LUBBOCK, Texas - Oklahoma City University opened up a 13-stroke advantage after two rounds Monday in the Sooner Athletic Conference men's golf championships at The Rawls Course.
The Stars, ranked second in the NAIA, fired a 13-under-par 283-280-563 to hold the lead on a field of six top 25-ranked squads. Eleventh-ranked Wayland Baptist shot a 288-288-576 to stand second.
Top-ranked defending national champion Oklahoma Christian posted a 286-295-581. No. 19-rated Lubbock Christian shot a 286-296-582, while Southern Nazarene matched that with a 290-292-582. No. 24 Oklahoma Baptist had a 296-288-584 on the par-72, 7,323-yard course.
Clark Collier of Oklahoma City led the individual race. Three Stars found themselves in the hunt for all-conference honors as Elliott Groves and Michael Palmer were knotted for fourth place.
Southern Nazarene's Johan Andersson shot a 72-68-140, and Wayland Baptist's Darryn Els put together a 71-69-140 to be four strokes off the pace. Alasdair Dalgliesh of Oklahoma Christian had a 72-70-142, and Bradley Phelps of Rogers State registered a 73-69-140 to be tied for fourth as well in the race for all-league acclaim.
OCU will try for its 15th league title in 16 years and 18th SAC championship when the final round starts 8 a.m. Tuesday.
"The guys played well today, and it's great to see their hard work pay off," OCU coach Kyle Blaser said. "I'm proud of the way they battled and look forward to tomorrow. We need to finish what we started."
Collier, a senior from Edmond, Okla., turned in a 67-69-136 while dropping in 10 birdies. Collier buried birdies on the par-5, 516-yard second hole and the par-5, 531-yard ninth hole twice each. He sank four consecutive birdies on Nos. 9-12 during the first round, then three birdies in a row on Nos. 7, 8 and 9 in the second round.
Palmer, a junior from Johannesburg, South Africa, carded a 71-71-142. Palmer knocked in five birdies, striking twice on the par-4, 427-yard 12th hole and two times on the par-5, 621-yard No. 17.
Groves, a senior from Winchester, Hampshire, England, shot a 70-72-142 while recording seven birdies. Groves nailed birdies on the second hole twice and the par-4, 366-yard 11th hole both times.
OCU's James Marchesani compiled a 73-70-143 to tie for eighth. Marchesani collected eight birdies. Taylor Artman had a 76-71-147 to tie for 19th. Artman registered nine birdies.