournament, and it’s been a hard adjustment, at least for me.”
Oklahoma Christian’s mask and sanitation policies have been important to keeping the season and school running, and Goad was content with the work the school has done.
“No one is really a fan of it, especially the regular testing because of obvious reasons, but I understand why they have to do it,” Goad said. “But if we got to a tournament and failed the temperature check, we would all have to be sent home. Luckily it never happened to us.”
Goad outlined a situation to explain her thoughts.
“When we drove four or five hours to Amarillo and played our practice round everything was fine,” Goad said. “We got up the next morning and realized if one of us for some crazy reason had a fever we’re just going to have to go home and not even get to play.”
The NCAA has put precautions in place to ensure students’ safety and to cover themselves in case of any issues. Goad outlined the procedure.
“We have to sign a sheet stating any symptoms we have and then signing to make sure we’re being honest about it,” Goad said. “We also sign a waiver saying if we play and get COVID, we can’t blame the school and say the school needs to take care of our medical bills.”
Goad gave some more thoughts on her performance.
“The best thing that I did was stay out of trouble,” Goad said. “I didn’t make any big numbers and I had only one double [bogey] on 16 the second day. I don’t think I’ve ever played a college tournament without making a couple of doubles. Improvement-wise, with my wedges, even though that was something we worked on in the weeks before, I feel like that is something I can still get better on. I can take advantage of that when we play shorter courses like [Lincoln].”
The team has just entered a sort of off-season and Goad gave some information and goals for the upcoming season.
“We’re on our break until our next tournament in March when we go to Las Vegas,” Goad said. “Last year we didn’t get the chance, but the year before that, we made it to Super Regionals and Nationals, and I think we can do that next year.”
Goad explained further about the team’s players.
“We never played as a team in tournaments and we played as individuals because not all of our players were able to come back this semester,” Goad said. “We have two girls from Finland that weren’t able to come and another girl from Sweden. [Coach] didn’t want to hurt our team rankings in any way and hopefully those girls come back and we can play to the best of our ability.”