Photo by: Henoc Kivuye
The No. 24-ranked NCAA Division II Oklahoma Christian University Eagles took first place on Tuesday in the Newman Fall Invitational, held in Wichita, Kan., marking their 55th team tournament win in school history.
The Eagles posted a total score of 582, just two shots better than runner-up Indian Hills Community College over the course of the two-day tournament, which began on Monday.
The Eagles had three players tie for sixth, along with individual ninth, 11th and 23rd finishes.
“Being the first tournament of the year, we are still trying to settle in, “ senior Johnny Ellis said. “Next week in Amarillo we will all be a little more settled and we’ll be ready to go.”
With a 74 on Tuesday, Ellis tied for ninth at 147, while senior Alasdair Dalgliesh tied for sixth place – along with sophomore Sam Johnston, the first NCAA All-American in Oklahoma Christian’s history, and junior Taylor Williams.
“I struck the ball really well but the short game was a little rusty, but we won as a team,” Ellis said. “We all played really well this week, but it definitely was not our best.”
Head Coach David Lynn said he was pleased by the team’s performance in the tournament, and that he is looking forward to building this program throughout the rest of this year.
“We have a great group of guys that are all very dedicated,” Lynn said. “We made some mistakes this week but we hope to correct them next week in Amarillo.”
Despite the windy weather conditions and the lack of any top-three individual medals, the team and Lynn were proud of their accomplishments in the opening tournament.
“On the bus, Coach Lynn mentioned that he was proud of the way we played,” Ellis said. “We all hung in there, even under really difficult conditions.”
The Eagles will be competing in the Ryan Palmer Foundation Invitational, hosted by West Texas A&M in Amarillo, Texas on Monday and Tuesday.
The Lady Eagles competed in the Haws Creek Invitational in Fort Worth, Texas starting Monday, and finished second-place overall as a team. Sophomore Audrey Meisch won her first career tournament, and shot her best round, a 72, on the opening day, finishing two shots over Cameron University’s Jacqueline Strickland.
“Audrey played fantastic,” Lynn said. “We are really excited about the future of this program.”
Meisch led the Lady Eagles to its 10th runner-up title in school history. Freshman India Matthew, despite being sick, placed in the top 10, along with junior Arrese Cortadellas who tied for eighth place. Meisch is the third woman in Oklahoma Christian history to win an individual title.
“I felt confident going into this tournament,” Meisch said. “I played well during the summer and in qualifying.”
Despite winning first place, Meisch still notices areas in her game that need improvement.
“I need to improve on my short game because that’s where you can score low,” Meisch said. “This is an area where everyone can always get better.”
The women’s 2013-2014 golf schedule includes a trip to Arizona for the Mustang Intercollegiate and a chance at the NCCAA Invitational, held in Panama City Beach, Fla. in late October.
“I’m really looking forward to traveling to Arizona and Florida with the team this semester,” Meisch said. “I’m also anxiously anticipating a team win this season.”
The Lady Eagles will compete in the Susie Maxwell Berning Classic in Oklahoma City on Monday and Tuesday.