Oklahoma City’s NAIA dominance continues
Oklahoma City University has compiled a nice foursome – four consecutive NAIA Championships. The latest came May 21 at Prairie Highlands Golf Course in Olathe, Kan., where Oklahoma City held off Johnson & Wales University of North Miami, Fla., by 10 shots, 1,170-1,1180.
Oklahoma City is the third school to win four consecutive national championships, joining Sam Houston State University of Texas (1978-81) and Huntingdon College of Alabama (1985-88).
Tyrone Van Aswegen, the 2002 national individual champion, and Andreas Rydholm completed their college careers for the Stars with four national titles.
“We’ve got three seniors, two have won every year,” said Stars’ coach Kyle Blaser. “Their leadership has been the key contributor to our success.”
Johnson & Wales, which won the National Minority Championships May 9, led after the second round, marking the first time since the first round of the 2001 tournament that Oklahoma City wasn’t in first place.
Chad Wensel of The Master’s College of Santa Clarita, Calif., led wire-to-wire to win the individual title. Wensel finished the 72-hole tournament at 5-under 283, two shots better than last year’s champion, Nicolas Allain of Oklahoma City. Johnson & Wales’ Adam Scrimenti, who won the National Minority Championships individual title May 9, tied for third.
“It was extremely tough with the wind and tougher with the pin placements,” Wensel said. “In these conditions you just want to try to keep it in the fairway and hit as many greens as possible.”
NJCAA Division I Men
Odessa (Texas) College wonits first NJCAA Division I Men’s Championship since 1965 with a two-shot victory over Paris (Texas) Junior College at Mariah Hills Golf Course in Dodge City, Kan. The Wranglers were runner-up in 2002 and 2003.
In the individual race, sophomore Jacob Davis of Brevard (Fla.) Community College parred the first playoff hole to defeat Odessa sophomore Shawn LaFontaine. Both finished at 1-over 285.
“They say it’s hard to put in words about the feeling of winning a national championship, and it’s true,” LaFontaine told the Dodge City Daily Globe. “It feels unbelievable and I’ve never felt this way before. I don’t feel just good about myself, but for the whole team, the school, the former players and players who are coming in.”
Paris started the final round in fourth place, 15 shots behind Odessa, but turned in a day’s-best 287 to finish second.
“It doesn’t matter if we won by one or 20, the fact of the matter is that we are the national champions,” Odessa coach Paul Chavez told the Daily Globe. “That’s all that matters.”
For the second time in as many years, the NJCAA Women’s Championship was held in Florida and a Sunshine State school won the title.
Daytona Beach Community College earned its second consecutive national championship with a seven-shot victory over Tyler (Texas) Junior College, 1,289-1,296 at Halifax Plantation Golf Club in Ormond Beach.
Daytona Beach was led by individual winner Kayla Shaul, who won the title by two shots over Olivia Campos and Erin Groeneveld of Mesa (Ariz.) Community College. Shaul finished at 314. Shaul is the first individual winner not from a Texas school in the seven years of the tournament.
Danielle Kaufman of Illinois’ Rend Lake College had a hole-in-one in the second round. Kaufman used an 8-iron to ace the 131-yard 13th hole.