OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma City University erased a nine-stroke deficit to Wayland Baptist (Texas) in the final round of the Quail Creek Classic to reign victorious April 5 at Quail Creek Golf and Country Club.
The Stars, ranked second in NAIA women’s golf, took advantage of the more favorable weather conditions to not only roar back to take the lead, but also to top the field by a 10-stroke differential. The field consisted of four ranked teams, Lubbock Christian (Texas) entered in 12th, Wayland Baptist in 17th and Southern Nazarene in 20th.
“Our ladies were impressive today. They played like a championship team after putting themselves in a bad position after the first round,” OCU coach Marty McCauley said. “I am very proud of this win and impressed by the courage that we showed today.”
Laura Jones, a senior from Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, England, took the individual title as she put together rounds of 74-75–149 to best the field by 12 strokes. After carding the low round on Monday, Jones’ 75 on Tuesday was only matched by one competitor, Oklahoma’s Mariah Montoya. Montoya finished the tournament in second with a 86-75–161.
“I’m really happy with my game at the minute,” Jones said. “I feel like my attitude has completely turned around this semester. I’m handling myself better on the course.”
This marks the second consecutive tournament in which Jones has won or owned a share of the individual tournament title after tying for first in the Cal Baptist Spring Break Invitational in Primm, Nev.
“Yesterday’s weather was really bad,” Jones said. “Being from England and playing the wind, I had an advantage because I was a little more used to it. I had some shots in my bag that the other girls didn’t. Today was completely different and you had to think about every shot.”
Along with the medal-winning performance by Jones, OCU’s Tanya Tibshraeny scored an 85-77–149 to nab third overall. Mary Larsh, playing as an individual medalist, shot an 88-79–167 to take eighth in the tournament.
“Laura’s win this week is one of the most impressive individual efforts that I have ever witnessed,” McCauley said. “The two scores she shot in those conditions are simply unbelievable. It was also great to have Tanya step up and collect her second consecutive top 5. She has made vast improvements recently through her hard work.”
The Stars also got a solid effort by Paige Martin, a senior from Ardmore, Okla. Martin posted an 84-88–173 for OCU. Madison Haley added a 98-84–182 and Taylor Howard carded a 96-87–183 to finish out the team scoring. The Stars finished with a 340-323–663 to take the team title.
“Next week at Baylor will be the most difficult field we compete against this season,” McCauley said. “It will be a great opportunity for us to improve and get ready for conference.”
The Stars hit the links at the Baylor Spring Invitational at Twin Rivers Golf Club in Waco, Texas April 11-12.