OCU takes runner-up in NAIA women’s golf championship

OCU Athletics
Rich Tortorelli

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma City University earned a second-place finish as Reagan Chaney and Maddi Kamas delivered top-five showings in the NAIA women’s golf championships Friday at Lincoln Park Golf Course.

The No. 1-ranked Stars mounted a rally that fell short as British Columbia captured the national championship. Chaney took the individual runner-up, while Kamas tied for third place.

Oklahoma City recorded the NAIA Championships team 18-hole record while slicing its deficit in half, landing five strokes off the team pace. The Stars posted a 290-292-283–865, shooting a 5-under-par team score Friday on the par-72, 6,013-yard course for the best three-round postseason team score in program history. OCU boasted of its fifth team national runner-up finish after previously taking second in 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2010. The Stars own eight national championships won in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2013, 2014 and 2017.

Third-ranked British Columbia netted the winning score with a 286-286-288–860 after starting the day with a 10-shot lead. The top three teams in the field surpassed British Columbia’s 54-hole NAIA Championships record of 294-296-294–884 set in the 2019 NAIA Championships at Lincoln Park, while fourth-place Dalton State (Ga.) equaled the previous mark.

“Being down by 10, it really motivated me,” Chaney said. “My goal was just to take good shots and try to get as many birdies as I could. Everything kind of fell into place. I hit a few close shots and made a couple of long putts. I got my putter rolling, got my wedges pretty close to the pin. The conditions were perfect for good golf. There wasn’t much wind, so I could play my clubs pretty true. All my yardages were pretty goodtoday. That set me up nicely to hit good shots and make putts.”

Chaney, a freshman from Ardmore, Okla., produced a 70-69-68–207 while reeling in the second best round of the day. Chaney racked up eight birdies Friday with two strings of three consecutive birdies on Nos. 5-7 and 11-13. Chaney converted a birdie putt of 20 feet on No. 12, and the fifth, seventh and 13th holes were par-5 holes. She piled up 16 birdies for the tournament. Chaney overcame a double bogey on No. 1.

Chaney finished as one of 10 golfers who ended the tournament with a three-round score under par, standing 9 shots better than par for the week. She finished three strokes behind individual champion MinJi Kang from Truett McConnell (Ga.). Chaney snagged OCU’s sixth individual runner-up finish, joining the Stars’ Bonnie Howard (2005), Toni Pyrum (2006), Ashley Sholer (2009) and Elia Folch (2013, 2014).

Kamas, a freshman from Kingfisher, Okla., shot a 69-69-70–208 to finish knotted with Nicole Jung of Taylor (Ind.). Kamas knocked in six birdies during the final round to lead the tournament field with 17 birdies. She made birdies on the par-5, 581-yard first hole and the par-5, 451-yard fifth hole, making up for a double bogey on No. 2. Chaney and Kamas snared all-tournament acclaim. Two Stars finished among the top five in the NAIA Championships for the fifth time in team history.

“It’s a really good experience for both of us,” Chaney said of her and Kamas. “It brings us a little bit of confidence knowing that we’re both freshmen and played really well. We have three years left and a lot of momentum going into next season.”

OCU had three individuals finish among the top 25. Paige Wood supplied the Stars with a 74-74-73–221, which tied her for 21st. Wood, a freshman from McKinney, Texas, dropped in birdies on the 13th and 15th holes Friday to finish the week with seven birdies.

The Stars’ Natalie Gough, a senior from Bixby, Okla., carded a 77-81-77–235, making par on her final eight holes during the last round. Gough had three birdies over the 54 holes. Morgan Palermo provided OCU with a 36-36–72. Palermo, a freshman from Parker, Colo., nailed birdies on the fourth and fifth holes.

The top seven golfers in the tournament topped and the eighth-place finisher tied the previous 54-hole individual score of 75-69-72–214 shot by Michela Tjan from Keiser (Fla.) in the 2019 NAIA Championships. Kang, the individual medalist, set the 18-hole tournament record with her second-round 35-31–66, surpassing Oklahoma City’s Melissa Eldredge, who shot a 35-32–67 in the first round of the 2019 NAIA Championships.

2022 NAIA Championships

All-Tournament Team

Place Name School Score
1 MinJi Kang Truett McConnell (Ga.) 69-66-69–204
2 Reagan Chaney Oklahoma City 70-69-68–207
T3 Nicole Jung Taylor (Ind.) 72-67-69–208
T3 Maddi Kamas Oklahoma City 69-69-70–208
5 Alessia Avanzo SCAD Savannah (Ga.) 69-74-67–210
6 Sonja Tang British Columbia 70-71-71–212
7 Grace Bell British Columbia 72-68-73–213
8 Ashleigh Mead South Carolina Beaufort 75-69-70–214
T9 Elizabeth Labbe British Columbia 73-72-70–215
T9 Sarah Khanyereri St. Thomas (Fla.) 72-70-73–215
T11 Ariana Castro SCAD Savannah (Ga.) 77-69-70–216
T11 Emily Hunt Texas Wesleyan 72-71-73–216
T13 Carolin Alblas Keiser (Fla.) 74-70-73–217
T13 Cameron Daniel Dalton State (Ga.) 72-71-74–217
T15 Madison Bates Loyola (La.) 78-71-69–218
T15 Mailey Buzzell Dalton State (Ga.) 74-71-73–218
T15 Dasa Urbankova Menlo (Calif.) 73-72-73–218

 

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