Johnston, Hernandez lead men’s golf in Las Vegas

Zac Shaefer shoots 73, 73, 74 for a 12th place finish in the Las Vegas Desert Classic on Feb. 28-29. Photo by David Lynn.

Zac Shaefer shoots 73, 73, 74 for a 12th place finish in the Las Vegas Desert Classic on Feb. 28-29. Photo by David Lynn.

The Oklahoma Christian University men’s golf team placed second at the Las Vegas Desert Classic, led by top-10 finishes from Sam Johnston and Manuel Hernandez.

Men’s Golf Head Coach David Lynn said his team led by a senior, Johnston, and a freshman, Hernandez, fared well in its second competition of the spring season.

“We came out to Vegas this week knowing we would face a great field with four to five top-30 teams in the country,” Lynn said. “I felt our preparation was very good and we were ready to play well.”

The Eagles finished the first day two shots short of West Florida University, who came in to the tournament as the No. three Division II golf team in the country.

Hernandez led the entire field after his first-round 68 and then, after posting a 74 in the afternoon round, Hernandez stood four strokes behind the leader.

Johnston posted scores of 73 and 70 in the first and second rounds, respectively, and Zac Schaefer posted consecutive 73s to finish in a tie for 12th on the first day.

A pair of freshman, Juan Pallach and Ethan Smith, rounded out the scoring for the Eagles on the first day. Pallach shot a score of 149 to tie for 23rd and Smith finished 61st with his two-round score of 161.

After playing the second day, the Eagles maintained their first-day placement and finished second in the tournament, 15 strokes behind winner, West Florida.

Hernandez and Johnston both tied for sixth, Hernandez posted a 76 and Johnston carded a 75. Schaefer posted the Eagles’ best final round score with his 74 to keep his tie for 12th place.

Pallach shot a 76 to tie for 21st and Smith carded a 78 to finish tied for 51st.

“West Florida beat us and we beat a couple other top-30 teams. I am happy with our season’s progressions thus far, we are getting our young team more and more experience,” Lynn said.

The Oklahoma Christian men will compete March 21-22 at the Gaillardia Country Club for the University of Central Oklahoma’s Broncho Invitational.

Statistics provided by the Oklahoma Christian University Sports Information office.

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