Photo by: Henoc Kivuye
The Lady Eagles golf squad competed close to home Monday and Tuesday, placing third in the Susie Maxwell Berning Classic, held in Oklahoma City.
The girls finished as the runner-ups in the Hawks Creek Invitational last week, boosting the team’s confidence coming into the tournament this week, according to freshman India Matthews.
“We had a good first tournament last week in Fort Worth, but unfortunately we just missed out on the win in a three-way playoff,” Matthews said. “We felt confident coming into this tournament. I think for it being our second tournament of the year and for us still being a young team we didn’t do too bad.”
Oklahoma Christian University finished behind tournament host Oklahoma City University and tournament champions Redlands Community College. The Lady Eagles finished 18 shots ahead of fourth-place Rogers State University.
In the 79-woman field, junior Anna Arrese Cortadellas individually finished in second place, two shots behind medalist Lina Aguillon of Redlands, and one shot ahead of Matthews, who came in third place. Sophomore Audrey Meisch – who won the Hawks Creek Invitational and scored the honor of the Heartland Conference Player of the Week last week – placed 26th this week. Freshman Allison Sell finished in 33rd place and freshman Dana Todd tied for 37th place.
“Anna and India had a great tournament,” Head Women’s Golf Coach Greg Lynn said. “The other girls struggled on the greens. These girls are extremely talented and compete every week to win.”
Other notable performances from the Lady Eagles included sophomore Alyssa Schneider tying for 54th place, freshman Mindy Stafford finishing in 64th place, and freshman Emery Rakestraw closing at a tie for 68th place.
“I know from talking to the girls that we didn’t make enough putts, so that’s what we could all improve on the most,” Matthews said. “We have a lot of potential.”
With last week’s second-place finish in Fort Worth and this week’s third-place finish, the Lady Eagles are anticipating further success as they progress in their schedule. The girls travel to Avondale, Ariz. next week to compete in the Mustang Intercollegiate.
“Wins will come from experience and from playing in a lot of tournaments,” Matthews said. “It just might take a few tournaments for us as a team to produce the solid scores that we need to efficiently compete. Our team can see wins coming.”
In Amarillo, Texas the No. 24 NCAA Division II-ranked Oklahoma Christian men’s golf team competed in their second tournament of the season, battling many Division II schools in the Ryan Palmer Foundation Invitational, held by West Texas A&M University.
Senior Johnny Ellis led the Eagles with an individual eighth place finish, three shots behind medalist Michael Lee from Colorado School of Mines.
“I hit the ball really well in the first two rounds,” Ellis said. “My last round I struggled a little bit.”
As a team, the Eagles came in third place behind runner-up Wayland Baptist University and tournament-champion Colorado Mines. Out of the five Heartland Conference teams playing in the tournament, Oklahoma Christian finished with the highest team placing.
“We are playing some good golf,” Head Men’s Golf Coach David Lynn said. “We are making a lot of birdies but unfortunately we are still making some silly mistakes. Hopefully as we progress we will tighten up our play.”
During the first round of tournament play Monday, the Eagles finished the rain-delayed day tied with Wayland Baptist and four shots ahead of Colorado Mines.
“We need to work on our focus,” David Lynn said. “We have to learn to stay positive throughout the entire round.”
Despite strong individual play, the Eagles couldn’t carry over the momentum from last week’s first place finish. In the 90-man field, sophomore Sam Johnston tied for 19th place and senior Alasdair Dalgliesh tied for 33rd place. Ellis and junior Taylor Williams both had career-lows in a college tournament as far as being under par.
“Coach Lynn is getting slightly irritated with the team because he is so used to us winning,” Ellis said. “We didn’t finish well as a team. We still have things to work on as we go through this season.”
The Eagles take one week off and then travel to Goodyear, Ariz. for the Mustang Intercollegiate on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1.