LUBBOCK, Texas (April 24, 2012) - No.2 Oklahoma City University had no problem claiming their 15thSooner Athletic Conference men's golf title, as they claimed a 29-stroke victory at the 2012 SAC Men's Golf Championship completed Tuesday at The Rawls Course.
The Stars led throughout and their scores improved in each of the three rounds. They opened with a 283 and followed with a 280 before closing with a 272 for a three-round final score of 835. All five of their individuals finished in the top-six, including medalist Clark Collier, who led the list of All-SAC recipients. Collier, who was seven-under in par-four scoring, carded a final score of 14-under on the par-72 layout. He opened the championship with a 67 in the opening round and followed with a 69 and 66 for his total of 202. James Marchesani (-5, third), Taylor Artman (-3, fifth), Michael Palmer (-2, tied-sixth) and Elliot Groves (-2, tied-sixth) completed the Stars roster, which completed its third consecutive SAC title. They have claimed 15 SAC titles over the past 16 seasons.
No.1 Oklahoma Christian was unable to get the best results from their top golfers, but their depth was on display as Alasdair Dalgliesh was able to finish second individually with a nine-under par 207. His final round score of 65 was the lowest round by an individual for the entire tournament. Dalgliesh led the field in par-three scoring with a two-under par score on par-three holes. Fitting, the Eagles did lead the event in eagles, with Logan Herbst, Jared Consoli and Dalgliesh each recording one for OC.
The Eagles three-round total of 864 (even par) was three strokes better than No.10 Wayland Baptist University. With three golfers in the top-10, the Pioneers were able to hold off No.19 Lubbock Christian by seven strokes while putting pressure on top-ranked OC.
Host Lubbock Christian made noise throughout the tournament and moved into second place on several occasions, but those occasions mostly came on the front nine, as LCU had fits on the back nine. The Chaps were very balanced with their individuals. Five strokes separated their best score from their worst score. They finished 10-over par with an 874 team score. Nick Cornu had the biggest improvement of the tournament with a 67 in the final round after carding an 80 in the second round.
Two additional ranked teams were in the field of 10 teams. No.12 Southern Nazarene finished 13-over par with an 877 team score to finish fifth and No.24 Oklahoma Baptist finished seventh with an 891 (27-over par).
The only unranked team to top a ranked squad was Rogers State University. The Hillcats, who are receiving poll votes, were led by Bradley Phillips, who finished fourth individually with a score of four-under par (total score of 214). RSU finished sixth ahead of OBU with an 884 total score (+20). Also participating in the field was Northwestern Oklahoma State (eighth, +74), Mid-America Christian (ninth, +106) and John Brown University (tenth, +114).
With the win, Oklahoma City receives the automatic berth into the NAIA Championships, set for May 22-25 at Creekside Golf Club in Salem, Ore. The Stars will look to chase down their eighth NAIA title. The remaining teams will await an at-large berth, which will be announced by the NAIA on May 10.
The All-SAC members consisted of the top five individual finishers among the field of 50 golfers. They included Collier, Marchesani and Artman of Oklahoma City, Dalgliesh of Oklahoma Christian and Phelps of Rogers State University. Oklahoma Christian head coach David Lynn claimed SAC Coach of the Year honors. Lynn, who earned NAIA Coach of the Year honors last season, claims his fifth conference coaching honor and his first since 2008.
"It was a great honor to be chosen coach of the year by my coaching peers in the SAC," Lynn said. "Our conference is so stacked every year, there are a lot of great coaches and teams. This honor really goes to the kids. They have done everything I have asked all year and I am very proud of them."