By Farris Willingham, Staff Writer
The men’s and women’s golf teams are preparing to secure their spot in upcoming competitions.
The women’s team will compete in three tournaments this fall and five more in the spring, while the men’s team will compete in five tournaments this semester and seven in the spring.
The women’s team averages a score of 78, Coach Marty McCauley said.
“This fall is kind of a tune-up, but when we go to the conference championship in May, we’ll work harder,” he said.
The men’s team averages around par and took fourth place in a tournament, Coach Kyle Blaser said.
“Our first tournament was at Wichita State,” he said. “We didn’t play as well as I would’ve liked, but I’m pretty optimistic about the rest of the year.”
The women’s team competed in their first tournament Sept. 19 at the Lady Chap Invitational at The Rawls Course in Lubbock, Texas, according to a press release.
OCU took first place overall at the invitational, but it was Junior Golfer Jessica Schiele who clobbered the competition with a score of 68, McCauley said.
“She’ll be one of the top players, if not, the top player in the NAIA,” he said.
Only five players per team are allowed to play in tournaments, Blaser said.
“We played six rounds of golf to determine who went to Wichita State,” he said. “I picked the five best scores, and that’s who traveled.”
Each team automatically has a position in the Sooner Athletic Conference, Blaser said.
“I’ll send the five guys most consistent throughout the year to the conference,” he said.
To qualify for nationals, a team must win their conference tournament or receive an at-large bid, Blaser said.
“You must be within the top ranked to get an at-large bid,” he said.
The ultimate goal is to play at nationals, Blaser said.
Junior Golfer Michael Palmer said the team will be strong.
“I’m starting to see results,” he said. “I feel like I’m performing.
“It’s really competitive, and I’m really excited for the rest of the season.”