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Men’s golf wins Territory Classic

In their final tournament of the fall season, the Oklahoma Christian University men’s golf team placed first out of 14 teams Oct. 23 and 24.

The Eagles traveled to Duncan, OK to compete in The Territory Classic hosted by Cameron University.

After the opening round of play Oct. 23, freshman Andres Brictson recorded a 1-under-par 71 to tie for first place. Both Brictson and junior Juan Pallach shot four birdies during the first round.

At the end of the first round, the Eagles stood  in second as a team, only three shots behind leader Midwestern State University.

Junior Ethan Smith said the final round of play Oct. 24 began with powerful winds, which the Eagles managed to use to their advantage.

“It was really windy, which made the conditions really tough, but nobody complained very much,” Smith said. “There were a lot of people in the field that just gave up, which lost them the tournament. We just put our heads down and stuck it out the finish.”

After posting a final round score of 309, Oklahoma Christian finished with a team total of 602, enough to place first and beat Heartland Conference opponent Newman University by one shot.

The first place finish marked the Eagles second team title of the season. Their last win, at the Great American Conference Preview Sept. 11 and 12, was their first tournament win since March 2016. The Eagles achieved two wins in a semester for the first time since 2013.

Oklahoma Christian managed to place first without having any individual finish in the top 10 of the 80-man field.

Pallach and Brictson represented the top finishers for Oklahoma Christian in the overall tournament, tying for 12th place. Pallach shot 6-over-par 78 in the final round and Brictson shot 79.

On the final hole of the course, Brictson scored par with a six-foot putt, which pushed the Eagles into the lead.

Junior Cameron Brown shot a 78 in the final round to tie for 16th.

Moving from 80th place in the first round of the tournament, junior Ethan Smith posted the top final round score for Oklahoma Christian with a 74 to tie for 31st.

“If you look at my two rounds on the 16th and 17th holes, I was collectively nine over par for those four holes, but for the rest of the tournament I was only one over par, which was 32 other holes,” Smith said. “I finished miserably poor both days, but everything else was pretty solid. The second day was really slow for a while, then I kind of had an unusual finish. It was the best round of that day, so that was fun, which helped us win.”

Behind Smith, junior Garrett White recorded a final-round 85 to tie for 63rd and junior Grady Neal, playing as an individual, placed 74th.

In preparation for the spring season, Smith said the team needs to work on staying consistent and closing tournaments better.

“I think we just need to work on finishing better and sticking to a game plan, not making in-the-moment decisions during the tournament,” Smith said. “As a whole, we need to do better on minimizing the damage when we make a mistake and finishing rounds better.”

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